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Call for Proposals Now Open! MANY 2023 Annual Conference

October 03, 2022 10:18 AM | Megan Eves (Administrator)


The Museum Association of New York 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. 

“We’re excited to bring people together in Syracuse, New York,” said Natalie Stetson, Executive Director of the Erie Canal Museum and Co-Chair of MANY’s Program Committee. “The Erie Canal once flowed through downtown Syracuse, transforming New York State, carrying goods, people, and ideas. Syracuse’s history and location in the state's center make this city an ideal location to gather to explore our theme of finding center for our institutions and audiences.”

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 seek proposals for conference sessions that 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

Proposal entry forms can be found on the MANY website: nysmuseums.org/call-for-proposals

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 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 conference@nysmuseums.org 

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. 

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.

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.

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

Deadline for proposal submission: Monday, November 14, 2022 at 5 PM. 

Notification will be on December 15, 2022.

Registration Opens January 23, 2023

Learn more about the 2023 annual conference in Syracuse, NY at nysmuseums.org/annualconference


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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