December 21, 2023
A lot has happened this year. While I have not been posting as much since being promoted to the role of Education Coordinator at Three Village Historical Society, I have regularly posted about my experiences as Education Coordinator and other adventures on the blog’s Instagram page. I shared pictures from the MANY Conference I attended, Sweetbriar Nature Center’s Butterfly and Bird Festival where I got a picture with an owl, Education and Crafts Table during Three Village Farmer’s Market season, visits to local museums and exhibits, a weekend trip to New York City, this year’s Spirits Tour and mini-exhibit during October, pictures of me dressed as Barbie for Halloween, and the Candlelight House Tour I attended with the rest of the TVHS staff. Check out the Instagram at @lbmfmuseumeducation to see what I was up to this year if you have not done so already.
Since I was getting used to my new role at TVHS, I was not posting as much as I would have usually in the past. I will work on posting more blog posts for 2024. Thank you all who have been reading previous posts and most recent ones this year! I hope all of you have a happy Winter Solstice, Merry Christmas, Happy Holiday, and a Happy New Year!
Below are my experience and my impressions of this past year’s Museum Association of New York conference:
Since this was the first MANY conference I attended, I did not entirely know what I was going to expect but I am happy that I was able to attend this past year’s conference in Syracuse. It was also my first time in Syracuse as well, so I was happy that there was an opportunity to explore part of the city while I was at the conference. The speakers during the Opening Session were very informative. I especially appreciated that MANY chose the speakers who spoke about not only what is relevant to the conference’s theme but also acknowledged the land that belonged to the indigenous people we were occupying especially during this conference. I am glad that MANY had a presentation on how to bring justice to museums Omar Eaton-Martinez discussed with conference participants. I also enjoyed the opportunity to visit the art museum in Syracuse where the Opening Session was located. I was able to see an exhibit that incorporated art and basketball called “Hoop Dreams: Basketball & Contemporary Art”, and I thought it was interesting that there was a small court where we were able to shoot basketballs into the hoops. One of the pieces I found interesting was a flower made of deflated basketballs.
There were a few sessions that I attended that stood out to me. One of the sessions I enjoyed was “Relationship Building for Educating Our Community” which focused on how museums can collaborate with indigenous communities to create educational programming and events by sharing one museum’s experience in planning an event with a local indigenous community. I enjoyed and learned a lot from the “Everyone’s Got a Woodstock Story” session because the speakers demonstrated how to conduct an oral history interview and asked participants to be a part of the Woodstock Oral History project if they had a Woodstock-related story to share. I was glad that I attended the “Everyone’s Got a Woodstock Story” session since my historical society is currently working on preserving oral history interviews and it was helpful to see what the session speakers were doing for their oral history interview recordings. Another session I really enjoyed, for example, was “For Us and For Our Communities” which was about a museum rally and creating STEAM programs; in this session, we had an opportunity to speed network with other session participants as well as participate in a museum rally (a bunch of museums that partner with each other to set up stations for each group of visitors to participate in activities). In the museum rally, at one station we learned about horses from a horse skull; another was learning about circuits using a tiny light bulb and Play-Doh; and another one about butterflies and symmetry.
During the conference, I would have liked it if I could attend multiple sessions at once. Also, while I was attending the session and looking back at the experience, I would like to have a way to visit online to get access to presentations of sessions I both attended and not have been able to attend so I would have access to resources I can refer to for reference in my museum work. I really appreciated that I received the scholarship so I would have the opportunity to attend the MANY conference and connect with many museum professionals from across the state.