1918 Spanish Flu, Image from California Sun Newspaper
Dear Members of Our Museum Community,
Welcome to the May 2020 edition of "This Month in NYS Museums."
This may be the first MANY newsletter some of you are seeing. In response to continuing requests for information about re-opening our museums safely, we made the decision to send this newsletter, which is a member-only benefit, to the 3,500 museum professionals on our contact list.
The May Letter from Erika was going to be about how our English language has failed us in response to the pandemic. It is difficult to describe in polite, socially acceptable terms where we find ourselves today as over 100,000 of us have lost their lives in this health crisis and our families are grieving. It is not an "unprecedented time" - history teaches us that we were simply unprepared. Our museums are not "closed" - we are using technology to create new ways to share our collections and programs.
There are two words in the French language that bring me close to a description. The first is parcours which can be defined as a stage, a route, a voyage, or a journey. The second is terrior which is commonly used in wine tasting to describe the factors of soil, topography, and climate in which grapes are grown. It can also describe a particular sense of place. I believe that as a professional community we are on a journey together to find new ways to share the sense of place conveyed by the stories our collections can tell, even if our doors are closed or our physical audiences are limited in number for safety.
We hope articles and information in this month's newsletter will help bring you to the other side of this journey with staff, collections, and facilities safe and ready to welcome your community.
We’re Live! Helpful Tips and Best Practices on Broadcasting Live from Your Museum
Reopening New York State Museums
share important information from two recent Virtual Meet-Ups.
Our COVID-19 Impact Report is now available on our website. We share the report with our deepest gratitude to the 177 museums who responded quickly and generously to this call for data, but saddened by the catastrophic impacts revealed.
We are proud to partner with the Pomeroy Foundation and have announced the second round of grant awards from the Pomeroy Fund for NYS History. The application can be found here on our website. We will be accepting applications through 5 PM on June 10.
Information about the specially discounted offer on the COVID Response Satisfaction Program being offered to MANY members by Rove Marketing can be found here.
The MANY Member Facebook group is now for open for you can share best practices and turn to peers to help navigate your way through this crisis. If your MANY membership is current, you can click this link to join.
MANY Board Consulting Program is now accepting requests. The program was designed to help museums plan the next steps in reopening and into a sustainable future.
If you haven't registered for tomorrow's (Friday, May 29) Virtual Meet Up, "Using Social Media Metrics to Improve Your Audience Engagement" , you can click here to join us. We will be hosting one Virtual Meet Up each month for June, July, and August. Look for announcements in your email soon.
I hope you will take the time to find information in our newsletter that can help you. If you are not a member of MANY, please consider joining us. We need everyone's voices and experience to make it through this crisis.
With hope and thanks for your support,
Erika Sanger, Executive Director
COVID-19 Impact on NYS Museums Report
In April 2020, the Network of European Museum Organisations (NEMO) published its findings of a survey on the impact of COVID-19 on museums in Europe. The Museum Association of New York was given permission by NEMO to use their survey questions to generate a comparable dataset for New York Museums in order to convey the impact of this public health crisis on our sector.Click here to read our report
Helpful Tips and Best Practices on Broadcasting live from Your Museum
According to our COVID-19 Impact Survey, New York State’s museums social media use has increased by 81% since the pandemic. Museums are creating new virtual experiences to share their educational resources, exhibitions, collections, and behind the scenes content. Going live is a great way to engage your audience. It doesn’t require video editing skills and is quick to produce. Using Facebook to host your live stream is an easy way to increase your online engagement on a platform where you already have an audience.
Reopening NYS Museums
New York State has started to reopen. Museums are included in Phase 4, but conversations about reopening have circulated since the COVID-19 pandemic forced closures. What will reopening plans and protocols for museums look like? How can we ensure staff and visitor safety? What will visitor experience look like? At a recent MANY Virtual Meet-Up, museum leaders shared what these conversations have been like at their institutions.
MANY Board of Directors Consulting Program
We are pleased to announce that the dedicated museum professionals who serve on MANY's board of directors are now available to share their skills and expertise with MANY Organizational members.
Museums can select a MANY board member to work with them for one day (8 hours) either at their museum or remotely on a project. Requests will be made through MANY staff via the online form included below; board members will consider requests based on availability and matching skills.
Rove Marketing Offer for MANY Organizational Members
We are pleased to offer MANY Organizational Members discounted access to Rove Marketing's new digital tool, the COVID-19 Response Satisfaction Program.
This program will help NYS museums gather and analyze data from visitors quickly and on an ongoing basis; empowering museums to respond to visitor expectations and build public confidence in museums’ ability to provide healthy and safe on-site experiences. Participating organizations receive a core set of online survey questions to share with visitors during and after their visit to collect feedback on the safety measures and overall experience. Organizations also have the option to customize additional questions or distribute a pre-visit survey to better inform their reopening strategy. All participating organizations will have personalized data dashboards to visualize and analyze their feedback, with access to the aggregated data collected from peer institutions across the state.
Rove Marketing’s technology will help NYS museums make data-driven decisions in this critical period after reopening. To learn more about this new member benefit and register before June 12 please click the link below.
Get Yours—Attractive Nuisance* Button
We took this legal term Governor Cuomo used to designate the phase in which museums should open and made it our own with a humorous tilt. We thank our Governor who is working hard to keep us all safe. We know museums are so much more than “attractive nuisances.”
Museums in the News