I hope all who are reading this are well, that your families are well, and that you are taking precautionary measures to remain healthy and safe.
Every museum in New York is closed, thousands of staff have already been laid off, and thousands more will follow. A Washington, DC source estimated that as many as 30% of museums across the nation may remain permanently closed.
That is a statistic that the Museum Association of New York (MANY) is working hard to reduce with advocacy, information, and support for the field. If you are connected to a museum and have not looked at the resource pages of our website, please take a moment and check, there may be something there that can help you make a hard decision easier.
As New Yorkers, we are known for our strength, creativity, persistence and resiliency. We are not known for quiet patience or living comfortably with uncertainty. We are now learning these things together too quickly for many of us to process well.
Our inbox at MANY keep filling with questions from colleagues, public and private funders, and legislators. Some questions, such as “how many people who work in museums have been laid off?,” have quantifiable answers. We’d like you to help answer these and you can help by taking this quick survey and adding your museum’s data. question. We will share your responses widely.
There are other questions. Like how long will it take museums to re-open? How will the impact of museum closures affect the economy next year? or how will museum experiences change once the pandemic passes? These are really not possible for any of us to answer right now, but we will use MANY’s resources to work together and support each other in the coming weeks to find good answers.
I am pleased to be able to announce that we are moving forward with hope and faith that we will all be well, and that the conference will be at the New York State Museum and the Albany Hilton on November, 8, 9, and 10. The Museum and Folk Art Forum will be on November 7. As we re-construct the conference program we will share the updates on our website.
MANY staff are working from home. We want to stay connected to you and be here to help as we can. You can join us each Friday at noon for our virtual MANY Meet-Ups. We will be collecting questions over the course of the week, and answering them to the best of our ability during the call. We will continue to add to the resource pages on our website, weekly, daily, and hourly when possible.
MANY is stronger today than ever before with 685 members from every region, budget size, and discipline. We are working hard to identify programs for the fall where museum professionals will be able to come together, understand how we have evolved under the pandemic, and what the future might bring. If you are not yet a member of MANY, we need everyone’s voices in the conversation more than ever.
Please consider joining MANY and lending your perspective and expertise to the future of New York’s museum field.