Volume 36 • Number 1 • Fall 2012

The quarTerly journal of The new england MuseuM associaTion

Museum Innovation

From the President
fter serving on the NEMA Board of Directors for nearly a decade, the last two years as president, my term is coming to an end. Reflecting back over the past ten years, I am struck by how much change there has been for New England museums and for NEMA itself. Standing still over this period hasn’t really been an option (or at least, it hasn’t been a good one). In part, this environment of change is a result of a forwardlooking, proactive approach on the part of many museums, as they successfully read and responded to changes in society, demographics and technology, and, in part, the result of museums responding to the Great Recession of 2008 and the many financial shocks it caused our institutions. This issue of NEMA News is devoted to the topic of innovation, which also represents the central theme of the upcoming annual conference in Burlington, VT. Over the past decade, museums have placed an evergrowing emphasis on the importance of innovation as a driver of museum activity. This may seem like an obvious value for museums to embrace. But as institutions whose missions have long prioritized words like “conserve,” “preserve,” and “protect” – important, yet fundamentally staid concepts – the prioritization of innovation as a core value for success certainly represents change. Look around you, though, and it’s hard to miss: those museums which have embraced the value of innovation, whether in exhibitions, programming, interpretation or operations, have tended to flourish, while those which have stuck to the tried-and-true have tended to stagnate. Over the past decade, we’ve also seen an enhanced emphasis on the issue of access – access to our facilities, our collections, and our knowledge. Physical access is a continuing part of the story, but a newer and equally important element has been the digital and the electronic; that is, ways for constituencies to gain access to museum resources through digital and online means. Another important and related trend has been the continued and enhanced role of authenticity in museums. In a world in which the digital medium has taken on such prominence, the importance of


the authentic object has, almost counter-intuitively, become all the more important to our visitors and other stakeholders. This commitment to the authentic has buttressed the public perception of museums as trusted institutions at a time when many other civic institutions have lost that trust. Such trust is a valuable commodity and has contributed to an increase in museum attendance and societal impact. So where does NEMA fit into this picture? With so much change going on in the constituency it serves, NEMA has had to change, too. This has taken a number of forms. One worth highlighting is a change in the leadership of NEMA. When I took office as president, I was delighted to partner with Dan Yaeger, NEMA’s new executive director, who had joined the staff only a few months earlier. Building on the fine work of his predecessors, and supported by a talented and capable staff, Dan has brought a fresh eye and an enhanced vision to NEMA. In his first months on the job, Dan held numerous meetings with museum professionals across the region to learn more about their hopes, concerns, and needs. Informed by these conversations, Dan and the staff have developed a full roster of programs devoted to the topics described here, along with others of relevance to our membership. In 2012 alone, NEMA offered 18 workshops – the most ever – attracting more than 400 museum professionals from across New England. Further reflecting an innovative attitude toward the changing museum landscape, NEMA has recently introduced two new membership categories: Institutional Affiliates (IAMs) and Volunteer Institutions (VIMs). The combination of talented leadership, excellent programming, and these new membership opportunities has strengthened NEMA, which today boasts 2,200 members, the largest number in our history. Much has changed over the past decade, but I’d like to conclude by mentioning one area that has remained constant: the Board of Directors of NEMA. NEMA’s board is comprised of 19 museum professionals who give generously of their time and insight to help guide the organization. While new members have rotated on and off the board over the years, the group as a whole has remaining unwavering in its creativity, wisdom, and dedication. I feel honored to have served among your ranks!

Joshua Basseches



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WELCOME to the quarterly journal of the New England Museum Association. NEMA News is a key communication and resource-sharing vehicle for the six-state membership. The goal of NEMA News is to call for, respond to, and disseminate current information about regional and national issues and activities relevant to the museum profession. NEMA membership is open to museums, their staff and volunteers, students, consultants, vendors, and others who support the region’s museums. We welcome your comments and suggestions. New England Museum Association 22 Mill Street, Suite 409 Arlington, MA 02476 Phone: 781-641-0013 Fax: 781-641-0053 Website: www.nemanet.org NEMA Emails: NEMA News: nemanews@nemanet.org NEMA Jobs: nemajobs@nemanet.org Exhibit Listings: exhibitlist@nemanet.org Membership/General: membership@nemanet.org ExEcutivE coMMittEE Joshua Basseches Peabody Essex Museum President Robert Wolterstorff Bennington Museum First Vice President Phelan Reed Fretz ECHO Lake Aquarium & Science Center Vice President Ron Potvin John Nicholas Brown Center Vice President Eric Hertfelder Treasurer Michelle Stahl Peterborough Historical Society Secretary NEMA StAff Dan Yaeger Executive Director BJ Larson Deputy Director Leslie Howard Membership Manager Heather A. Riggs Communications and Operations Manager

Volume 36 • Number 1 • Fall 2012

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Visionary Innovation: An Interview with Elizabeth Merritt Strategic Innovation: A Few Random Thoughts on Continuous Innovation for Museums in a New Economy By Dorothy Chen-Courtin, MBA, PhD, President, Marketing & Management Associates for Nonprofits Practical Innovation: Managing Your Museum’s Investment in Social Media By Bobbie Carlton, Carlton PR & Marketing Popular Innovation: Crowdsourcing and the 2013 #NEMATheme By Kate Laurel Burgess-Mac Intosh, Principal, Revitalizing Historic Sites 2012 Board Slate




18 News About NEMA 20 Welcome New Members 23 People

Annual Appeal

24 Field Notes from the IMPs 26 From the Region 35 Grant Deadlines 36 Grant News / News You Can Use 39 Professional Development
For more NEMA commentary, visit the NEMA blog.

Front Cover by Chris Dissinger, Public Relations and Marketing, Robert Hull Fleming Museum


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he subject of innovation is difficult to capture in print. That’s very perplexing to me, since at the upcoming NEMA conference the subject of innovation will be given a thorough going-over in countless sessions by countless experts, each of whom I’m sure will be quite persuasive in describing what innovation is and how it impacts the museum field. But our innovation challenge here in NEMA News is more pedestrian. It boils down to photographs. What does a photograph of innovation look like?

When Heather and I first started doing photo research for this edition some weeks ago, we were stumped. Google “innovation” and you come up with slim pickings. Light bulbs are the predominant icon of innovation, no surprise there. In fact, light bulbs are really the only real icon of innovation. The other Google search results were a mélange of flow charts, clip art paper doll figures in various poses, fake highway signs saying “future” and “innovation” (real creative!), and creepy images of a man in a business suit standing in a bright tunnel, apparently having a near-death experience. So, for our cover, we sighed and went with a light bulb. I mean, why mess with success? But it got me thinking. How can anyone really be innovative if the only visual touchstone out there is the light bulb? I think part of our problem is that people in our culture think that innovation is a big deal. Literally. Innovation is always earth-shattering, paradigm-shifting, and globally significant. It’s history-making. It’s the iPhone and the Internet. The telephone, and the light bulb. Innovation is a small step for man and a giant leap for mankind. If it’s not newsworthy, it’s not innovation. But not everything significantly new and different is innovation with a capital “I.” There’s another type of innovation out there alongside the innovation-as-celebrity that makes all the headlines. This type of innovation is small scale. It’s localized and individualized. It’s the sort of innovation that is practiced every day by ordinary people who apply their native ingenuity to solve their particular problems in spectacularly creative fashions. It’s innovation with a small “i.” Museums by and large practice innovation of this type, and we will be celebrating it soon at our conference in Burlington, Vermont. Compared with innovation conferences hosted by other fields of endeavor, NEMA’s focus on the topic probably seems a little underwhelming. We don’t unveil new technology to an adoring public. We’re not going to announce the cure for cancer. But what we will do is discover how innovation with a small “i” is making a difference, one museum at a time. This issue of NEMA News serves as a preview to the conference, giving you a little something to think about on your drive up to Burlington. Each of the feature articles contain thoughts from a conference presenter (including Elizabeth Merritt of the Center for the Future of Museums, who will be with us virtually), highlighting just a few of the topics that will surely have the halls of the Sheraton abuzz. Our hope, at the conference and with this issue of NEMA News, is that you’ll find inspiration and motivation to become more innovative in your own life. If we are each incrementally a little bit more creative in our own institutions, if we each aspire to the new and different, it will without a doubt pave the way for a much stronger museum field. And maybe someday we can come up with a better icon for innovation.

Dan Yaeger



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Visionary Innovation:
An Interview with Elizabeth merritt
How important is it that museums aspire to innovation?

As NEMA approaches the opening of its first “innovation conference,” the field’s leading futurist opines about risk, rapid change, and the key ingredients for museum innovation.
When it comes to innovation, would you say museums are ahead of the curve, holding their own, or behind the eight ball? That begs the question, whose grades make up the curve? Libraries? Archives? Private industry? Actually, I think comparison is beside the point. Innovation is not valuable in and of itself. It is a way to find successful adaptations to environmental change. For much of the last century, museums were conservative, and that was fine. Why change what works? However, that’s not the case now. Almost everything about the world we operate in—technology, economics, our environment, policy, culture—is mutating at a rapid pace. Are museums innovating fast enough to keep up with this rate of change? No—I think that, as a field, we are racing to catch up.

If an individual museum asked me that, I would ask them “are you happy with the way things are going for you now?” Many museums come to the Alliance for advice because they are not happy, and want to know how to stabilize their financials or reach new audiences. Here’s what I tell them: you’ve been in the museum business for decades (in some cases, a century or more). If all you needed to do to balance your budget or bolster attendance is refine your existing model, you would have figured it out by now. So if despite the efforts of all your great staff, board and supporters, things still are not going well, you probably have to innovate. Throw out your assumptions and try something completely new. What do museums need to do to foster a culture of innovation, individually and collectively? We need to appreciate failure. Experimentation involves risk, and that risk may end in an epic win or an utter flop. You don’t get to the epic wins by playing it safe. Individual museums need to design their work environment such that people are rewarded for tak-

Elizabeth Merritt is the Founding Director of the Center for the Future of Museums, an initiative of the American Alliance of Museums.



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ing (intelligent) risks, and aren’t penalized for doing an experiment that made the valuable discovery “don’t do that—it doesn’t work.” Collectively, museums should celebrate grand failures we all can learn from. One of my dreams is to establish a prize for best failure of the year. Museums would self-nominate, of course, and the winner would be obligated to take to the road, talking at conferences and workshops about how their colleagues could do it better, next time. Kind of like Miss America, but we would provide an even better tiara. What current innovations, technological or otherwise, will have the greatest impact on museums in the next 10 years? Two high impact innovations already re-shaping our world are smart phones and tablets. These devices are complete game changers in terms of how we can present content to people inside and outside the museum and create two-way communication. And they, in turn, are spurring museum innovation. See, for example, the Museum of Old and New Art’s abolition of traditional print labels, or the multitude of apps, including augmented reality apps, that help people interact with museums, collections and data in new ways. But remember—Important change is almost never about technology per se, it’s about the behavior facilitated by that technology. I think the underlying cultural shift, driven by the ubiquity of hand held, internet connected devices, is a happy loss of control over museum content. These tech innovations make it easier for interested, enthusiastic people to contribute to our work, and to “hack” our stuff—creating

their own interpretation, exhibits, even whole new objects. What are the greatest impediments to change within museums? People. Of course, people are also our only hope for innovation. But most museum professionals chose their careers because they liked the way that museums operated at the time they made that choice. Innovation has the potential to morph their work into something they don’t like and aren’t comfortable with. Not to pick on curators, but if someone spent all the time and effort to get a PhD, become an expert, maybe they don’t want to learn to become a facilitator and spend a lot of their time encouraging “the crowd” to contribute and organize content. Some directors I’ve talked to have said, in effect, “I only have a few years left to go before I retire. Can’t I let the next guy deal with this?” This is a great segue to your next question, which was: If you could change just one thing in the way museums operate, what would it be? The way we hire. Our systems of training and recruitment perpetuate a demographic profile that is radically different from the demographics of the communities we serve. Museums need to start reaching into the schools to find young people of all kinds of backgrounds—race, income, culture—and mentor them into the profession. Otherwise, as a field, we are going to become increasingly marginalized.

