The Museum Association of New York is pleased to present the schedule for the 2015 Annual Conference. Stay Connected to get the most up-to-date information about the conference as it develops.

Unless otherwise noted, events are included in the basic registration fee.

Throughout the conference we have included both theme-oriented sessions as well as those that address topics that were specifically requested by conference attendees in our 2014 survey. These sessions and workshops will focus on skill building for museum professionals and overall organizational capacity building. 

2015 Annual Conference Schedule

All sessions address the annual conference theme unless otherwise noted as follows, Must Haves - MH, Coffee Talks - CT

Available presenter materials from 2015 sessions are noted in red.

SundayMondayTuesday ]

Sunday, April 12

All events listed below will take place at the Corning Museum of Glass unless otherwise noted

12pm-4pm Conference Registration
1pm – 4pm

Pre-Conference half-day Workshops
Pre-Registration required for all half-day workshops. Workshops are an additional fee.

Glass Conservation Workshop at the CMoG Conservation Lab, $60 MANY member; $70 non-member; (limited to the first 8) 

This workshop is full!

This practical workshop introduces the principles and practices of cleaning, care, conservation and restoration of historical and archaeological glass. Discussions center on aspects of deterioration, cleaning and restoration methods, as well as care, handling, and proper conditions for storage and display. Practical work includes cleaning, re-assembly of broken glass, and use of adhesives. Click here to learn more about conservation at CMoGWorkshop Leaders: Stephen Koob, Chief Conservator, Corning Museum of Glass


2:30pm – 4pm

Enriching Communities Through Museum & Business Partnerships

This session describes how The Rockwell Museum and Great Camp Sagamore have partnered with corporations to support their organizational missions to provide more engaging environments, increase attendance, and reach larger and more diverse populations at their institutions. Session Leaders: Mary Mix, Director of Education, The Rockwell Museum; Garet Livermore, Executive Director, Great Camp Sagamore  **This session will take place at The Rockwell Museum

Rethinking Outreach by Moving Outside the Museum
This session will present examples for using the full resources of the museum in building new partnerships and strengthening old ones. The panel will include perspectives from inside and outside the museum field. Session Leaders: Bruce Whitmarsh, Executive Director, Chemung County Historical Society; Erin Doane, Curator, Chemung County Historical Society; Pamela Davis-Webb, Principal, Diven Elementary School; Louise Richardson, Communications and Marketing Manager, Chemung County SPCA

Addressing the Balance: Negotiating Potential Conflicts Between the Regular Visitor & Specific Community Groups in Historic Buildings - UK & US Perspectives
Through three innovative and adaptable case studies from historic buildings in London, England, this session will address challenges in balancing thoughtful programming tailored to specific audience groups, and regular visitors. Session Leaders: Lauren Windham, Museum Educator & Historic Guide, United States Capitol; Sean Curran, Curator & PhD Candidate, Institute of Education, University of London & The National Trust, UK; Ellie Lewis-Nunes, Heritage Educator, Gunnersbury Park Museum, UK

New York Council for the Humanities Grants Session

Learn about the New York Council for the Humanities (NYCH) from Lauren Kushnick, Director of Grants and Partnerships and Kate Sidley, Grants Officer. This session will cover NYCH grant offerings, how to apply, tips for creating a successful grant application, and information about our exciting new funding opportunities. After the presentation there will be ample time for a Q&A so feel free to bring your questions! Session Leaders: Lauren Kushnick, Director of Grants and Partnerships, NYCH; Kate Sidley, Grants Officer, NYCH

Presentation ; Link to NYCH Grants Page ; Sign up for Grant E-Newsletter ; Info on Community Collaborations

4pm – 5:30pm

Opening Reception and Glass Blowing Party at the Corning Museum of Glass

Sponsored by Gilbane Building Company

Experience a Hot Glass Show, enjoy local Finger Lakes Wines while networking with the largest gathering of museum professionals in New York State! Live glassmaking provides a unique context for understanding the Museum's amazing collection and is an amazing show. Come see what all the excitement is about! Light hors d’oeuvres and beverages will be served. 


