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Dear Members of our Museum Community,

Welcome to the January edition of "This Month in NYS Museums!"

Thank you to nearly 1800 people who joined us for one of our virtual programs this fall. If you attended any of these programs, please take our survey. Your feedback is important to us as we start creating our programs in 2021. 

In this newsletter, Scarlett Rebman, Humanities NY Director of Grants, shares important information about funding opportunities for museums in 2021 and advice for prospective applicants. Want to learn more about HNY grants? HNY is hosting a Grants Information Webinar on Tuesday, February 16 at 2 PM. 

We also spoke with Dr. Annie Polland, the new President at the Tenement Museum about her return to the museum in her new role and future plans. 

Despite the pandemic forcing The Arkell Museum to cancel many in person programs and events, the museum continued their musical performance series by creating a virtual musical art exhibition

Lastly, we are preparing to start work on our next State of NYS Museums report. We're asking you to let us know what you want to know about your colleagues and their museums. Learn more in this month's Letter from Erika.

Megan Eves

Marketing & Communications Associate



How to Advocate from Anywhere

Museums Advocacy Day with AAM is virtual this year! Make the case for NYS museums from anywhere. 


Humanities NY 2021 Grant Opportunities

Humanities NY (HNY) is the state partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities. The mission of Humanities New York is to strengthen civil society and the bonds of community, using the humanities to foster engaged inquiry and dialogue around social and cultural concerns. HNY achieves their mission through grants, programs, signature events, and podcasts. To implement humanities projects across New York State, HNY offers three types of grant opportunities: Action, Quick, and Vision grants.

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Dr. Annie Polland

Photo courtesy Tenement Museum

MANY Profile:

Dr. Annie Polland

In January 2021, Dr. Annie Polland returned to the Tenement Museum as the institution’s President after previously serving as Executive Vice President of Programs and Interpretation at the Museum from 2009 to 2018. Polland replaces Dr. Morris J. Vogel, who served as the Museum President since October 2019. As EVP, Polland launched the Tenement Museum’s “Shop Life” and “Under One Roof” exhibitions which “infused cutting edge interactive projection technology into historically recreated spaces for the first time” and won the Museum the 2013 Multimedia Installations Muse award from the American Alliance of Museums. We spoke with Polland about her return and her future plans for the Tenement Museum.

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Creating a Virtual Musical Experience at The Arkell Museum

The Arkell Museum in Canajoharie was forced to cancel many in person programs and events in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic–including the museum’s musical performance series. Curator of Education and Public Engagement Mary Alexander wanted to continue these successful events despite the pandemic. She created a virtual musical art exhibition in partnership with the Caroga Arts Collective who brought professional musicians together with museum staff to create a dynamic, virtual musical and art experience.

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Letter from Erika: Ask a Museum Professional

Dear MANY members, friends, and colleagues,

Dear Colleagues, Members, and Supporters,

Like most of you, most of MANY’s plans for 2020 changed in ways we couldn’t imagine. One plan that didn’t change was the publication of our State of NYS Museums report that distributed data collected in 2019 from 206 museums of all disciplines, budget sizes, and geographic locations in New York.

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New Member Benefits

After a year that has pushed so much of our work and communication into virtual spaces, MANY has added new programs and resources for members on our website and now we are expanding your access to these resources. Now all Organizational members have the opportunity to add up to 9 additional contacts in their membership “bundle.” This means more of your staff, volunteers, and board members can benefit from your Organizational Membership with secure, personal access to MANY’s growing number of members-only resources. 

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Thank you Senate Majority Leader Schumer!

Thank you to Senate Majority Leader Schumer for leading the bipartisan COVID relief package that includes the Save Our Stages Act, which provides $15 B nationally for independent live venue operators, independent movie theaters, and cultural institutions such as live performing arts organizations and museums that have been significantly impacted by the economic effects of the COVID crisis.

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Member News

Erie Canalway IMPACT! Grants Support Education and Preservation along the Erie Canal

The Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor is pleased to announce that 13 non-profit organizations and municipalities will receive Erie Canalway IMPACT! Grants in 2021 totaling $108,787. The grants advance vital work to preserve and showcase canal heritage, educate youth, and welcome people to explore the canal in their local communities.

The grants range from $1,500 to $12,000 and will leverage an additional $146,630 in private and public project support.

“As the pandemic continues to present abnormal challenges it is especially gratifying to support diverse canal inspired innovations. We are so pleased to make these timely investments and contribute to the resilience of our canal communities,” said Bob Radliff, Executive Director of the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor

Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor has made 96 grants to communities and non-profit organizations since 2008 that have spurred $2.49 million in additional investments in heritage preservation, recreation, and education.

IMPACT! Grants are made possible with funding support provided by the National Park Service and the NYS Canal Corporation.

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Slavery in the Colonial North Virtual Workshops, Summer 2021

In July 2021, Historic Hudson Valley is hosting Slavery in the Colonial North, a National Endowment for the Humanities Landmarks of American History & Culture Workshop. There will be two, one-week virtual workshops that bring together nationally-renowned scholars and include virtual field trips to sites throughout the Hudson River Valley. These workshops are designed for K-12 educators (teachers, media specialists, administrators, etc.), but we have a handful of spots available for museum educators as well. This is a free program and comes with a stipend. We hope you will help spread the word to your networks and/or consider having a colleague from your site apply. For questions, email

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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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