How has the virtual world changed the way people interact with museums? Are museums more or less important as a result? I think museum folk are beginning to get over the first wave of paranoia about whether the virtual world will supplant the real. So far, all signs are positive: by putting themselves out on the internet, museums pique curiosity, drive attendance and in many cases build new virtual audiences. I think the jury is out on the long-term question: will “digital natives”—kids who grow up immersed in virtual worlds—place lower value on real, authentic physical objects? It could go either way—perhaps the stress of existing in a world we are only just now adapting to as a species will drive people to seek low tech respite and retreat. Ironically, in such a future, some museums’ successful innovation may be returning to our traditional strengths (real stuff and the opportunity for quiet contemplation)!

Elizabeth Merritt will join the NEMA conference via video feed as part of the session “What Does the NEMA Membership Consider Innovative?” at 3:45 pm on Wednesday, November 7.


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Strategic Innovation:
A Few Random Thoughts on Continuous Innovation for Museums in a New Economy
Museums have always been innovative. In this new economy innovation may be the key to survival.
So, how did we inherit this new economy? Here is a quick synopsis on how we got here. Two unfunded wars and two market meltdowns helped contribute to the so-called lost decade of the 00’s. The combined challenges of Wall Street, K Street, and Fleet Street translate into a slow economic recovery for Main Street. The go-go years of the late 20th century when bricks and mortar expansion was conflated with museum innovation may not come around again anytime soon. At least not for the majority of museums. Yes, for museums, the new economy is the new normal of doing even more with even less. This is where continuous innovation for museums comes in, front and center, in its multifarious forms and reincarnations. Wait a minute! Museums had always been innovative. We have been testing and adapting all manner of business as well as technical tools in addition to anticipating and adjusting to socio-economic conditions in order to stay relevant and sustainable while being loyal to our mission. Enabled by increasingly available technology, hands-on and interactive museum experiences have gone mostly mainstream. When market and consumer research or best practices in leadership and management were seen as viable tools, the tuned-in museum adopted them. Above all, innovative thinking to encourage learning and engagement had always been the hallmark of the museum professional’s quest. So, why is there such an increased buzz around museum innovation these days? This time around and because of the new economy, there is a more immediate and urgent challenge presenting itself. Once it was grow or die; now it is innovate or die. This mantra from the for-profit sector is being heard loud and clear in the museum sector. This time around innovation will also have to be achieved under even more stringent resource constraints with nary a silver bullet nor a knight in shining armor, carrying buckets of cash, in sight.

By Dorothy Chen-Courtin, MBA, PhD, President, Marketing & Management Associates for Nonprofits



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So, where can innovation and innovative thinking come from? There is no secret sauce nor a set of templates tied with a blue ribbon to help us along. Innovative thinking and innovative acts come from many disparate directions. We have to look, think, imagine, and sometimes make unexpected connections. Here is an example. Once upon a time a museum professional was walking through the museum’s empty foyer to go home after yet another long day’s work, while pondering how to increase earned revenue and also grow the hard-to-reach young professional segment. A flash of inspiration: Why not bring the singles bar crowd for a singles mingle to enliven the otherwise empty museum foyer during after hours, charge them for the drinks, and begin to build a pipeline of museum go-ers in the process? Of course, we may never know who that innovative originator was, but single mingle events have become mainstream today.1 Living in a new economy with resource constraints, we would like to propose a continuous innovation approach where all functional and functioning quills in the museum quiver will be used. We learn to be weaned from the seduction of grand and grandiose innovative gestures. Alas, the Gehry/Bilbao mega success only happens to a very few. For the majority, continuous innovation is made possible by incremental and intentional innovation where every task and function of the museum could potentially be an inspirational source for innovation. Indeed, the successful innovative outcome will be measured by long term sustainability and relevancy in a very fluid and often unpredictable world.

What are some essentials to facilitate continuous innovation? Think of being a Triple A institution where a conducive ambiance will allow innovative action to prosper: • Ambiance. Instill, as institutional culture, an innovative and risk-taking mind set in the museum staff, from top to bottom, across all functions and disciplines. Encourage or awake that curious mind. Be a 3M and PostIt legend type of museum. • Allow. Give the staff the opportunity to voice and share ideas and the permission to fail.2 Creativity, the hallmark of divergent thinking, will be encouraged. Good ideas are not the exclusive purview of senior staffers. Good ideas can emerge from anywhere and from anyone; we need to look for them with an open, curious, receptive, and problem-solving mind sets. • Action. Creative thinking or divergent thinking must be followed by convergent thinking or the highly disciplined triage of good ideas to be investigated, invested in and implemented. In short, the road from creative thinking of many good ideas will lead to a selected few and come to fruition as innovative actions or programs. Here are some random examples of being a Triple A museum in a new economy: • Creating that distinctive museum experience. Good as it is, think beyond Disneyland, think successful web-based offerings, cruise ships, hospitals and restaurants, to mention a few. Yes, monitor and selectively track people-focused business and service sectors for emerging and innova-

tive ideas. Cross-industry emulation is a healthy habit to cultivate especially when we can be sure that many such innovations had been researched, tested, and debugged. And we can adapt them for free! • The innovative museum exhibit. Consider going beyond curatorial and expert sources. Try targeted crowd sourcing and allow ourselves to be surprised. Investigate supply chain management from the manufacturing world; what can we learn from it to make the exhibit planning cycle more efficient? Applying technology, can fast prototyping of a new exhibit create resource savings in a resource-poor environment? Again using technology, how to best use augmented reality to tell a vivid story, explain a concept, and deepen learning? The list goes on and on. • Innovative collaborative ventures. What innovative ways can we use to create collaborative ventures beyond functional or programmatic alliances and partnerships? Co-generation of renewable energy? Seasonal residency of performers and other professionals or in and outsourcing of talent? The list goes on and on. • Management and planning innovation. Decide to take that leap from strategic planning to embrace business planning (not quite innovative but essential!). Consider using the balanced score card as a tool to ensure the interconnectivity of strategy and tactics. Introduce a financial dashboard as a standard tool to take away the yawn when board and staff confront those numbers. Note: At this point in time, none of these approaches can be considered
continued on page 15


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Practical Innovation:
Managing Your Museum’s Investment in Social Media
As social media has become more prominent in museum marketing, leaders need to know how to measure success.
To make any strategic decisions about any program, you need to be able to measure it. You need to set goals. What does success look like? Is the program successful? Does it contribute to the organizational goals? One of the most common arguments I hear against the use of social media for marketing purposes is “You can’t measure it.” Really? I consider it among the most measureable of marketing programs, if you start off with the intention of measuring it, use the proper tools to measure it and act upon the results of that measurement program.

center tracked when consumers asked for a specific name). Maybe as a consumer you didn’t notice the tracking code when you bought a product off late night TV, or from a newspaper insert but somewhere, a marketer was plotting the success of their efforts and calculating the return on investment. The most effective marketers were also adjusting their tactics based on their results. Some results were harder to attribute than others. Public relations practitioners in particular always had great difficulty in this department. When asked, a prospect might say they read about a product in a magazine or newspaper. Which one? Sometimes they would remember but more often than not, they would make a guess. (I can personally remember plenty of wild goose chases, attempting to track down coverage in the pre-digital era and connect sales to a particular article.) A customer might insist they read an article in the New York Times. But what if your company hadn’t appeared in the New York Times? It’s no wonder that “in the old days” many PR people measured

Pre-digital Era Marketing Measurement
For years, marketers have attempted to measure the results of their marketing efforts: everything from coupon codes to specific post office box numbers to “ask for Suzy, or Jane or Ted” (the specific name used corresponded with a particular offer and the team at the call-in

By Bobbie Carlton, Principal, Carlton PR & Marketing, an integrated marketing firm specializing in social media strategies.



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things other than sales – number of articles, column inches produced, or “the thud factor” – the number and weight of coverage clippings when dropped on your CEO’s desk. But direct connections to sales or return on investment? No way.

using them to gain insight into and make changes to your marketing programs?

An Example
Here’s an example of an in-bound marketing campaign: Joe’s museum is hosting a kid’s camp next summer. As part of the marketing campaign for the camp, the museum marketing staff created a summer camp check list. Parents can download the check list from the website if they provide their email address. (The check list link is emailed.) Afterward, the marketing team adds that email address to the museum’s parents email list, and sends regular updates and offers about camp. But how do parents find the check list in the first place? The link to the checklist is placed on the museum’s Facebook page (which has 1500 Likes), and in tweets sent out to the museum’s 2,000 followers. There’s a potential first-tier audience of 3,500 people. If you have the ability to create campaign-specific website landing pages, you can track responses that way. You can also track the use of the link by using a link shortener like Bit.ly or you can look at your Google Analytics. You see that Facebook generated 75 visits to the checklist and 35 people downloaded the checklist. Of those 35 people, 4 sign their child up for kid’s camp. And you know all this because in your database, you tagged those names as being part of your Facebook campaign. Your measurement program tells you that your Facebook community is a more likely target for the children’s programming than your Twitter community. Next time you

can try a different offer to the Twitter community and/or you can focus more of your content on Facebook around your kid-oriented programming. Many organizations have difficulty tracking the source of their sales. They might not have Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools or a sophisticated database which they can use to track campaign results. If this is your situation, you may need to be more stringent about incorporating measurement tools into your campaigns from the beginning. For example: • Use time tracking – this campaign began on June 1st at noon and ran through June 30th. All leads generated during this time period will be attributed to this campaign. • Use specific landing pages on your website – this campaign pushed everyone to this landing page, hence only leads from this website page are attributed to the campaign. • Build in additional measurement and benchmarks – we had 7,000 Facebook Likes before the campaign and now we have 8,000. • Use tools to measure click-thru numbers Before you consider social media marketing, it’s important to know that it can and should be measured and that you have the ability to measure its results. Bobbie Carlton is presenting the Directors and Trustees Luncheon Program at 12:15 pm on Wednesday, November 7 at the NEMA Conference.

Marketing Measurement Today
Today, with digital marketing, we have the ability to track a prospective customer through their entire engagement with us. Almost every website uses analytics tools – either Google Analytics or some other brand. Many of the tools we use for social media implementation come with built-in metrics. Some are readily apparent; some you have to build in on your own. Quick, how many followers does your organization have on Twitter? How many Facebook Likes? (This is the first tier audience size; your actual audience is larger, based on the number of connections your connections have – this is the power of social networks.) How many people clicked through to your website from those social media sites? How many times does Twitter, Facebook or YouTube show up in your website analytics referral list? But, with all the metrics available to you, are you tracking conversion rates? How many people come to your website and stay long enough to make a purchase or donation? (Do you have ecommerce on your website? If not, you may need to make some assumptions based on which pages visitors go to. Do they visit the page that gives your hours and directions? You can also set up goals in your analytics tool.) Are you looking at your numbers as a curiosity, something to be reported to the board or are you


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Popular Innovation:
Crowdsourcing and the 2013 #NEMATheme
Coined in 2006 by Jeff Howe in a Wired magazine article,1 the term “crowdsourcing” has infiltrated numerous industries, giving a voice to the masses in an ever-diversifying world. Now, museums and historic sites have employed the crowd to shape their practice, narrowing the divide between the public, or consumers of the industry, and those “behind the scenes.” The crowd now works for museums, with museums, assisting in curatorial decisions, rallying around new initiatives, giving feedback (solicited…or not), and raising funds through third party sites like Kickstarter. Identified as one of the seven fieldwide future trends in the Center for the Future of Museum’s Trends Watch 2012 report,2 crowdsourcing enables members of the crowd to partake in the work of an organization. In the museum incarnation, crowdsourcing has developed as a curatorial tool, wherein the crowd assists in choosing objects to form an exhibition; as a programmatic tool, wherein the layers of a crowdsourced project become events unto themselves; and as a development tool, wherein members of the crowd back projects, events, and exhibits under development through financial donations. These, and many other manifestations of crowdsourcing, have opened the flood gates, breaking down the wall between the museum and the public, the institution and the visitor. Crowdsourcing plays out in three main forms – utilizing the crowd to produce something, utilizing the crowd to vote on something, and utilizing the crowd to make a final decision. Some projects, true gems, utilize all three aspects, whereas others employ a combination of two, or a singular form. Take, for example, the idea of crowdsourcing an exhibit. In this form, the crowd would be asked to choose objects or images they want to see featured. The second step would then be to empower the crowd to vote on said chosen objects and images, which would result in an array of final collections items to be put on display. A diplomatic approach, the crowd becomes integral to the creation of the exhibit, thus giving the participating community ownership over the final product, and, ultimately, framing the organization as one which is willing to work with and

Crowdsourcing has been a buzzword for the last several years. Find out what all of the buzz is about and join the NEMA membership as we crowdsource the theme for the 2013 annual conference.

