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September 2018

Dear Members, Friends, and Colleagues,

During our visit to the Dyer Art Center last month, Director Tabitha Jacques showed us a painting in their collection through which the artist explored the possibilities of what sounds a flower might make. I am not hard of hearing and this was the first time I was gifted the opportunity to think about experiencing the world through the perceptions of a deaf person.

On August 24, Governor Cuomo signed legislation making New York the third state to strike the term “hearing impaired” from state law. The bill changes all references in state law from “hearing impaired” to “deaf or hard of hearing.” Legislation like this ensures that people in the deaf community are not stigmatized and helps our society understand the deaf community and how they wish to be identified. This is a great time to look at the ways in which your museum engages with the deaf community and how your written materials discuss their participation in your exhibitions and programs.

The other articles in This Month in NYS Museums – one featuring the New-York Historical Society’s Citizenship Project that is providing citizenship learning tools for aspiring New Americans and the other an interview with the Samuel Dorsky Museum’s curator Anastasia James – are also about how museums are expanding access by embracing difference and thriving because of those changes. I hope you will enjoy reading them.

Please help us share all of the great programs museums are doing across the state by posting what you are doing on our Member News pages or submitting a proposal to present at our 2019 conference Access and Identity.

Until next month,

Erika Sanger
Executive Director, MANY


From Our News Section: 


Celebrating Accessibility: Why the Dyer Arts Center is a Vital Resource for the Flower City

One of the most important – and sometimes most difficult – questions museum leaders must ask themselves today is one that may seem to have a simple answer, but in reality, is far more nuanced than it appears. 

How can I make my museum accessible to everyone? 

Read more >>>


Bringing History to Life: How the New-York Historical Society is Inspiring New Americans

“What does it mean to become an American?”

This is the question the New-York Historical Society Museum & Library (N-YHS) posed when they launched the Citizenship Project in response to the change in United States immigration laws in January 2017. The Citizenship Project, which officially launched in July of that same year, is an initiative to help green card holding immigrants living in New York become American citizens. Since last July, the N-YHS has been providing free civics and American history classes and other educational tools for aspiring New Americans, helping them to prepare for the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) naturalization exam.

Read more >>>

Exhibitions & Collections

Ask a Curator: A Conversation with the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art’s Curator of Exhibitions and Programs

What are museums without their curators? Who else would dedicate their time and responsibility to the cataloguing, maintenance, and interpretation of an institution’s collections?

For Anastasia James, Curator of Exhibitions and Programs at the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art at SUNY New Paltz, the role of the curator as storyteller is what has drawn her to this kind of work. This semester, James has worked hard with her team on the curatorial design of not one, but three new exhibitions at the Dorsky. We spoke with her to learn more about her love of history and art, her mission as a curator at a university museum, and what visitors at the Dorsky can expect from the fall exhibitions.

Read more >>>

Letters from Erika

Collective Intelligence

I’ve been thinking about Access and Identity - the 2019 Conference theme - as an important exercise in collective intelligence. I like to think about the conference in this context, because we crowdsource content, assess with peer review, leverage our social capital to create fabulous special events, ask you to help us share through social media, and lastly, assess with a polling system. A strong sense of who we are and who we want to be as New Yorkers and New York museums can emerge in a conference like ours, where we can create a space to discuss and perhaps even safely disagree about our future as a field and make room for the broadest definitions of identity as museum professionals and as institutions.

Read more >>>

#ICYMI - MANY on Instagram





Want to be featured on our Instagram? Direct message photos and suggestions to @nysmuseums or email them to

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for even more great content about NYS museums!

Member News:

Genesee Country Village & Museum awarded a Preserve NY grant

By Becky Wehle

Highlights from August:

Theater Troupe and Historical Association Partner for Podcast

By: Samantha Hall-Saladino, Albany County Historical Association

Brookside Museum/SCHS Welcomes New Executive Director

By: K. Michelle Arthur, Saratoga County Historical Society 

Want news about your museum featured in our next newsletter?
 this link to post your story on our Members News Blog

From Our Sponsors:

Orpheo is a 20 year old company focusing on audio and multi media guide solutions. We equip devices including Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, 9/11 Memorial, and Grand Central Station in NY and many other high profile global portfolio locations. Let us design self guided or guided tours, content creation, smartphone apps, multimedia installations, and Virtual and Augmented Reality. Revenue share agreements welcomed! We design our own equipment and service them in New York. Learn more about what Orpheo can offer you on their website.

Frameless Technologies creates Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) experiences for marketing, exhibits and education. We specialize in 360/VR Video, Virtual Tours, Interactive VR Experiences, AR Experiences, 3D Artifact Scanning/Volumetric Photography and 360-degree Drone photos/video. We offer the latest technology and create content for use across multiple platforms. Technical support is included with all projects. We welcome the opportunity to discuss project ideas and provide free estimates.  Please contact Michaela: or visit

Save the Date!

Fall Festival & Agricultural Fair @ Genesee Country Village & Museum
October 6, 2018, 10:00-5:00pm & October 7, 2018, 10:00-4:00pm
More info here.

Free Training in Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS)
Deadline to register October 15, 2018
More info here.

The 5th NY Infantry “DuryĆ©e’s” Zouaves
October 18, 2018
More info here.
RCHS Rising Leaders Event: Drinking History at Franklin Alley Social Club
November 1, 2018, 6:00pm
More info here.

Risk Management for Collections

November 7, 2018 with GHHN
More info here.
November 13, 2018 with MANY
More info here.

Want to be featured in next month's newsletter?
Here's how:

  1. Do you have a suggestion for what our Marketing & Social Media Coordinator should feature in the next newsletter? Send all article ideas, photos, and upcoming events to us at with the words "MANY Newsletter" in the subject line. Keep our three main issues in mind when you're brainstorming ideas: Resources, Community, and Exhibitions & Collections.
  2. Publish your stories to the Member News blog and any own announcements to the Member News Forum and the Exhibitions & Events Forum.
  3. Tag @nysmuseums in your posts on Twitter and Instagram.

Are you interested in becoming an industry-level sponsor of This Month in NYS Museums? Email to find out how!

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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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