Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Facebook Friends::Win a Free Individual-level MANY Membership!

We topped 300 Facebook friends this week so in honor of your interest and loyalty, we've cooked up a little contest for free year-long individual memberships!

Just answer these five questions correctly by NEXT WEDNESDAY, February 24th, and the first 5 correct responders will receive a one year membership subscription (that includes a monthly e-news and advocacy alerts, as well as discounts on annual conference registration, our salary survey and other publications). SUBMIT YOUR ANSWERS TO:


1. This upstate community is home to a modern art gallery, a LEED-certified university museum, a science museum and a zoo, an historic house associated with Teddy Roosevelt, and an historical society that calls the former New York State Building its home. What city is it?

2. Where will you find Dale Chilhuly's Fern Green Tower dominating the admissions lobby?

3. What is the oldest museum in New York State?

4. In what community was the Culper Spy Ring active?

5. Where in New York City do you go to see the Little Red Lighthouse?


Monday, January 4, 2010

The Deaccession Discussion Heats Up Again

It's a new year and with it come lots of reviews about how the museum community fared in 2009. We know the answer to that -- not well. The financial outlook for 2010 remains difficult for many museums across New York State.

And that turns our attention back to the selling of museum collections to pay debt. You'll want to check out these two recent blog posts:

Real Clear Arts by Judith Dobrzynski

CultureGrrl by Lee Rosenbaum

as well as Dobrzynski's op-ed, The Art of the Deal, which appeared in the NY Times (online January 1) and Daniel Grant's Wall Street Journal article, Portrait of a Challenging Year (December 29).

These four articles will help to set the stage for deacessioning discussions in our state this year.

Friday, November 6, 2009

State Senator Speaks Out About Arts in Education

State Senator Jose M. Serrano blogs about the importance of arts in education.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Who Are the Game Changers?

Who do you think are *game changers* in the museum biz right now? These are folks who not only mixing up the way museums interpret collections and connect with the public, but they're also the ones figuring out how to sustain new ways of doing business.


Thursday, October 22, 2009

A New Economic Model for Museums?

Andrew Taylor’s blog post, Rethinking Arts Economies and Arts Exchange, introduces Stolen Chair Theatre's new initiative to support new works. Instead of grants and traditional subscriptions, they propose a community support system modeled on Community Supported Agriculture (CSA).

Like the CSA model, Stolen Chair hopes to build a membership community, a "CST", which would provide 'seed' money for the company's development process and then reap a year's worth of theatrical harvests. The organization has received a grant to create the model as part of The Field's
Economic Revitalization for Performing Artists (ERPA) initiative.

Writes Taylor, “Is unprofitable theater (or other arts endeavor) a charity, a community resource, an entitlement, a labor of love, or some combination thereof? Whatever we choose as our cluster of definitions, it will be helpful to align our business models and our resource strategies accordingly.”

Monday, October 5, 2009

New York State Museums in Conversation Conference: Call for Participation

What Inspires You? is the theme for the 2010 Upstate History Alliance/MANY conference, scheduled for April 11-13, at the Albany Marriott, Wolf Road in Albany.

We all take inspiration from many ­ sometimes unlikely ­ sources. In continuing the conversation format of last year's conference (the largest gathering of museum professionals in NY State), UHA and MANY seek discussion proposals that focus on what inspires you about the work of others, be they museums, libraries, nature centers or parks, small or big businesses. What have you seen that's been so great, so innovative, so enterprising, so adaptable, and so fun that you want to talk about it with your colleagues?

We welcome proposals from a wide range of institutions and practitioners, within and outside the museum community, to encourage lively discussions that offer new perspectives on our work and create new connections to each other.

Submitting a Proposal
The deadline for submitting a proposal is November 2, 2009. Proposals must be submitted electronically, as an email attachment to
Visit to download the proposal form and for more information. The program committee will review proposals and decisions will be made by the mid November.

If you have any questions or are looking for assistance with developing a proposal, contact UHA Program Coordinator Stephanie Lehner at 800.895.1648 or MANY Director Anne Ackerson at 518.273.3400 or

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

2010 Museums in Conversation Theme: What Say You?

MANY and our conference partner, the Upstate History Alliance, are planning our 2010 Museums in Conversation Conference for April 11-13, at the Albany Marriott (site of the 2008 conference).

We're kicking around theme ideas and we need your help. Should the conference theme be practical or aspirational....or both? Will a conference about leveraging resources bring folks out in droves in these tough times?

Tell us what you think.