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Call for Proposals 2023 Annual Conference  Finding Center: Access, Inclusion, Participation, and Engagement April 15 - 18, 2023 | Syracuse, NY Deadline: November 14, 2022

Finding Center: Access, Inclusion, Participation, and Engagement

Annual Conference | Syracuse, NY

April 15 - 18, 2023

Call for Proposals is now closed.

MANY welcomes proposals for conference sessions, workshops, panel discussions, facilitated discussions, and peer-to-peer learning experiences that focus on our 2023 conference theme, Finding Center: Access, Inclusion, Participation, and Engagement. We will be gathering in Syracuse, in the Central Region of our state, and the home of the Onondaga Nation, the Central Fire of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy.

Born in Trinidad in 1932, the Nobel Prize-winning author V.S. Naipaul struggled while trying to write his autobiography. After multiple drafts, the threads he found to weave his story did not lead to his birthplace, but to a moment in time when he faced tremendous challenges. He described this process as finding the center.

As we all discover new ways to use the transformative power of museums as places for human encounters and face challenges created by the ways in which our lives and our institutions have changed over the past three years, we hope that you will join us as we explore Access, Inclusion, Participation, and Engagement as pathways to finding center for our institutions and our audiences.

We're looking for conference sessions that are 75 or 90-minutes in length or two to three hour long, immersive, and interactive workshops.

Proposals should share how you and your colleagues:

→ Connect with and grow organizational and human resources;

→ Build capacity, revenue, and access; 

→ Align values with mission to create inclusive experiences;

→ Research, accession, and deaccession collections; 

→ Increase participation and engagement;

→ Secure and improve endangered historic structures;

→ Use objects and collections to tell complicated stories;

→ Write new cases for support and increase economic impact;

→ Identify digital divides and integrate virtual access; 

→ Change organizational culture to build equity and inclusion within your staff; 

→ and create opportunities to support democracy.

With challenging but significant historic occasions on the horizon –the 200th anniversary of the opening of Erie Canal, the 250th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, and the 200th anniversary of the abolition of legal slavery in New York State –our goal is to create a community of practice to advance institutional change and perhaps even create one big New York team of collaborators that learn and create together.

How to submit a proposal

Presentations by individuals from institutions of all sizes, all stages of their careers, and from all disciplines are welcome to submit a proposal.

We welcome proposals from graduate and undergraduate students in the museum studies, public history, art history, non-profit administration and other relevant fields for ignite style* presentations.

Industry partners are welcome to submit proposals only if they include a museum partner and share how the partners worked together to achieve success.

Proposals from organizations in the Central Region can include Saturday Workshops and Tuesday afternoon tours. Workshops and tours should offer a close look at museum practice and exemplary projects. Hands-on learning opportunities and site based experiences are also welcome. If you are interested in hosting a workshop or a tour, but aren’t sure how to proceed, please contact MANY staff at

Proposals will be required to identify whether they will be 75 or 90-minutes in length. You may also propose a longer session for consideration as a two-part session or as a pre-conference workshop on Saturday.

Call for Proposals is now closed.

Click here to access the proposal submission form as a PDF

If you are submitting a conference proposals via PDF, please email it to with the subject line: "2023 Conference Proposal."

*Ignite Presentations are fast-paced presentations that are conducted in ten minutes or less, including as many as 40 slides, with each slide automatically advancing every 15 seconds. Presenters are encouraged to use a variety of images and little text in their slides to convey a story to the audience.

Proposal review process

Proposals will be peer-reviewed by a committee composed of MANY board members and Central NY museum professionals.

The strongest proposals will:

→ share the “why” as well as the nuts and bolts,

→ present case studies with input from all involved,

→ share projects that question foundational processes,

→ and propose discussions about challenges that we all face.

Proposals that include only one voice and one perspective will not be competitive.

Have an idea, but you are not sure it fits the theme? Looking for a partner to present with you? Send an email to and we will arrange a time for you to speak with MANY staff.

Speaker honoraria

If your proposal for our 2023 conference is accepted by the review committee, we are pleased to offer a modest honoraria of $50 per presenter; $200 maximum for group panel discussions. This opportunity, limited to the 2023 conference, is an acknowledgment of the work that our colleagues invest in preparing a proposal and presenting at a MANY conference. Presenters will also receive a discount on conference registration.


Deadline for proposal submission: Thursday, November 17, 2022 at 5 PM.

Notification will be on December 15, 2022.

Registration Opens January 23, 2023

The Museum Association of New York helps shape a better future for museums and museum professionals by uplifting best practices and building organizational capacity through advocacy, training, and networking opportunities.

Museum Association of New York is a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit organization. 

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Troy, NY 12180 USA

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