By Kate Laurel Burgess-Mac Intosh, Principal, Revitalizing Historic Sites



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talk with (and not just to or at) its public. In another incarnation, the crowd helps with more “behind the scenes” activities, like research, transcription, and archiving. With What’s on the Menu?, the New York Public Library has empowered the public to help transcribe its historic menu collection. By creating an intuitive, online transcription platform, individuals can login, view, and transcribe menus from The Library’s collection. Startlingly, 1,093,514 dishes have been transcribed from 15,630 menus to date, with a diverse crowd taking on the task, agreeing to participate Wordle created from until all the menus have been archived. You know your project is successful when even celebrity chef Mario Batali has joined in, stating that “It’s remarkable to see menus being preserved and documented, for them to become a resource for future chefs, sociologists, historians and everyone who loves food. It’s not just What’s on the Menu, it reveals so much more.”3 What’s on the Menu? breaks down the wall between research, curator, archivist, and the public, giving the power to the crowd to help in the process of archiving an enormous number of menus – so many so, that this author questions if such an undertaking could have been considered had the library tried to go it alone. Imagine how a collective, crowdsourced project can manifest itself

at your museum. A solid set of guidelines, a streamlined process for collecting input, and a reward or outcome for participants – say, seeing a cherished object one chose from an array of collections items on display or the evolution of a collections transcription into a searchable online tool—are the three key elements for success when crowdsourcing. As James Surowiecki writes, “…if you can as-

ference theme. How does it work and how do you participate? • Learn more about crowdsourcing and crowd funding by visiting the NEMA website and exploring the evolving Crowdsourcing Resource Guide for more background on the topic. • Initial conference ideas were discussed during a Twitter chat on Friday, October 5th. The twohour conversation brought together many New England colleagues, with multiple themes and ideas emerging. To check out the archived chat, visit Storify. The themes that emerged were also tracked in the Google Doc. • Proposed theme ideas will continue to be compiled and organized based on feedback and discussion, with eight main themes emerging. These eight themes will then be turned over to the 2012 Conference attendees, with live voting taking place at the NEMA Conference on Wednesday, November 7th. • The top three themes will then be put to vote at Conference on Thursday, November 8th. • Not able to make it to Burlington? We’ll post the top three theme choices for 2013 themes as a poll on the NEMA Facebook page, so you too can vote for the final theme! • Want to hear more about the process of working with crowdcontinued on the following page

the October 5th #NEMATheme Twitter chat semble a diverse group of people who possess varying degrees of knowledge and insight, you’re better off entrusting it with major decisions than leaving them in the hands of one or two people, no matter how smart those people are.”4 By bringing together the community, giving them tools to facilitate involvement, and valuing their ideas and choices, crowdsourcing furthers the reinvented museum model – moving further towards a collaborative, participatory environment and breaking down barriers to involve and evolve an institution’s audience. Now that you’re really excited about crowdsourcing, how can you participate in a crowdsourcing project? NEMA is ready to motivate the museum crowd, enabling its members to pick the 2013 Con-


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Crowdsourcing from page 13 sourcing? See real case studies illustrated? Join me at the session “Citizen Curation: Crowdsourcing, Community, and Content” on Thursday, November 8, from 3:15 to 4:45 pm. Hear from Lynn Museum & Historical Society Assistant Director Abby Battis as she presents on “More Than a Number,” an exhibit that used crowdsourced funding to rally the crowd around the topic of Cambodian refugee stories. Travel through Concord’s history with the Concord Museum’s Director of Education, Susan Foster Jones, as she highlights working with a diverse group of guest curators to produce the exhibit “Crowdsourcing a Collection.” And, the big question – does crowdsourcing eliminate the need for curators? Ashley Martin, a recent graduate of the Harvard University Extension School Museum Studies Program, will tackle this during the session as well. We’ll also highlight the steps taken to crowdsource the 2013 NEMA Conference theme, and set aside time to engage the audience through a discussion on the merits (and pitfalls!) of working with the crowd. • The best part – the 2013 Conference theme will be announced on Friday, November 9th, during the NEMA Annual Luncheon Meeting, being held from 12:45 to 2:00 pm. Not going to be in Burlington? We’ll also announce it online following the live announcement. Crowdsourcing has infiltrated numerous museums, giving a voice to the masses in an ever diversifying world. How will you involve the crowd? Are you ready to give up authority, and embrace the public in our practice? By bringing the public into our spaces, opening our processes to input and feedback, we are expanding our audiences, reflecting more diverse viewpoints, and ultimately, embracing the crowd. Kate Laurel Burgess-Mac Intosh has a Master’s Degree in Museum Studies from Harvard University Extension School, and a B.A. in Fine Arts from Montserrat College of Art. Kate’s present work includes working with strategy, research, and predictive analytics firm Reach Advisors, accelerating learning about the future of museums as a Teaching Assistant in the Harvard Museum Studies Program, and facilitating creative mash-ups at historic sites through her company, Revitalizing Historic Sites. Kate consults for institutions considering revitalization through new initiatives, social media, unique partnerships, working with the arts and artists, and expanding the definition of museums in the 21st century, and works with students, emerging museum professionals, and artists on career positioning, personal marketing, and self-branding. Kate is a Founding Chair of the Young and Emerging Museum Professionals PAG. --------------Crowdsourcing: Why the Power of the Crowd is Driving the Future of Business, Jeff Howe. Three Rivers Press, 2008, 2009. 2 The Center for the Future of Museum’s TrendsWatch 2012 can be found online at: www.aam-us.org/ resources/center-for-the-futureof-museums/projects-and-reports. 3 Check out What’s on the Menu? from The New York Public Library here: menus.nypl.org. 4 The Wisdom of Crowds, James Surowiecki. Anchor Books, 2005.

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A few random thoughts from page 9 innovative in the for-profit sector, although they were once upon a time. However, these tools could be enablers for the museum’s work on continuous innovation. So, here we have it, a few random thoughts on continuous innovation for museums in a new economy. What is being explored is continuous innovation that is incremental, focusing on innovative ideas that may not be grand, sweeping gestures, but taken over time and in its multiplicity of innovative sources, may prove to be the best collective innovative solution yet in this new economy. At the NEMA Annual Conference in Burlington VT on 8 November, this author will be one of the speakers for the session

entitled Continuous Innovation for Museums in a New Economy. She will be exploring innovative idea sourcing as well as tools to help the creative thinking process along. Do come for the conversation! Of course failure will happen in a controlled mode as in pre-testing an idea before its full-fledged investment and implementation, otherwise known as beta testing.

Dorothy Chen-Courtin will present with Dr. Emlyn Koster at the NEMA Conference on Thursday, November 8, at 11:00 am.

It’s not too late to attend the 2012 NEMA Conference! On-site registration is available. See you in Burlington!


Check out our museum studies courses and part-time graduate program. Study online and on campus.
Register for courses Dec. 7–Jan. 27. Classes begin Jan. 28.

NEMA | NEWS • FALL 2012 •


The 2012/13 slate was emailed to members and published on the NEMA website. NEMA received no petitions for changes or additions. The vote of the membership to elect this slate will take place at the NEMA Annual Meeting, 12:45 p.m. on November 9, 2012, at the Sheraton Burlington Hotel & Conference Center in Burlington, VT. Many thanks to the members of this year’s nominating committee: Serena Furman, Principal, A Space (MA) (Co-Chair); Kay Simpson, Vice President, Springfield Museums (MA) (Co-Chair); Gail Colgazier, Director, American Independence Museum (NH); Ron Potvin, Assistant Director & Curator, John Nicholas Brown Center (RI); Scott Wands, Heritage Resource Center & Field Services Director, Connecticut Humanities Council (CT).

in institutions across this nation. I look forward to leading the team as we recognize and embrace change to expand our impact.


Susan S. Funk Executive Vice President Mystic Seaport Museum, CT NEMA is a vital resource for the museum community, contributing significantly to the field through conference and workshops, on-line resources, professional networking, and advocacy. Serving this organization as a board member is an honor and responsibility, and I am pleased to be nominated for the position of Vice President as NEMA continues to expand its vision and services. As museums face growing challenges and exciting potential, I welcome the opportunity to apply my 25 years in the field as we explore creative and sustainable solutions.

Robert Wolterstorff, Executive Director** Bennington Museum, VT I am truly honored to be nominated to be Vice President of NEMA’s board. I have served on the board since 2006, first as Maine State Representative and then as an officer. NEMA has been essential to my professional development – in fact, I can’t imagine growing up in the museum field without having it there, for ideas, for models of best practices, and to build a network of colleagues and friends. When I go to a great PAG session or the annual conference, I have the exhilarating sense of being on the mountaintop, far removed from my everyday concerns, able to focus on the long view. We have a strong board and a professional staff that is lively, smart, and dedicated. I have seen NEMA change rapidly in the last few years as we try to serve you better, and I see more change ahead. We need your best ideas and are grateful for your support as we move forward together.

Phelan Fretz, Executive Director** ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center, Leahy Center for Lake Champlain, VT I am honored to stand as a candidate for president of the NEMA Board of Directors. NEMA serves us all as a critical source of museum best practices. Together, we pursue our goals of serving as a valued community partner, vital economic engine, essential educational institution and catalyst to shape the lives of all New Englanders. I have served the museum community for nearly 30 years



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Elaine Clements, Executive Director** Andover Historical Society, MA Serving on the NEMA board for the past four years has been very rewarding. I was honored to be a part of the PAG community as Historic Sites PAG chair and then as liaison to the Historic Site Management, Administration, Facilities & Services, and Membership, Development, Public Relations & Marketing PAGs. Even more rewarding was serving on the Nominating Committee first a committee member and later as committee chair. Through my NEMA Board service, I am able to stay in touch with museum colleagues throughout the region and be an advocate for the unique concerns of small museums, historic sites, and local historical societies. I hope to have the opportunity to continue to work with the NEMA board.

way, from professional development to staying current in the field. My position as PAG co-chair for Historic Sites has allowed me to examine issues we all face like diversity and how to stay relevant. But, my favorite aspect as a museum professional is working with and assisting those who are new to the field. I am thankful and excited for this new opportunity. Children's Museums; Education; HR & Volunteer Management Cathy Saunders, Director of Education Providence Children's Museum, RI I have two decades of experience developing and managing innovative programs in community organizations and museums (both science and children's); I currently manage a team of paid staff, AmeriCorps members and volunteers that serve visitors at the museum as well as conduct programs out in the community. I see museums as community conveners; centers for preservation and innovation; and places for curiosity and reflection. As a former PAG co-chair, I look forward to being on the board to support and advocate for children's museums and their role in the broader museum community and society; the education of children and adults in museums; and staff and volunteer development.


New Hampshire Leah Fox, Director of Public Programs Currier Museum of Art, NH I am honored to be nominated to represent New Hampshire on the NEMA board. With fifteen years of experience in museum education, I bring to the board and the region a strong interest in visitor engagement and accessibility through universal design. Professional development and networking have been so critical in my own growth as a museum professional, and as New Hampshire State Representative, my goal is to strengthen opportunities for local and regional networking and idea-sharing.