Fire & Ice Champagne Tour & Fundraising Dinner - FUll

Limited to the first 100 registrants. Pre-Registration is required, cost for dinner is $49

Take a VIP tour of the Museum's galleries while sipping champagne and bubbly generously donated by local Atwater Estate Vinyards. Special thanks also to the The Bonadio Group for sponsoring the VIP Champagne Tour. Learn about the evolution of the Museum, its collection and the building. Enjoy a dinner paired with local Finger Lakes wines. Wind down after the first day at the conference with friends, new and old alike!  All proceeds go to support the Museum Association of New York.


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Monday, April 13

7am – 5pm Conference Registration
7:30am – 4pm Conference Sponsor Exhibit Area
Don’t miss out on your chance to network at the largest gathering of museum professionals in New York State!

Interested in being a Museums in Action Exhibitor?

8am – 3:30pm Silent Auction
Don’t miss out on your chance to win unique and interesting items donated by attendees and other supporters.  All proceeds benefit MANY and help us continue to provide a myriad of services to our constituents.
7:45am – 9:30am

Awards of Merit Breakfast 

Sponsored by Welliver

Join us in honoring the excellent work of individuals and organizations in the field as we hand out the Awards of Merit and Certificates of Commendation. Come hear from MANY's Board of Directors, take part in the Business Meeting and enjoy a light breakfast.

9:30am – 9:45am Break
Take this time to visit our sponsor exhibit booths and the
MANY Silent Auction
9:45am – 11am

Partnering to Promote, Partnering to Preserve

Small museums often benefit by bringing in groups with skills that are not available in house. Working together, museums and their partners can have a major impact on their communities. Session Leaders: Brian Howard, Executive Director, Oneida County Historical Society; Christine O'Neil, Executive Director, Chittenango Landing Canal Boat Museum; Mercedes Niess, Executive Director, H. Lee White Maritime Museum at Oswego

Exhibit Sustainability: Energy Efficient Options for Museum
Audience participants will enhance their knowledge of opportunities for energy savings from experts in the areas of: energy auditing, low-wattage lighting solutions, energy efficiency incentive and finance programs, and efficient museum facility operations. Session Leaders: Lauren Brust, Director, Commercial Building Energy Services; Thomas Shannon, Director of Facilities, The Morgan Library & Museum; Giovanny Bedoya, Senior Mechanical Engineer, Steven Winter Associates; Matthew Burstein, Designer & Regional Sales Manager, Philips

Perfect Partnerships: Museums and Tourism

Museums are a vital part of tourism in New York State. By plugging into tourism marketing opportunities presented by state and local tourism entities, museums and cultural institutions across the state can increase and diversify their clientele, often at no out-of-pocket cost. This session will outline ways to partner with Empire State Development's Division of Tourism, the state's I LOVE NEW YORK and Path Through History campaigns, and local tourism promotion agencies (TPAs) to bolster awareness of and interest in your museum and its offferings. The discussion will include ways to be included in public relations, digital platforms, printed collateral, social media and advertising campaigns, along with some sources of funding for tourism marketing. Session Leaders: Ross D. Levi, Vice President, Marketing Initiatives, Empire State Development / NYS Division of Tourism; Mark Castiglione, Acting Executive Director, Hudson River Valley Greenway and National Heritage Area; Greg Marshall, Senior Vice President / Director of Marketing, Visit Rochester; Elizabeth B. Jacks, Executive Director, Thomas Cole National Historic Site

Programming Coffee Talk - CT

Bring your questions and points of discussion to join your fellow Programming professionals in a conversation. This is a facilitated session that provides space and time for Educators, Event Planners, Visitor Services professionals and more to talk about what they do, bounce ideas around the room, and gain valuable feedback. Session Leaders: Gigi Alvare, Director of Education, The Rockwell Museum; Ilene Frank, Executive Director, Rensselaer County Historical Society; Brett Smith, Programs and Events Planner, The Rockwell Museum


11am – 11:15am Break
Visit our sponsors in the Exhibitor’s Hall and MANY's Silent Auction
11:15am – 12:30pm Making Your Mark in Our Digital World: Museums and Creative Social Media Use