** Current board member serving in a different position

Administration, Facilities & Services; Historic Site Management; Membership, Development, PR & Marketing Pilar Garro, Site Manager Beauport, Sleeper McCann House (Historic New England), MA I am honored to be nominated as PAG representative for NEMA’s board of directors. Throughout the past twelve years of my career I have utilized NEMA as a resource every step of the


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At this writing, NEMA is knee-deep in last-minute preparations for the 94th Annual NEMA Conference, November 7 – 9 in Burlington, Vermont. Early results are very encouraging: advance registrations are tracking very well, several events are sold out, and the Exhibit Hall has many interesting products and services on tap. That’s good news for the association. Good news for attendees includes 60 sessions, a wonderful array of evening events, and several new features (including networking events). Check out the Twitter feed (#nema2012) and the NEMA’s Facebook page for the latest information on conference, including several informal meetups that are taking shape. Join us on Tuesday, November 6, NEMA’s PechaKucha Night at 7 p.m. enjoy, the worldwide phenomenon and latest craze in intellectual entertainment. Both events are free!

Director Emeritus of Fort Adams Trust, served as the Rhode Island representative on the board from 2008 – 2010, and has been the NEMA Treasurer since that time. Funi Burdick, Executive Director of Canterbury Shaker Village, began on the NEMA board in 2004 as an at-large member and has served as the New Hampshire representative since 2007. We thank them for their leadership and service, and would like to welcome them into the NEMA Board Alumni cohort as life-long ambassadors to our association!

GHBA is the same organization which is bringing NEMA members life/disability/dental/vision insurance plus retirement plans. With more than 30 years of experience in the health insurance marketplace, GHBA has the knowledge and contacts to build our NEMA community into a pool that will ultimately offer you better choice and better rates on your insurance. There are two steps to participating. First, GHBA needs to create a census of potential museum participants in order to solicit quotes from the insurance carriers (i.e., Blue Cross, Harvard Pilgrim, Tufts, etc.). If your organization is interested in participating in the program, you must participate in the census by providing information about your employee demographics and details of your current insurance plan. If you choose to provide this data, you are under no obligation to subsequently sign onto the NEMA plan, and the information will be kept strictly confidential. Once GHBA gets quotes from the carriers, we will choose the program that offers the lowest rates and the most choices in terms of copays, deductible, and care options. At that point, you’ll be asked if you want to offer the NEMA program to your employees. GHBA will help every step of the way with enrollment, training, and interface between you and the carrier. Our goal is an enrollment date of January 1, 2013. The more museums and employees that are in the pool, the more everyone will potentially save, so we hope the entire NEMA museum

After years of service to NEMA as board members and officers, four colleagues are moving on to “alumni” status. Josh Basseches, Deputy Director of the Peabody Essex Museum, has been NEMA’s president for the last two years and has been on the board since 2003 as an at-large member, Vice President, and First Vice President before assuming the presidency. Kay Simpson, Vice President of the Springfield Museums, has served the NEMA board since 2004 as the PAG representative for the Children’s Museums, Education, HR and Volunteer Management PAGs. Eric Hertfelder,

After many years of outstanding service, Brooke DiGiovanni Evans, Head of Gallery Learning at the MFA, Boston, and Rebecca Furer, Director of Research, Education & Interpretation at the Connecticut Historical Society, will step down as Education PAG Chairs. A hearty thank you to both for their great contributions to NEMA and the museum community! We are pleased to welcome Elisabeth Nevins, Principal at Seed Education Consulting, and Jane Seney, Educator & Docent Programs at the Currier Museum of Art as the new Education PAG Chairs beginning in December.

We’re delighted to announce that a NEMA health insurance benefit is on the way! Group Health & Benefit Administrators, Inc. (GHBA) is developing a comprehensive health insurance program for all of our member museums and their employees in all six New England states.



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community will consider participating. Plus, a small portion of program revenues will be returned to NEMA, helping us fund our mission – a terrific win/win for everyone. For more information contact Greg Lavelle of GHBA at 800-407-0882.

NEMA Executive Director Dan Yaeger has been logging some serious museum miles this fall in the pursuit of keeping the organization high on its members’ horizons. On September 24 he teamed up with Wendy Lull, President & CEO of the Seacoast Science Center in the workshop Banish the Boring: Developing Effective Presentations. He reports that workshop participants enjoyed a public speaking boot camp and, by the end of the day, had done an excellent job honing their chops by creating a “do it yourself presentation” and delivering it to a live audience. On October 3, Dan visited the Intro to Museum Studies class at the Harvard Museum Studies Program and spoke with the next generation of museum leaders. He gave background on NEMA and other museum associations, and provided a few tips for finding happiness in a museum career. The following week, Dan keynoted the board retreat of the Rhode Island Historical Society with a presentation entitled “Museum Futures: Place Your Bet,” a reflection on current trends and future outlook of the museum community in New England and around the planet. Dan then facilitated one of three breakout sessions that asked the RIHS board to ponder some challenging scenarios. It was on to Tufts the week afterward and a presentation of “Your

Best Foot Forward: Personal Skills for Professional Success,” delivered to the Boston Emerging Museum Professionals group of the American Alliance of Museums. Seventeen EMPs listened attentively as Dan provided tips on how to navigate the changing and challenging museum workplace, then engaged in several activities which included developing and delivering their own elevator speeches. Dan’s final speaking engagement of the fall (that is, before the NEMA Conference) is October 26, when he travels to Orono, Maine, for the Maine Archives and Museums conference, where he will deliver a presentation on trends in the museum community.


For the past two years, NEMA Conference attendees have donated to local charities in the conference host cities. It has been extremely gratifying to see how much the New England museum community cares! This year, let’s all pull together to support our neighbors and cultural institutions in Vermont that sustained damage in last year’s Hurricane/Tropical Storm Irene. The Preservation Trust of Vermont is currently accepting donations to help repair and rebuild Vermont’s historic covered bridges and other critically damaged historic buildings throughout the state that have sustained damage from Irene. Please make an ON-LINE DONATION today. In the comment section, please include the word “NEMA.” Alternatively, you may send a check payable to the Preservation Trust of Vermont to our office at 104 Church Street, Burlington, VT 05401. In the memo field, please include the word “NEMA.”

We are pleased to announce that Purvi Patwari has begun an internship at NEMA as part of her museum studies program at Tufts University. Purvi is currently the Director of Human Resources at the ICA, Boston, where — among her other duties — she manages an internship program to provide educational and practical work experience for future museum professionals. At NEMA, she will assist with the development of our new website which will also include a intern “portal” for institutional members and improve the document exchange project. In this capacity, she will be contacting members to assess needs and request resource materials. Purvi has a B.A. from the University of Vermont and years of experience as a human resource professional. Welcome aboard Purvi!


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Lauren Michelle Abman Devon Armstrong Lily Benedict Laura Beshears Hillary Nicole Brady Amanda Breen Amy Budge Adrienne Chaparro Victoria Lynn Charette Yen Chiang Sarah C. Coffin Sarah Cohen Michael Collins Rachel Elon Cook Kelsey Cyr Karen Damtoft Keila Renee Davis Matthew Dean Deborah W. Disston Sarah B. Drake Amy Driscoll Tori Eckler Abigail Ettelman Jeff Falsgraf Raina Elise Fox Rebecca M. Fullerton Leanne Gelish Heather Gill-Frerking Jenna Gililes Susan Greendyke Lachevre Rachel Hacunda Marilyn Helmers Katrina Ingraham Frances Kimpel Kerith Koss Schrager Matthew Kulik Jacqueline Lacaire Lauren E. Landi Elizabeth Leahey Judah B. Leblang Jane LeGrow Therese C. Lindbloe Tiffany Locke Paul Keith Margrave Emily Maskas Jonathan Miganowicz Johanna Miller Hannah Mills Kathleen Milster Jen Munch Robin N. Ness Cristen Ruth Schifino Nolan Jacquelyn Oak Whitney D. Pape Donna Parrish Kate Parsons Ashley Pereira Phillippa Pitts Aimee-Michelle Pratt Kacie Rice Frederick R. Royce Sandra Ryack-Bell Bridget Sandison Anna Schroeder Rachel Elizabeth Shipps Catherine Sigmond Nathan Jesse Storring Bridget Sullivan Melissa O. Thatcher Jamie Michele Topper Krystal Vezina Kimberly Watson May Wijaya Andrea Williams Kyle Zick Manchester Strategic Resources, LLC Mindgrub Mount Vernon Group Architects MuseumRails Smith +St. John The Graphic Solution Group Van Sickle & Rolleri, Ltd Vernon Systems

Institutional Affiliate Members
Beverly Historical Society Janet T. Tannebring Bruce Museum Gina C. Gould Brush Art Gallery and Studio Chrissy Theo Hungate Nancy Rourke Pamela Simpkins Colleen L. Sgroi Will Winslow Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology Geralyn Ducady Henry Sheldon Museum of Vermont History Eva Garcelon Hart Mary W. Manley Hill-Stead Museum Becky L. Trutter Historic New England Bill Blanchfield Lynds Greene Jessica S. Knight Laurie J. Masciandaro Kim Nadell Joy S. Naifeh Arleen Shea Brooke Steinhauser Maine State Museum Deanna S. Bonner-Ganter Museum of Fine Arts, Boston Susan Fonda Museum of Russian Icons Laura Garrity-Arquitt Mystic Seaport Museum Catherine Cummings Dean Hantzopoulos Daniel McFadden Dayne Rugh


Armenian Library and Museum of America Housatonic Museum of Art Lowell National Historic Park National Maple Museum Southern Vermont Natural History Museum St. Johnsbury Athenaeum The Black River Academy Museum & Historical Society The Salem Museum at Old Town Hall William Pitt Tavern Museum Estey Organ Museum Hatfield Historical Society Haverhill Historical Society (NH) Marine Museum at Fall River, Inc. Rumford Historical Association Williamstown Historical Society

BiblioLabs Cambridge Savings Bank and Cambridge Appleton Trust Collector Services History Site Locator/Market Early America Consulting J.D. Associates James D. Julia, Inc.: Auctioneers & Appraisers JVC Advanced Media



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Newport Restoration Foundation Elizabeth Spoden Old Sturbridge Village Laura Chilson Paul Revere Memorial Association Carolyn R. Conley Emily Holmes Sarah Niteson Meghan A. Rafferty Katherine Weiss Peabody Essex Museum Melanie A. Frederick-Scanlan Pilgrim Hall Museum Michael J. Coleman Suzanne R. Giovanetti Ann M. Young Providence Children’s Museum Rebecca Gormley Cathy Saunders St. Johnsbury Athenaeum Jaime T. Gibson Donna Hill Robert J. Joly Shara L. McCaffrey Karen F. O’Donnell-Leach Amy Petersen

Matthew Powers Janis Raye Mary Ellen Reis Bruce Palmer Shelburne Museum Nancy O. Hileman Slater Mill Museum Donald J. Sevigny Susan A. Whitney Charles P. Whitin Springfield Museums Diane Waterhouse Barbarisi Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute Tim Stockwell The Children’s Museum of New Hampshire Paula M. Rais The Mary Baker Eddy Library Alan K. Lester The Nature Museum at Grafton Noralee S. Hall Carrie King

The Salem Museum at the Old Town Hall Ruth H. Clarkin Yale University Art Gallery Joellen K. Adae Molly Balikov Diana D. Brownell Lorenzo R. Byam Pamela Franks John Stuart Gordon Richard House Linda C. Jerolmon Jennifer N. Johnson Anthony Kulikowski Eric M. Litke Meghan E. Maher Alberto Noriega David Odo Joshua Ramirez Tiffany H. Sprague Alcicia J. Van Campen Wayne Vere Nancy Yates Caitlin Zaccaro

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Louis Lang, Return of the 69th (Irish) Regiment, N.Y.S.M., from the Seat of War, 1862–63, New-York Historical Society. Before treatment, left, and after treatment.

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Abbe Museum, ME Johannah Blackman appointed events and marketing coordinator. Bruce Museum Susan Ball appointed deputy director. Cape Cod Museum of Art, MA Cindy Nickerson appointed executive director. Chatham Historical Society
Dennis McFadden appointed executive director.

research advisor for the master of liberal arts (ALM) program in museum studies. Historic Newton, MA Roger Fussa appointed director of development. Maine Arts Commission Julie Richard appointed director. Maine Humanities Council Hayden W. Anderson, Ph.D appointed executive director. Maine State Museum The Maine State Museum Commission has named Bernard Fishman, former director of Rhode Island Historical Society, as the new director. New Bedford Art Museum, MA Jennifer Lagrotteria appointed executive director. Northeast Document Conservation Center, MA Patrick Breen appointed digital photographer; Reiner Uhler appointed digital photographer.

Osterville Museum, MA Jennifer Morgan Williams appointed executive director. Rose Art Museum, MA Christopher Bedford appointed director. Sabbathday Lake Shaker Museum and Shaker Library, ME Leonard L. Brooks, director, will be retiring from that post as of June 29, 2013. He has been director since 1988. Susan B. Anthony Birthplace Museum, MA Colleen Janz appointed executive director.

Colby College Museum of Art Patricia King appointed associate director EcoTarium, MA Joseph Cox appointed as president. Fitchburg Art Museum, MA


Wenham Museum, MA Kristin Noon appointed executive director.


Nicholas Capasso, currently the deputy director for Curatorial Affairs at the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, appointed director.

Fort Adams Trust, RI Rick Nagele appointed executive director. Fuller Craft Museum, MA Jeffrey Brown appointed curator of exhibitions and collections. The Fruitlands Museum, MA Wyona Lynch-McWhite appointed executive director. Harvard Art Museums, MA Ethan Lasser appointed Margaret S. Winthrop Associate Curator of American Art. Harvard Extension School Museum Studies Program, MA Katherine Burton Jones appointed assistant director and

Many thanks to all of you who contributed to the NEMA annual appeal. Your donation, which is completely tax deductible, provides us with the ability to introduce even more initiatives that benefit our members and engender a more vibrant, fully-inclusive, fully-responsive museum community. If you haven’t yet participated, it’s not too late! Just go online to www.nemanet.org/donate. Thank you for your leadership in advancing New England’s museums. Janie Cohen Douglas E. Evelyn Mark Gold Rebecca I. Hendricks Laurie LaBar Wendy Lull Daniel B. McDuffie Barbara L. Narendra Marie Panik Ron Potvin Serena Sanborn Timothy Wade Denise Wernikoff


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*Independent Museum Professionals PAG
You could call us the Itinerant Museum Professionals. We are the museum folks who work on contract, rather than on staff, traveling around wherever we are needed. Designers, educators, guest curators, management consultants, collection organizers, conservators—you name it, there’s probably someone in our PAG who does it. In this column, we hope to share with you some technical tips, reports on the great things we’re seeing in museums, and snippets of wisdom that we’ve picked up along the way. We hope you’ll find it useful.

me more disciplined and thoughtful in my “product” lines and promotion. Sarah Brophy, LEED-AP, Sustainability Consultant for Museums


Whether consulting historic documentaries or Hollywood films, time-honored text books or today’s digital classrooms, museum professionals are perpetual students. Ours is a field of learning and teaching, of asking questions without facile answers. With backto-school in the air, it got the Independent Museum Professionals thinking about the books, films, or other media that have positively influenced the work we do. With educators, curators, marketers, and consultants of all sorts within our ranks, we got some illuminating recommendations. Enlighten yourself with one of these offerings, or revisit the book or film that has inspired you the most!

Mom. But more important than structure is an ability to weave a tale. McCullough’s focus on telling stories about people—about how they lived and felt and interacted with one another—brings his broader subjects to life. In developing museum exhibits, I try to think of myself as a storyteller. McCullough’s books have helped me figure out how to take a broad historical subject and turn it into a compelling story about people. Carrie Brown, Ph.D., Consulting Curator The recent AAM Webinar by NEMA IMP Laura Roberts on Business Plans helped me immediately when I was doing a MAP review and helps my business by making

In the realm of professional books, I have What Makes a Great Exhibition? edited by Paula Marincola on my shelf, although I can’t say I’ve read it cover to cover! I dip into it now and then. If you mean fun stuff and artrelated escapism, I’d recommend Steve Martin’s Object of Beauty. Rachael Arauz, Curator My first class as a Museum Studies graduate student was Collections Management. Even though my museum work is in marketing and design for contemporary art organizations, I was inspired by a documentary we watched on the 17th century British house called Uppark. As a construction crew neared completion of renovations to the home, a devastating fire broke out. Frantic staff and workers carried out the precious objects contained inside. The massive restoration that followed ignited a renaissance in creative disciplines of a bygone era, and proceeded despite the herculean

To inspire my writing about history, I keep going back to anything by David McCullough. The man can make a laundry list interesting. His biography of John Adams is a splendid example of how to weave letters and diaries seamlessly into one’s own prose. His book on the building of the Panama Canal, The Path Between the Seas, helped me figure out how to structure my book on World War I, Rosie’s



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task of meticulously rebuilding the home with historic fidelity. It reminded me that in the museum world, art, patrimony, craft, and preservation take precedence— and that passion for the mission often drives me in the work I do. Jeanne Koles, Jeanne Koles Consulting When I plan educational events, my goal is to foster a strong personal connection between the audience and the exhibit or theme. Choosing the titles that have most inspired my work, I’d have to point to three. The Hartford Courant taught me as a writer that the audience has to have something to care about right from the start. My news stories became newsworthy only when I gave my readers a “peg” they could relate to. James Spradley’s Participant Observation was a powerful tool when I wrote an ethnography about the tattoo studio culture. This is when I learned the value of interpretation that fosters connections. My copy of Nina Simon’s The Participatory Museum gathers no dust. Simon not only offers ways to raise the voice of an audience I want to hear. She energizes me as soon as I open this book. Suzanne Roy, Curriculum by Design

Two books by Lucy Lippard, On the Beaten Track: Tourism, Art and Place (1992) and The Lure of the Local: Sense of Place in a Multicentered Society (1997) are must-reads for museum professionals grappling with issues of community-relevance, marketing, tourism or cultural identity. Lippard is a pioneer in rethinking cultural values aimed toward a more inclusive, holistic and sensible American commonwealth. In The Lure of the Local, she discusses art, museums, community and how the physical and cultural environments affect our lives. “If we spent half the energy looking at our own neighborhoods, we’d learn twice as much” she notes and further observes how “few small towns yearning for business have any idea of the attractions hidden in their back streets.” She recommends more intensive engagement and interplay between art and environment. William Hosley, Principal,Terra Firma Northeast I’m afraid that I’ve found more inspiration (at least in a professional sense) from people rather than from books, films or other media. Example: A half century (to the year) after first setting foot in a museum as a paid employee, I still admire the management

skills and style of Michael Spock, who was then the director of the Boston Children’s Museum in its old Jamaica Plain location. I’ve worked for and with a wide variety of other directors over the years, but Mike still shines the brightest in my eyes. It was his influence, more than anything else, that encouraged me to turn away from mining geology, in which I was then doing doctoral studies, and look for permanent work in the museum field. Little did I know how permanent that might turn out to be! Ron Kley, Partner, Museum Research Associates

If there are topics that you would like to see covered in this column, please send your ideas to Jeanne Koles at jeanne@jeannekolesconsulting.com.


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Tell us your news! If you have news from your state, please inform your NEMA board representative (names and numbers listed below). Or, call, mail, fax, or email (nemanews@nemanet.org) the NEMA office with news to include in From the Region. build networks among museums and historical societies in regional proximity. Guest presenters at the meetings include representatives from ConnecticutHistory.org and History Day in Connecticut, both projects funded by Connecticut Humanities. If you are interested in learning more about upcoming programs, visit its website at www.clho.org or e-mail liz@clho.org. ¾ The Bellarmine Museum of Art will celebrate its second anniversary on October 11, 2012 and just celebrated its 10,000th visitor. In addition, the museum has recently been awarded the grants from the following foundations: Maximilian E. & Marion O. Hoffman Foundation (in support of Family Day programming); Daphne Seybolt Culpeper Foundation (in support of the Art of Seeing/ visual thinking skills for Nursing School graduate students); Grabe Family Foundation (also in support of the Art of Seeing); and Robert Lehman Foundation (in support of Edwin L. Weisl, Jr. Lectureships in Art History). The Connecticut Chapter of the American Institute of Architects has awarded the Bellarmine Museum and Centerbrook Architects and Planners a 2012 Built Project Merit Award. ¾ Mystic Art Center has redesigned its logo and branding to reflect an image that is brighter, simpler, and more modern. Infused with the three basic shapes of drawing square, triangle and circle - the logo represents not just the foundation of drawing, but it also embodies what Mystic Arts Center is: a haven where artistic expression is inspired and lauded through


Dawn Salerno, Mystic Arts Center,
860-536-7601 ext. 209 or dawn.salerno@mysticarts.org

¾ The Connecticut Humanities Council is now Connecticut Humanities. The organization will still offer the same great programming and new granting opportunities. Visit their new website at www. cthumanities.org for complete details. ¾ On April 4, the State of Connecticut Historic Preservation Council officially recognized portions of Essex Village as the British Raid on Essex Battle Site District. This designation on the State Register of Historic Places is the culmination of intense research and community coordination led by Connecticut River Museum’s (CRM’s) Executive Director and staff over the past two years to gain recognition for the little known but historically significant 1814 battle. The district includes the grounds of the museum where the British landed, the Griswold Inn and 22 other historic places. The designation is also a stepping stone on the way to federal battle site recognition by the National Park Service American Battlefield Protection Program with the Museum receiving $29,800 in grant funds from the ABPP to further the study of the Raid. Other grants received include $39,500 from The Connecticut Humanities Council Heritage Revitalization Fund and $5,000 from the William and Alice Mortensen Foundation, both to be used to improve the museum’s permanent first floor exhibition by

upgrading the 1814 British Raid on Essex section for the bicentennial of the War of 1812, and increase its reach to a broader audience through the development of an innovative smart phone app; $7,020 from the Heritage Preservation Conservation Assessment Program to fund a comprehensive, third-party assessment of the museum collections and building; $5,000 from the Middlesex County Community Foundation for audio/ visual equipment enhancements; and $1,600 to underwrite the program costs of the museum’s annual Family Maritime Day. ¾ The Mashantucket Pequot Museum & Research Center has just received a 2012 IMLS Native American/Native Hawaiian Grant-Enhancing Museum Services Providing Access to Pequot Images and Oral Histories. They have received a 2012 IMLS Museums for America Grant-Engaging Communities Evaluating Technology-Assisted, Museum Based Explorations. ¾ The Connecticut League of History Organizations has just launched its latest project, a brand-new regional initiative. To kick-off the program, six peer networking and education events have been scheduled in locations throughout Connecticut in September and October. The meetings, at the Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme, the Mill Museum in Willimantic, the Institute for American Indian Studies in Washington, and the Wilton, Windsor and North Haven Historical Societies, are designed to foster communication and to