Most museums use some form of social media, so how can your museum stand out from the crowd? Learn what some museums are doing and share ideas about creative strategies. Session Leaders: Kelli Huggins, Education Coordinator, Chemung County Historical Society; Yvette Sterbenk, Senior Manager of Communications, Corning Museum of Glass; Bridget Sharry, Community Relations Manager, Tanglewood Nature Center and Museum; Rachel Bournique, Student, Siena College

Social Media Slides ; Social Media Handout

Marketing Your Collection: Creating a Successful Traveling Exhibition
Staff from the SUArt Galleries will discuss the history of the SUArt Traveling Exhibition Program and its evolution into an integral busness. Discussion will include exhibition selection, marketing, contracts, preparation of objects, crates and shipping, as well as examples of how the revenue has helped provide funding for SUArt Galleries' exhibitions, acquisitions and gallery footprint. Session Leaders: Andrew Saluti, Assistant Director, Syracuse Univeristy Art Galleries; Emily Dittman, Collection and Exhibition Coordinator, Syracuse University Art Galleries

Destination Collaboration: Creating Place-Based Tourism Off the Beaten Path
Rural museums located well off the beaten path are struggling to attract visitors. How can we compel people to make the "long trip" to our museums? Let's talk tourism! Session Leaders: Sarah Kijowski, Interim Director, Slate Valley Museum; Serena Kovalosky, Professional Sculptor, Curator & Cultural Project Developer, Artful Vagabond Productions

Director's Coffee Talk - CT

Bring your questions and points of discussion to join your fellow Directors in a conversation. This is a facilitated session that provides space and time for Directors to talk about what they do, bounce ideas around the room, and gain valuable feedback. Session Leaders: Suzanne LeBlanc, Director, Long Island Children's Museum; Mark Mortenson, President & CEO, Buffalo Museum of Science; Bruce Whitmarsh, Executive Director, Chemung County Historical Society

12:30pm – 2pm

Keynote Luncheon with Gavin Landry, Executive Director, Tourism, Empire State Development

Sponsored by the New York Council for the Humanities

2pm – 3:15pm

Deaccessioning Basics - MH
Basic information about the deaccessioning process as regulated by the New York State Board of Regents, how it relates to collections care and the required annual reports. Session Leaders: Sarah Jastremski, Chartering Coordinator, New York State Department of Education; Lenora Henson, Curator, Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural NHS; Amy Sanderson, Collections Manager, Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural NHS; Erin Doane, Curator, Chemung County Historical Society

Tourism: A Case Study for Regional Partnerships
Understanding tourism starts with a vision of the sequential experience. It includes the getting-here, being-here, and what do we do after-here experiences. It requires partnerships outside the museum world. Session Leaders: Terry McDonald, Executive Director, Roberson Museum and Science Center; Robert Murphy, City of Binghamton, Department of Economic Development; Joshua B. Ludzki, Managing Partner, BingSpot

Data & Stores for Casemaking

A narrow focus on numbers can lead to forgettable meetings and sleepy audiences, while stories along often lack the credibility to convince key stakeholders. As cultural advocates and practitioners, how can we convey the vibrancy and human side of our work while also concretely describing what we contribute to our communities? In this session, discuss the importance of using data and stories together for casemaking and walk through a step by step technique for crafting a case with the Cultural Data Project, then practice these skills yourself in a hands-on activity. Session Leaders: Rachel Brown, Education Associate, Cultural Data Project

Data + Stories = Impact worksheet

Data + Stories = Impact

Development/Fundraising Coffee Talk - CT

Bring your questions and points of discussion to join your fellow colleagues in a conversation. This is a facilitated session that provides space and time for those who raise funds for or market their institutions to talk about what they do, bounce ideas around the room, and gain valuable feedback. Session Leaders: Hillarie Logan-Dechene, Director of Philanthropy, The Wild Center; Herbert Schmidt III, Executive Director, Buffalo Niagara Heritage Village

3:15pm – 3:45pm

Coffee/Snack Break sponsored by On-Cell-TourSphere
Take this time to get a snack, enjoy a cup of coffee while visiting our sponsor exhibit booths and the Silent Auction.