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education, exhibitions and events. The new logo served as the inspiration for MAC’s new website which is now live at www.mysticarts.org. ¾ Mystic Seaport has joined the Smithsonian Affiliations. The program establishes long-term relationships to foster the loan of Smithsonian artifacts and travelling exhibitions and the sharing of institutional resources and professional expertise, including scholars, educators, and technical experts. Mystic Seaport will also be able to participate in outreach programs that seek to bring the Smithsonian experience to other communities. The State of Connecticut awarded a grant of $500,000 to support the restoration of the 1841 whaleship Charles W. Morgan. Citing the vessel as one of the state’s “greatest treasures,” the funds will be used to help complete work on the vessel

in preparation for a 2014 voyage to historic ports in New England. ¾ Lyman Allyn Art Museum opened a new exhibition commemorating the bicentennial of the War of 1812 and its effects on Connecticut and the region. “The Rockets’ Red Glare: The War of 1812 in Connecticut” opened on July 6, 2012. The exhibition was developed in partnership with Mystic Seaport, the Stonington Historical Society, the New London Maritime Society, and the New London County Historical Society and features items from the collections of the partners, as well as from other museums and private collections. ¾ The New London Historical Society has published a companion history and exhibit catalog, “The Rockets’ Red Glare: The War of 1812 and Connecticut.” The 112-page book is full of local history tied directly to national and

international events is available for sale at both the museum and the New London County Historical Society for $18. ¾ The Connecticut Humanities has awarded an $8,000 planning grant to the Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum to prepare the script for a new exhibit that will open on April 13, 2013 and serve as the central theme for the Museum’s upcoming season. The exhibit, What Is It? Technologies & Discoveries of the Victorian Era, will launch an in-depth exploration of the Mansion’s heyday, when breakthroughs in technology and science transformed American society. ¾ Rachel Carley’s Litchfield: The Making of a New England Town is the winner of the eighteenth annual Historic New England Book Prize. The book traces the Concontinued on the following page

The Way We Worked
Historic New England, in partnership with the Smithsonian Institution and Museum on Main Street, is offering a traveling exhibition, The Way We Worked, to museums in Vermont and Massachusetts. The Way We Worked is adapted from an original exhibition developed by the National Archives. The Way We Worked explores the significance of work in American culture by tracing the many changes that have affected the workforce and work environments throughout history. It draws from the Archives’ rich photographic collections to tell this compelling story. The exhibition consists of five free-standing sections with video, audio, interactive components, artifacts, and exhibit banners. The exhibition requires 600 square feet. For more detailed information, visit the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibitions Services (SITES) Project Management website, www.museumonmainstreet.org/theWayWeWorked. Historic New England set aside two booking periods for each of the New England states and we currently have one left in Vermont and Massachusetts. The Way We Worked New England Tour exhibition runs for a six-week period. In addition, Historic New England will offer a related lecture at no charge (other than mileage). The two scheduled booking periods for Vermont and Massachusetts are: Vermont: May 11, 2013 - June 23, 2013 Massachusetts: August 24, 2013 - October 6, 2013 The participation fee for The Way We Worked is a remarkably modest $1,500 and comes with posters, docent guides etc.

Firefighters amidst the rubble of the World Trade Center, New York City, by Andrea Booher, September 2001. Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency

For more information contact Ken Turino at 617-994-5958 or Kturino@historicnewengland.org.


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From the Region continued from the previous page
necticut town’s history from the colonial period through the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Maine. MAM estimates that there are at least 1,000 potential collecting institutions in Maine, only about half of which are connected to a larger supMAINE port network. Funded by the Kate McBrien, Curator of Davis Family Foundation, MCHistoric Collections, Maine IOP seeks to prevent further State Museum, 207-287-6658 loss of Maine’s cultural heritage or by indentifying these organizakatherine.mcbrien@maine.gov tions, surveying them regarding their collections and the ¾ Museum L-A had a very special guest at its annual Winslow Homer Studio: Exterior view, south- challenges they face, and offering professional development Awards Dinner – American As- east corner, ©trentbellphotography opportunities to address those sociation of Museums President ¾ The Portland Museum of Art needs. For more information Ford W. Bell, who served as (PMA) premiered a new brand on visit: www.MaineMuseums.org/ keynote speaker for the event. June 22. A collaboration between MCIOP. In his speech, Dr. Bell noted that museum staff, Garrand, Murphy the museum field could be fac¾ The Sabbathday Lake Shaker Empire Design, and TypeCulture, ing a “perfect storm” of museum Museum, New Gloucester, ME, this visual identity presents a financing in the coming year will be collaborating for the 32nd unique blend of the traditional and with a reduction in federal fundyear with the Gray-New Gloucesthe contemporary. The brand aning, decreases in deductibility ter High School with a semester ticipates an exciting new chapter of charitable contributions, and long Shaker Studies course. The in the museum’s history with the the threat of PILOTs (Payment in course at the only active Shaker opening of the Winslow Homer Lieu of Taxes). The full text of Mr. community in the country will inStudio in September. On SeptemBell’s speech as available online clude interviews with the Shakers, ber 25, 2012, PMA opened the at www.museumla.org/programsvillage tours and research projects Winslow Homer Studio to the pubevents/special-events/2012-muincluding use of many aspects of lic for the first time. One of the seum-l-a-annual-awards-dinner/ the Shaker Library and Shaker most significant locations in the dr-ford-w-bell-keynote-speech. Museum collections. history of American art, the StuOn September 8th, 2012, Museum ¾ The American Association for dio, located at Prouts Neck, Maine, L-A hosted the state’s first ever State and Local History (AASLH) is where the great American artist Mini Maker Faire at its home in the recently announced that the Winslow Homer (1836-1910) lived historic Bates Mill. The LewistonBangor Museum and History and painted many of his masterAuburn Mini Maker Faire attracted Center (BMHC) is the recipient more than 750 people of all ages of a 2012 Award of Merit from from all over New England for a the AASLH Leadership in History day of creativity, experiment, inAwards committee. The BMHC is novation and all-around fun. being honored for their collab¾ A rare insect collection containorative project with the Bangor ing more than 107,000 specimens High School, Exploring Historic pieces from 1883 until his death. has been donated to the Maine Landscapes Using GIS: The Great A National Historic Landmark, the State Museum by the University Bangor Fire of 1911, a history renovated Winslow Homer Stuof Maine. The collection contains and science project featuring 15 dio will celebrate the artist’s life, many specimens collected within student maps that were displayed encourage scholarship on Homer, Maine for decades by students as part of The Great Fire exhibit and educate audiences to appreciand university professors. It also in 2011. The Bangor Museum and ate the artistic heritage of Winincludes rare tropical butterflies History Center and Bangor High slow Homer and Maine. and other specimens from outside School were also selected as a ¾ Maine Archives and Musethe state. The collection will be 2013 History in Progress Award ums (MAM) launched the Maine kept and used for research at the winner by the Leadership in HisCultural Institutions Outreach museum’s climate-controlled stortory awards committee. The HIP Project (MCIOP), to identify colage facility. Award, given at the discretion of lecting institutions throughout the Committee, is an additional



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award for an Award of Merit winner whose nomination is highly inspirational, exhibits exceptional scholarship, and/or is exceedingly entrepreneurial in terms of funding, partnerships, or collaborations, creative problem solving, or unusual project design and inclusiveness. Only three HIP Awards will be presented in 2013. AASLH congratulates the Bangor Museum and History Center and Bangor High School for the work that has brought this honor. ¾ The L.C.Bates Museum is pleased to receive funds from the Quimby Family Foundation for a Naturalist As Artist program that will provide educational programs at the museum and in area schools. With help from a NASA grant, the museum developed and ran its first very engaging Astronomy Camp this past summer. As a result, the museum will be using its newly developed space activities for visitors and school programs.

¾ The Abbe Museum was recently awarded a $144,350 Museums for America grant from IMLS. The Abbe’s project will support a three-year community outreach project called Training Maine’s Classroom Teachers to Meet the Wabanaki Initiative. With this grant, the Abbe will hire a second Museum Educator, accomplished Passamaquoddy basketmaker George Neptune, will expand the Abbe’s professional development for Maine teachers by increasing the number of free workshops, and will contribute to the development of other educational resources. The Abbe Museum recently received an Award of Merit from AASLH for the exhibit “Indians and Rusticators,” an immersion exhibit exploring the relationship between Wabanakis and summer visitors on Mount Desert Island between the 1840s and the 1920s. A design overhaul of the Abbe’s website was completed with help from Lelah Cole Design. Check it out at www.abbemuseum.org.


Maria caBrera, Museum of
Science, 617-589-0418 or mcabrera@mos.org

¾ In addition to the $100,000 grant by the Massachusetts Cultural Facilities fund, the Falmouth Historical Society has also gained grants of $ 1,800 from the Falmouth Fund, $1,000 from the Woods Hole Foundation, and other contributions towards the new Education Center. ¾ Pilgrim Hall Museum received a $45,000 Preservation Projects Fund grant from the Massachusetts Historical Commission to implement a Roofing and Masonry Repairs Project on the oldest sections of the building. Extensive interior water damage occurred in the museum shop area last year, which made it very clear that exterior repairs were required to prevent ongoing damage to the structure and artifacts. In 2008,
continued on the following page


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From the Region continued from the previous page
the Pilgrim Society completed another significant expansion, which included climate control, dedicated collections storage, and accessibility for all visitors. One of the oldest public buildings in the Town of Plymouth, the building is listed on both the State and National Register of Historic Places. The historic structure will receive repair and conservation to provide a watertight condition and repair deteriorated exterior fabric including: roofs, masonry, metalwork, gutters and the fanlight window. ¾ The Provincetown Art Association and Museum (PAAM) is pleased to announce the upcoming Lillian Orlowsky and William Freed Foundation Grant recipient exhibition, on view at PAAM this September. The three-person show will feature the work of 2011 grant recipients Joan Ryan of East Boston, MA; Karen Cappotto of Provincetown, MA; and Deborah Martin of Twentynine Palms, CA. The grant is helping all three talented recipients gain public exposure and professional clout, as well as improve aspects of life specific to being an artist, like better studio spaces and higher quality art supplies. ¾ The Cambridge Historical Society (CHS) has run a successful Kickstarter Campaign and raised over $4,000 to fund the processing and archival re-housing of our collection of the complete run of the Cambridge-based Rounder Records label on CD. This is an important collection of Cambridge’s musical history and an exciting step into the use of social media for fundraising. CHS is proud to announce its new website (www.cambridgehistory.org). This site uses the on-line database program Drupal and is capable of housing the rapidly increasing number of digital resources it is making available to the on-line history community. Thanks to two IMLS grants and generous local Sheba and Solomon by Ralph Cahoon piece was acquired from Ralph’s son Franz and his wife Ruth. Through the generosity of several past and current board of trustees’ members, the museum was able to acquire the piece. ¾ Worcester is one of three cities selected to share a National Science Foundation (NSF) award of $2,654,895 for the Art of Science Learning Phase 2 grant titled “Integrating Informal STEM and ArtsBased Learning to Foster Innovation.” Over the next four years, this NSF grant will fund arts-based incubators for innovation in STEM matching donors, it will now have fully searchable complete digital versions of our Image Collection, The Lois Lilley Howe Photo Collection, The Bull-Curtis Collection, and the Mercy Scollay Collection. ¾ The Cahoon Museum has purchased a major furniture work by Ralph Cahoon called “Sheba and Solomon”, which is a 19th century secretary case piece. The (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) learning as well as a new arts-based STEM curriculum; experimental research to measure the impact of arts-based learning on creativity, collaboration and innovation; and public programs using the project’s activities to advance civic engagement with STEM. The incubators - hosted by Worcester’s science and nature center, EcoTarium, San Diego’s Balboa Park Cultural Partnership, and Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry - will bring together 30 cross-disciplinary innovation teams of STEM professionals, artists, educators, business leaders and students. The teams will learn arts-based techniques for generating, transforming, prototyping and communicating creative ideas and apply them to STEM-related civic innovation challenges. Participants will also collaborate on the development of new educational projects that integrate arts-based approaches into STEM learning. ¾ The Danforth Museum of Art has announced a gift of $500,000 from an anonymous donor. The Danforth is in the middle of planning a move from its current location to a town-owned building on the historic green in Framingham. Since July, when it received a grant of $30,000 from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, it has been working with Ann Beha Architects on a strategic plan to implement the move. ¾ At Merwin House in Stockbridge the Massachusetts Historical Commission’s Massachusetts Preservation Projects Fund awarded a $38,000 grant for the replacement of the metal and wood shingle roof, the repointing and re-flashing of the chimneys, and rehanging of the gutters and downspouts. Visitors to Merwin House note the unusual contrast between its original c. 1825, Federal-style brick construction and its 1900 Shingle-style addition.