Resume Review Center
What are the skills and experiences that potential employers are looking for? Bring your resume and review it with the leaders in the museum field at the Resume Review Center. Sign up for your appointment at the Conference Registration Table.

3:30pm Silent Auction Bidding ends
3:45pm – 5pm Visitor Satisfaction: What Museums Can Learn from the Hospitality Industry 

Hospitality businesses must create programs that measure and enhance guest satisfaction to attract repeat business. Museums can adapt these programs and metrics to improve their visitor experience and sustainability. Session Leaders: Eric F. Nusbaum, PhD, CHA, Founder & Principle, Wheelwright Consultants, Lecturer, Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management, Isenberg School of Management, University of Massachusetts; Beth Duane, Director, Marketing & Community Relations, Corning Museum of Glass

Is My Museum Essential? Marrying Museum Mission & Community Need
Now more than ever, museums are challenged to show how they meet their communities' needs. How can we identify the needs that mesh with our missions without exceeding our resources? Session Leaders: Sarah Kijowski, Interim Director, Slate Valley Museum; Kajsa Harley, Education and Curatorial Initiatives Manager, Hanford Mills Museum; Amanda Manahan, Collections and Interpretation Coordinator, Hanford Mills Museum

Strategies for Not Just Good... But Great Governance! - MH
Understanding and fulfilling legal and ethical duties and responsibilites may make your board a good one, but what could make it a great board? This session will examine ways for museum boards to move beyond compliance and towards excellence. In particular, we will look at conventions and strategies that help you attract, engage, and retain strong board members to provide the leadership needed for your organization to thrive. The presentation will also touch on the governance impact from the Nonprofit Revitalization Act you should keep in mind. Learn about strategies that work, and together discover ways in which you might be able to tailor them to your museum. Session Leader: Andrew Marietta, Regional Manager, New York Council of Nonprofits

Good to Great Governance - NYCON

Design and Marketing on a Shoestring Budget

This session is an opportunity to learn tips and tricks to make your communications and marketing budget really work for you through low cost and free resources online, exercising social media, blogs and websites. How do you create a big look at a low cost without deign and production help? Museum Executive Director Nomi Dayan has hands on experience and success using these strategies at the Whaling Museum and Educaiton Center of Cold Spring Harbor. Graphic designer and illustrator, Q Cassetti will share her special resources and ideas too. Session Leaders: Nomi Dayan, Executive Director, The Whaling Museum; Q. Cassetti, Graphic Designer/Illustrator, Luckystone Partners

Big time image with a small time budget - Q. Cassetti

Collections Coffee Talk - CT

Bring your questions and points of discussion to join yourcolleagues in a conversation. This is a facilitated session that provides space and time for those who work with objects, exhibits and more to talk about what they do, bounce ideas around the room, and gain valuable feedback. Session Leaders: Erin Richardson, Director of Collections, The Fenimore Art Museum and the Farmers' Museum; Andrew Saluti, Assistant Director, Syracuse University Art Galleries

5pm – 6:30pm

Networking Reception at The Rockwell Museum 

Sponsored by the William G. Pomeroy Foundation

More than a museum displaying exquisite pieces, The Rockwell is a unique community center where people enjoy, connect, and reflect on the essence of the American spirit, character and values through the eyes of American artists. Learn more about The Rockwell Museum here.

Welcome first time attendees and catch up with old friends over drinks and light hors d’oeuvres. Join your colleagues from across the state for an evening of information networking.






Keep MANY Working for You! Fundraiser Dinner at The Cellar 

Pre-Registration is required, cost for dinner is $49 - FULL

Continue the evening at one of Market Street's fine dining establishments. The Cellar offers modern fusion cuisine made in-house, from scratch, with a focus on locally sourced ingredients.  Join the MANY Board and share your latest news, muse over the day’s presentations & catch-up with your colleagues. All proceeds go to support the Museum Association of New York.


Drinking About Museums, Emerging Museum Professional (EMP) Nite Cap at the Steuben Bar, The Radisson

No pre-registration required. Cash bar.

We're celebrating EMPs! Are you new to the field? New to the conference? Preparing to graduate and join the working class? This is an opportunity for new and experienced museum professionals to convene, share stories and network. And it's not JUST for EMPs! If you are an experienced professional and think you have something to contribute to the newbies of the field, please join in the fun! Perhaps you're looking to fill a position at your institution and want to scope out the prospects. Or maybe you just need that nite cap after a long day of sessions. Whatever the reason, we hope to see you there!

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Tuesday, April 14

7:45am – 8:45am Breakfast with the Funders sponsored by the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor
Enjoy light breakfast and refreshments and learn about the funding opportunities available to New York State’s cultural organizations and make connections with the agencies that are eager to support your organization.

Student Poster Sessions

Hear from the museum field’s emerging leaders! Students will briefly introduce their projects. Take the time to learn more and check out the latest research and developments. Be sure to visit the tables and ask questions. Engage with and inspire our younger members! If you are a student interested in submitting a Poster Session Proposal, information can be found here.

Resume Review Center
What are the skills and experiences that potential employers are looking for? Bring your resume and review it with the leaders in the museum field at the Resume Review Center.  Sign up for your appointment at the Conference Registration Table.

9am – 10:30am Museum Leadership for the 21st Century: Skills, Attributes and Personal Journeys - MH

Leadership Matters authors Anne W. Ackerson and Joan H. Baldwin will discuss some of the key findings of their research about the characteristics of the successful 21st Century museums and those who lead them. Based on 36 interviews with museum leaders in the field from a variety of positions and institutions, Ackerson and Baldwin show that leadership can happen anywhere, at any level or an organization. They see successful leaders as possessing four characteristics: they re self-aware, authentic, courageous and visionary. And those aren't qualities that just show up at work - successful leaders strive to integrate work, home, the wider community, and their private lives. Session Leaders: Anne W. Ackerson, Executive Director, Council of State Archivists; Joan H. Baldwin, Curator of Special Collections, The Hotchkiss School; Sally Roesch Wagner, Founding Director, Matilda Joslyn Gage Foundation / Adjunct Faculty, The Renee Crown University Honors Program, Syracuse University; Ilene Frank, Executive Director, Rensselaer County Historical Society.

Advocacy 101 at All Levels & the Museum Education Act 
Session Leaders: Devin Lander, Executive Director, Museum Association of New York; Ford Bell, President & CEO, American Alliance of Museums; Dan Yaeger, New England Museum Assocation; Roy McDonald, Former NYS Senator

Compelling Questions: Uncommon Approaches to Social Studies - MH

With our rich collections and contextual exhibitions, museums provide a natural partnership with social studies teaching and learning. Participants will gain valuable insight to the new Social Studies Resource Toolkit being developed for teachers in New York State. Roberson Museum and Science Center will share its experience in working on the new Social Studies Framework and developing curriculum units in line with the Toolkit. Time will be spent looking at how to formulate a strong compelling question, which is the cornerstone of the new Toolkit approach to social studies. Participants will also learn about a library of online resources being offered by NYSED and the Office of Cultural Education that provide information on how other cultural educators are schools are taking uncommon approaches to the Common Core and social studies education. Session Leaders: Danielle Furey Britton, Director of Education and Visitor Services, Roberson Museum and Science Center; Liz Hood, Director, Office of Educational TV & Public Broadcasting, NYS Education Department; S.G. Grant, Professor of Social Studies Education, Binghamton University


To join the Cultural Education listserve = send an email ; leave the subject line blank; type the following into the body of the message: subscribe culturaled YourFullName

Independent Museum Professionals Coffee Talk - CT

Bring your questions and points of discussion to join your colleagues in a conversation. This is a facilitated session that provides space and time for those who work as Independent Museum Professionals to talk about what they do, bounce ideas around the room, and gain valuable feedback. Session Leader: Marianne Bez

10:45am – 11:45am

Join us for the Closing Keynote address with American Alliance of Museums President & CEO, Ford Bell
12pm – 4pm Head out and visit the area's rich cultural institutions 

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