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Historic New England members recently visited the site on a special members’ trip to the Berkshires. Roseland Cottage in Woodstock, Connecticut, is also scheduled to undergo a roof replacement project, thanks in part to a $101,800 grant. A new roof, restoration of the gutter and chimney pots, and the preservation of the finials at Roseland Cottage has been financed in part by the State of Connecticut utilizing ComPlayful Providence and the Providence munity Investment Act funds administered by the Department Children’s Museum tional programs. The museum will of Economic and Community Deimplement a student internship velopment. The Massachusetts program, script a performance by Cultural Facilities Fund awarded actor Charles Dutton promoting $144,000 to improve drainage the exhibit, and produce a multiat Spencer-Peirce-Little Farm in media educational program based Newbury, Massachusetts. The on the works of Frederick Dougdrainage project aims to mitigate lass. the threat of flooding at the 1690 manor house, visitors’ center, and ¾ The Museum of Science has 1775 barn. received a $1 million grant from ¾ Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association received a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities for Living on the Edge of Empire: Alliance, Conflict, and Captivity in Colonial New England, a two one-week workshops for eighty school teachers on cross-cultural contact and conflict, set in colonial Deerfield, Massachusetts. ¾ The Museum of African American History received an IMLS Museum Grant for African American History and Culture grant. The grant will be used to digitize the museum’s Civil War Collection, emphasizing objects that will be featured in the upcoming Freedom Rising: The Emancipation Proclamation and the Role of the Black Soldier in the Civil War exhibit. Project objectives include ensuring the long-term preservation of the collection, providing online accessibility to an expanded audience, enhancing the ability to search the collection using metadata, and offering more technologically advanced products to improve museum educathe Biogen Idec Foundation to support interactive science education and outreach programs for middle and high school students across the state and foster interest and learning in science, technology, engineering, and math, known as STEM. The grant, the largest awarded by the foundation to any organization in Massachusetts, will establish that will provide a steady stream of support to run in perpetuity. The gift will be paid out over a five-year term beginning in 2012. ¾ The following NEMA members received grants from the Massachusetts Cultural Facilities Fund (CFF): • The Berkshire Historical Society, structural repair and HVAC replacement • The Berkshire Museum, accessibility improvements • The Bostonian Society, exterior preservation of the Old State House • Cape Ann Museum, safety system and HVAC repair • Concord Museum, roof repair

• Danforth Museum of Art, audience testing for a new location and design planning for exhibitions in a former school building in Framingham. • DeCordova Museum and Sculpture Park, facilities and landscape master planning to evaluate visitor approach, admission, navigation, amenities and support. • The Emily Dickinson Museum, preliminary design work and option analysis for installing fire suppression and HVAC upgrades • Falmouth Historical Society, Inc., construction of education center • Gore Place Society, Inc., restoration of carriage house • Harvard Art Museums, new construction of art mMuseum • Historic New England, water drainage system at the SpencerPeirce-Little Farm • The House of the Seven Gables, structural and HVAC maintenance • Ipswich Museum, structural improvements to Heard House • Massachusetts College of Art Foundation, expansion of Bakalar & Paine Galleries • Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, elevator replacement • New Bedford Whaling Museum, construction of education center • Wenham Museum, HVAC replacement


Funi BurDicK, Canterbury Shaker
Village, 603-783-9511 or fburdick@shakers.org

¾ Thorne-Sagendorph Art Gallery, Keene State College received a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities for ancillary public humanities programs to accompany the NEH on the Road: Wild Land traveling exhibition.
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From the Region continued from the previous page RHODE ISLAND
¾ In the past two years the East Providence Historical Society has been making a great effort to move the message about its mission further afield from the John Hunt House Museum site. In October it again collaborated with the business community to stage a fall festival named Wachemoket Square Day, after the center of commerce for early East Providence. This year its neighborhood tour focused on what isn’t there and why: an explanation of what was displaced/razed when major artery 195 ran right through the area in the 1950s. Residents from the neighborhood helped with memories and details. The area now has the only remaining dairy delivery fleet in the East Bay and it teamed up with Munroe Dairy for a dairy farms display, moving artifacts from Hunt House to St. Mary’s Episcopal Church for the day. The Munroe trucks were featured again in this years’ parade. For the second year, EPHS took its “EPHS Smithsonian Show” on the road to the main library in coordination with Smithsonian Magazine’s National Free Museum Day on September 29th. ¾ The Bristol Art Museum will begin Phase Two of the conversion of space of the c.1865 barn located at the historic site known as Linden Place into a museum. Phase One, the selective demolition and structural reinforcement to stabilize the building, was completed in September. The museum preserved most of the historic materials and features and created a new entrance to provide a main entrance to the museum. It received grants from the Champlin Foundation and funds from BankNewport, 1772 Foundation and the ProJo Foundation. During this transition period, the museum continues to present quarterly shows at Rogers Free Library, 525 Hope Street and art talks by guest speakers funded by Roger Williams University. In the summer the annual Art al Fresco and pleinair sessions were offered. IMAGO Gallery, Warren, will be the venue for the Bristol Art Museum’s fall exhibition, Storm Tossed, from October 12-28. They look forward to (re)opening the doors in late spring of 2013. The new space allows for several galleries, five artist rental studios, art classes, lectures and on-going exhibitions. ¾ The International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum is hosting the 2012 International Sports Heritage Association (ISHA) annual meeting. ISHA is the governing body for sports museums and Halls of Fame around the world. The conference will take place October 24-26 in Newport and includes speaker sessions, offsite trips, and an Evening with Champions dinner at the Hall of Fame with Hall of Famer Stan Smith as the guest speaker. More than 100 representatives from sports museums around the world will be represented. ¾ The Preservation Society of Newport County has been selected to provide the loan exhibition for the 2013 New York Winter Antiques Show, January 25-February 3, 2013. The exhibition, entitled Newport: The Glamour of Ornament, will highlight approximately fifty of the most significant objects from the Preservation Society’s collections. The Society has recently reunited the largest collection of a series of 18th-century Venetian paintings in America, fifty years after many of the paintings were auctioned off from The Elms (1901). With the acquisition this summer of the last two paintings in the series, the dining room of The Elms has been restored to the way it looked when architect Horace Trumbauer and interior decorator Jules Allard designed the room around the paintings in 1901.

JuDith tolnicK Champa, Editor-inChief, Art New England, 401-831-3423 or jtolnickchampa@gmail.com

¾ The National Science Foundation (NSF) awarded Brown University a grant of $713,000 to collaborate with Providence Children’s Museum on a project investigating ways children develop scientific thinking skills and the understanding parents have of their children’s learning processes. In addition to informing academic research, the funding will enable the museum and Brown Cognitive Science researchers to develop communication tools to increase visitors’ awareness of the learning that occurs through children’s play. PCM was granted $8,770 by Nonprofit Finance Fund (NFF) to create an online archive of its building systems documentation and to train its staff in the use of a newly-installed energy management system, due to its participation in the Strengthening Arts Facilities Effectively (SAFE) Initiative and through the generous support of The Kresge Foundation. During summer 2012 the museum brought engaging unstructured play activities to 850 kids and family members at public parks throughout Providence, thanks to a pilot partnership with the Providence Department of Parks and Recreation. Providence was recently named a “Playful City” by KaBOOM!, the national nonprofit dedicated to saving play. The recognition, which honors cities and towns that make play a priority, was due in part to PCM’s growing advocacy for free play over the past four years. To commemorate the designation, the museum worked with community partners to plan the first Playful Providence weekend, a citywide celebration of the power of play, held September 7-9.



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¾ Congratulations to Blithewold Mansions, Gardens and Arboretum on receiving the Stewardship Award for the far-reaching Master Plan, a document that provides a platform for programming and historic site interpretation to meet the most advanced standards in property care, presented by Preserve Rhode Island and the Rhode Island Historical Preservation & Heritage Commission. Eric Hertfelder, NEMA board member, received the Frederick C. Williamson Professional Leadership Award in recognition of his career leading state and federal preservation agencies, as well as important historic sites like Blithewold and Fort Adams ¾ Several bronze statutes on the grounds Linden Place were recently damaged and/or stolen. Thieves stole a statue of a rearing horse engaged in battle, as if protecting its fallen horseman, and two similar statues also suffered damage at the hands of an overnight intruder. Their bronze tails had been ripped from the bodies. According to police, the thieves could be “scrappers,” people who collect metal and sell it for a few dollars to a scrap yard where it is crushed or melted down. Besides the missing horse, staff at the museum also found that a 7-foot tall statue of Venus deMilo was also an apparent target of the thieves. That statue was found face down on a concrete floor. ¾ VERMONT Janie cohen, Executive Director, Fleming Museum of Art, 802-6560750 or fleming@uvm.edu ¾ Please send any news from Vermont to Janie Chohen at fleming@ uvn.edu.

¾ The following NEMA members received IMLS Museums for America Grants: Engaging Communities Abbe Museum, ME; Concord Museum, MA; Connecticut Landmarks; Fairbanks Museum and Planetarium, VT; Florence Griswold Museum, CT; Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, MA; L.C. Bates Museum, ME; Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Research Center, CT; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA; Springfield Library and Museums Association, MA; Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, CT; and the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History, CT Building Institutional Capacity Connecticut Science Center; Museum of Science, MA; and the Peabody Essex Museum, MA

Collections Stewardship American Textile History Museum, MA; Historic New England, MA; Mount Holyoke College Art Museum, MA; Norman Rockwell Museum, MA; Preservation Society of Newport County, RI; Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, MA; and the Worcester Art Museum, MA.


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Public Presentation G ra n t s C H Q u i c k G ra n t s C O C T Basic Operational Support Grants for Historic Preservation Non-Profits

H e r i t a g e P r e s e r va t i o n : www.heritagepreservation.org Institute of Museum and Lib ra r y S e r v i c e s ( I M L S ) : w w w. i m l s . g ov J. Pa u l G e t t y Tr u s t : w w w. g e t t y. e d u National Endowment for the Arts (NEA): www.arts.gov National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH): w w w. n e h . g ov National Historical Publicat i o n s & Re c o r d s C o m m i s s i o n (NHPRC/NARA): w w w. a r c h i ve s . g ov / n h p r c N a t i o n a l S c i e n c e Fo u n d a t i o n ( N S F ) : w w w. n s f. g ov National Trust for Historic Preservation (NTHP): w w w. n a t i o n a l t r u s t . o r g

CT Offices of Culture and To u r i s m ( C O C T ) : w w w. c t . g ov / c c t CT Hummanities (CHC): w w w. c t h u m a n i t i e s . o r g Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation (CTHP): w w w. c t t r u s t . o r g Maine Arts Council (MAC): w w w. m a i n e a r t s . c o m Maine Cultural Resources Information Center (CRIC): www.maine.gov/sos/arc/cric Maine Historic Preservation Commission (MHPC): w w w. s t a t e . m e . u s / m h p c ME Humanities Council (MHC): w w w. m a i n e h u m a n i t i e s . o r g Mass Humanities (MH): w w w. m a s s h u m a n i t i e s . o r g M A C u l t u ra l C o u n c i l ( M C C ) : www.massculturalcouncil.org Massachusetts Historical Commission (MHC): w w w. s e c . s t a t e . m a . u s / m h c N e w E n g l a n d Fo u n d a t i o n f o r t h e A r t s ( N E FA ) : w w w. n e f a . o r g N H D i v i s i o n o f H i s t o r i c a l Re sources (NHDHR): w w w. n h . g ov / n h d h r NH Humanities Council ( N H H C ) : w w w. n h h c . o r g NH State Council on the Arts ( N H S C A ) : w w w. n h . g ov / nharts P r e s e r ve R h o d e I s l a n d : w w w. p r e s e r ve r i . o r g Rhode Island Council on the Humanities (RICH): w w w. u r i . e d u / r i c h RI Historical Preservation & Heritage Commission (RIHPHC): www.rihphc.state.ri.us RI State Council on the Arts (RISCA): w w w. r i s c a . s t a t e . r i . u s Ve r m o n t A r t s C o u n c i l ( VA C ) : w w w. ve r m o n t a r t s c o u n c i l . o r g Ve r m o n t C o u n c i l o n t h e Humanities (VCH): w w w. ve r m o n t h u m a n i t i e s . o r g Ve r m o n t D i v i s i o n f o r H i s t o r i c P r e s e r va t i o n ( V D H P ) : w w w. h i s t o r i c ve r m o n t . o r g


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¾ The American Association of Museums recently rebranded itself as the American Alliance of Museums. AAM’s new Continuum of Excellence provides a range of opportunities that allow museums of all types to demonstrate their commitment to excellence and gain recognition. The changes will reduce the time and costs associated with accreditation while offering multiple pathways to participation. What’s not changing is their fundamental commitment to serving their members-museums and all who work for their success. To read more about the Alliance visit www.aam-us.org/home. ¾ The Connecticut Humanities Council is now Connecticut Humanities. The organization will still offer the same great programming and new granting opportunities. Visit their new website at www.cthumanities.org for complete details. The National Endowment for the Humanities’ Sustain¾ ing Cultural Heritage Collections program provides support to meet the complex challenge of preserving large and diverse holdings of humanities materials for future generations by supporting preventive conservation measures that mitigate deterioration and prolong the useful life of collections. Support is provided for preventive conservation measures, which encompass managing relative humidity, temperature, light, and pollutants in collection spaces; providing protective storage enclosures and systems for collections; and safeguarding collections from theft and from natural and man-made disasters. The application deadline is December 4, 2012. The Environmental Protection Agency’s Environmental ¾ Education Regional Grants program supports environmental education projects that promote environmental stewardship and help develop knowledgeable and responsible students, teachers, and citizens. The program provides financial support for projects that design, demonstrate, or disseminate environmental education practices, methods, or techniques, and that will serve as models that can be replicated in a variety of settings. The Agency expects to award one grant for each EPA region. The application deadline is November 21, 2012. ¾ The Museum Assessment Program (MAP) helps small and mid-sized museums strengthen operations, plan for the future and meet national standards through self-study and a site visit from a peer reviewer. IMLS-funded MAP grants are non-competitive and provide $4,000 of consultative resources and services to participating museums. Each assessment can be completed in less than a year. Costs to participate range from free to $750. Applications are accepted twice per year by deadlines of July 1 or December 1. MAP is supported through a cooperative agreement between the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the Alliance. ¾ A new grant from Mass Humanties supports the collaborative efforts of two or more organizations determined to create interactive, face-to-face public programs addressing crises in our society. The maximum award for the Public Squared Annual Challenge Grant is $25,000: $15,000 in outright funds and a $10,000 challenge portion. The letter of inquiry deadline is December 21. ¾ The Edwin S. Webster Foundation will consider requests for capital programs, special projects or operating income. They support organizations with emphasis on hospitals, medical research, education, youth agencies, cultural activities, and programs addressing the needs of minorities. Before submitting a request, please contact foundation administrator Michelle Jenney at: mjenney@gmafoundations.com. Deadline is December 1, 2012 ¾ The Conservation Assessment Program (CAP) staff is pleased to announce that the 2013 CAP application is currently available! Please visit the CAP website to access the application. You may follow the link to use the online form version of the application, or you may download the PDF version of the application. Applications are reviewed as they are received, so we encourage you to submit your completed application sooner rather than later. Please contact the CAP staff at cap@heritagepreservation.org or at 202-233-0800 if you have questions about filling out the application, or would like to receive a paper copy. 2013 CAP applications are due by 11:59 pm Eastern Time on December 3, 2012. The Conservation Assessment Program is administered by Heritage Preservation and is supported through a cooperative agreement with the Institute of Museum and



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Library Services. For more information visit www.heritagepreservation.org/cap. ¾ COSTEP Massachusetts has announced the launch of the organization’s website: www.mass. gov/mblc/costepma. Aimed at both the cultural and emergency management communities, the website provides immediate access to assistance and resources for emergency mitigation, planning, response, and recovery. The mission of COSTEP Massachusetts is to build and foster a statewide disaster preparedness planning process that serves the cultural and emergency management communities and addresses disaster prevention, preparedness, response, recovery, and mitigation. The process will ensure an ongoing dialogue that promotes mutual understanding and coordination between these communities. The Coordinated Statewide Emergency

Preparedness (COSTEP) Framework was developed by the Northeast Document Conservation Center in partnership with MBLC and the Massachusetts Archives and made possible by a grant from the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS). The COSTEP Framework is a planning tool that is freely available and adaptable to the emergency management and cultural landscapes of every state. ¾ The Arts & Economic Prosperity calculator is a free and simple tool that makes it possible for arts and culture organizations to estimate the economic impact of their nonprofit arts and culture organization on the local economy. These analyses are based on a research study of a national economic impact study of nonprofit arts and culture organizations undertaken by Americans for the Arts, the nation’s leading non-

profit organization for advancing the arts in America. By inputting a few data points into an online calculator, organizations can determine how their annual budget translates into full-time-equivalent jobs in their area, as well as total dollars received by their local and state governments (e.g., license fees, taxes) as a result of the expenditures made by arts and culture organizations and/or their audiences. To access the calculator, click here. ¾ Is your organization soliciting donations in Maine? Does it have the proper license to do so? Has your organization hired a professional fundraiser and are they licensed to do business in Maine? During the month of November, charities and fundraisers will be renewing their licenses and on
continued on the following page

Museum Studies
If you seek a career where you can combine skills and theory, knowledge and perspective, the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at Tufts University invites you to follow your passions and explore our singular programs.



Earn a master of art (M.A.) or a certificate, rooted in three academic departments—art history, education, or history—and find the tools to achieve your career goals ■ Work with Tufts faculty, including distinguished scholars and seasoned museum professionals, taking full advantage of the University’s resources and its access to the cultural institutions of Boston ■ Explore rich museum internships and investigate career opportunities where you may apply your skills as creative problem solvers and pursue positions of leadership ■ Select from a wide array of evening courses, rigorous yet intimate, offered at the right pace for you—whether you are looking to advance in the field or just joining it


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News You Can Use continued from the previous page
November 1st the Maine Association of Nonpofits are hosting an informative webinar that will help you ensure that your nonprofit is in compliance with Maine’s Charitable Solicitations Act. Register online today for “007: Licensed to Fundraise”, November 1st from 1:00 - 2:30 pm. ¾ A new report from the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy has confirmed that demanding intent is due November 15. For complete details visit www.sec. state.ma.us/mhc/mhchpp/Surveyandplanning.htm. ¾ Applications for the Bank of America Art Conservation Project are welcome from all nonprofit cultural institutions with significant works of art requiring conservation. The deadline for submissions is November 30, 2012. The Bank of America Art Conservation Project is a unique program that provides grants to nonprofit museums throughout the world to conserve historically or culturally significant works of art that are in danger of degeneration. Introduced in 2010, the program was expanded globally in 2012. For a full description of each project and images, please visit http://museums.bankofamerica.com/arts/ Conservation.

¾ If your nonprofit’s fiscal year ended June 30th, you are due to complete your annual Form 990 (or 990-EZ, 990-N or 990-PF) tax filing with the IRS by November 15th, unless you file for an extension. Nonprofits that fail to file for three consecutive years will have their tax-exempt status revoked.

payments in lieu of taxes (PILOTs) from nonprofits fails
to provide the budget solutions that municipalities need. According to the report, such payments account for an average of only 0.13 percent of the general revenue where they were collected. “PILOTs will never be a panacea for cash-strapped governments – they simply do not generate enough revenue,” the report said. Up to 80 percent of the 117 municipalities implementing some form of PILOT since 2.000 are in the Northeast, according to the study. ¾ The Massachusetts Historical Commission Survey and Planning Grant Program is a federally funded, reimbursable, 50/50 matching grant program to support historic preservation planning activities in communities throughout the state. For Fiscal Year 2013, eligible applicants for Survey and Planning Grants include all local historical commissions, local historic district commissions, planning offices, and other eligible public and non-profit historic preservation organizations. The goal of the Survey and Planning Grant program is to support efforts to identify and plan for the protection of the significant historic buildings, structures, archaeological sites and landscapes of the Commonwealth. Letter of



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October 26, 2012 Understanding Our Past; Re-envisioning Our Future Orono, ME Maine Archives and Museums Annual Conference. For information, www.mainemuseums.org. NEMA Executive Director Dan Yaeger will give a presentation on the state of museums in New England and nationally at the conference. November 3, 2012 Economic Inequality and our Democracy Boston, MA Mass Humanities 9th Annual Fall Symposium. November 7-9, 2012 Pushing the Envelope: Innovation and the Future of Museums Burlington, VT NEMA’s Annual Conference. For information see page 21 or www. nemanet.org. November 7-10, 2012 The Museum Unbound: Shifting Perspectives, Evolving Spaces, Disruptive Technologies Seattle, WA Museum Computer Network Conference. For information, www.mcn. edu. November 8, 2012 New England Foundation for the Arts’ 11th Annual Idea Swap Worcester, MA The Idea Swap is an annual networking event for New England’s nonprofit presenting organizations to share touring project ideas that may qualify for funding from NEFA’s Expeditions grant program. For information, www.nefa.org. November 9-10, 2012 Sacred Spaces, Sacred Places: Religious Architecture and Sites Stowe, VT Vermont Humanities Council Fall Conference www.vermonthumanities.org/ WhatWeDo/FallConference2012SacredSpacesSacredSpaces/tabid/96/ Default.aspx

October 28-30, 2012 Directors Forum New York City, NY Presented by the Art Museum Partnership. November 9-12, 2012 Getting Down to Business Charlotte, NC National Arts Marketing Project Conference. For information, www.artsmarketing.org/conference. January 22-29, 2013 Jekyll Island Management Institute Jekyll Island, GA Presented by the Southeastern Museums Conference. NEMA members receive the member rate. Application deadline is November 15, 2012.

October 26-27, 2012 Northeast Popular Culture/American Culture Association Rochester, NY October 10-14, 2012 Sing It Out, Shout It Out, Say It Out Loud: Giving Voice through Oral History Cleveland, OH The Oral History Association annual meeting. November 3, 2012 Connecticut and New England in the War of 1812 New London, CT The Association for the Study of Connecticut History annual meeting.

October 26-27, 2012 Multimodal Approaches to Learning International Conference New York, NY Presented by Art Beyond Sight and The Metropolitan Museum of Art. www.artbeyondsightconference. blogspot.com/. November 13-17, 2012 National Association for Interpreters National Workshop Hampton, VA For info., www.interpnet.com.

October 31, 2012 The Association of American Publishers is seeking nominations for the PROSE Awards. The awards recognize books, journals, and electronic products that contribute to professional and scholarly publishing, while also maintaining the highest editorial and design standards. Deadline is October 31. November 16, 2012 AASLH will present its 2013 Annual Meeting in Birmingham, Alabama from September 18-21. The theme is Turning Points: Ordinary People, Extraordinary Change. For complete details on how to submit a proposal see www.aaslh.org. December 3, 2012 Call for Nominations for the 2013 Museum “BUILDY” Award. This annual national award recognizes the most outstanding recent museum construction project. Details can be found here.

October 29-November 30, 2012 The Basics of Archives AASLH webinar. For information, aaslh.org/basicsofarchives.htm. October 31-November 3, 2012 Beyond Boundaries Spokane, WA National Trust for Historic Preservation annual conference. November 2-3, 2012 New England Archvists Fall Meeting Boston, MA


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Can’t figure it out?
For 94 years, NEMA has been the resource for museum professionals like you. Trusted, respected, and valued, NEMA gives you the tools to figure out your future and make the most of your calling in the museum field. Join NEMA today. Call 781-641-0013 or visit nemanet.org

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