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Museum Offers Staff Study Grants

Outgoing Long Island Museum Association (LIMA) President Philip Blocklyn announced at their annual meeting that LIMA will offer three professional development grants in 2014 to support member organizations in sending professional staff to conferences, workshops and seminars, whether national, regional, or local in scope.

“The grants are designed," Blocklyn said, “to encourage all of us in the museum association to make professional development a part of our missions.”

The application process and procedures will be available to member organizations in January.  

Blocklyn, director of the Oyster Bay Historical Society, explained about the grants saying, “Anything that will allow museums to get special development of staff increases and enhances their ability to serve the public. It is important that the professional staffs learn new skills.

“We had a scholarship program in the past and was for one person for the year; now we have three of them. It is the same amount of money but through using matching grants, it increases the participation. The grant of $250 from LIMA is matched by their organization therefore it gets more money into the project and it also commits the organization to supporting the reimbursement grant.

 Nicole Menchise, OBHS librarian and archivist did receive one in 2013 to go to the Society of American Archivists (SAA) conference in New Orleans. The conference had a slate of workshops relating to archival projects. She reported to LIMA at the meeting, sharing her knowledge.  She has also given preservation workshops here in Oyster Bay and a lecture at the Southold Historical Society.

“We try to be active and the LIMA main focus is on the professional museum people who work here on Long Island. The round tables we do are designed to improve the skills of professional people. LIMA’s main focus is professional development, which in truth, improves the museum’s ability to serve the public.

“The point is that the skills you need change and evolve over time. You enter the profession with academic credentials but things happen — like changing technology and that means you have to learn new skills. Another current focus is to attract people that have not been served in the past. When changes occur in society and technology, you have o learn how to change with it,” said Blocklyn.

Panel Discussion

The annual meeting was preceded by a lively panel discussion on best practices for the reappraisal of museum collections. Menchise, along with Halie Geller of Cultural Heritage Partners and Michael Schantz of the Heckscher Museum of Art, reviewed the rules and guidelines for reappraisal according to the New York Board of Regents, the American Alliance of Museums, and the Society of American Archivists (SAA).

“The big turnout,” commented Menchise, “indicates how relevant this topic is to our membership. I’m glad that I attended an SAA workshop on reappraisal this past spring. Now I can point archivists to the most recent resources available to them.”

New Officers Elected

At LIMA’s Annual Meeting on Dec. 2 at the Middle Country Public Library in Centereach, the group elected a new slate of officers and board members-at-large for 2014.

The new officers are: President Amy Folk, of the Southhold Historical Society, the Oyster Ponds Historical Society and the Suffolk County Historical Society; Vice President Theresa Skvarla, Raynham Hall Museum assistant director; Treasurer Penny Zaleta, a museum consultant; Secretary Faun Guarino rentals and events management at the LI Children’s Museum; and Members-at-Large: Philip Blocklyn, immediate past president; Barbara Applegate director of the Hillwood Art Museum at LIU Post; Phyllis Chan-Carr, marketing director at Sagtikos Manor (George Washington slept there), Geoff Fleming director of Southold Historical Society; and Florence Ogg independent consultant.

Interestingly, the new LIMA president, Amy Kasuga Folk, SHS collections manager; and LIMA board member SHS director Geoffrey K. Fleming, are co-authors of a new book, Murder on Long Island: A Nineteenth Century Tale of Tragedy & Revenge. It documents the history of the murders of Frances and James Wickham of Cutchogue, in 1854. It is a story about a humane couple, the Wickhams, wealthy landowners, who made a courageous decision to protect a young woman servant from a bully and ended up paying the ultimate price.

The Museum Association is devoted to the professional development of the museums, historical societies, and other cultural institutions that constitute its membership base. In 2013, LIMA held four roundtables on issues of concern to its regional members, such as educational programming, museum shop management, board development and collection management, along with a field trip and behind-the-scenes tour of St. John the Divine’s Textile Conservation Lab in New York City.

For more information on the Long Island Museum Association, visit the web site at limamuseums.org.

News

“I didn’t know I needed my own Teddy Bear,” said a woman after the first annual Teddy’s Taste of the West dinner and fundraiser at Canterbury Ales on March 19.

Members were given an authentic Teddy Bear as a surprise gift at the end of the evening. As they say, membership has its privileges and that includes a June 11 event when Ken Burns will come to share a preview of his new film on three Roosevelts. Burns’ film explores the political and family ties between President Theodore Roosevelt, President Franklin Roosevelt and his wife, First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, a Roosevelt in her own right.  

The preliminary 2014-15 school budget was adopted at last Tuesday night’s Oyster Bay-East Norwich school board meeting. The proposed budget, which came in at a figure of $54,578,478, is a 2.01 percent difference from the 2013-14 final budget figure of $53,504,111. With a budget to budget change of $1,074,367, it is the lowest expenditure increase in the last 15 years. No programs were cut as a result of balancing this budget.

“The biggest change in budget numbers is in the area of salaries and wages with a budget to budget increase of $683,428,” said School Superintendent Dr. Laura Seinfeld.


Sports

Muttontown resident and Kellenberg freshman Ceara Ann Conroy has been named an All-League athlete for Girls Winter Track. The title of All-League is awarded to athletes based on a vote of all the coaches in the NSCHSAA League. All of the Girls Winter Track coaches in the league vote based on the athletes performance during the season, and Conroy’s outstanding performance has earned her the title of All League this year.

The Girls Varsity Lacrosse program at Oyster Bay High School is just in its second year and already it is making a difference. Senior defender Danielle Maggi has committed to play Division III lacrosse at Albright College.

Last year Maggi was recognized as the “Most Improved Player,” and this year she is being recruited to play in college.

Maggi said, “We did very well in our first varsity season last year (12-2). This year we are 100 percent going for the conference. I’m excited we finally have a varsity team.”


Calendar

LI Sound Vocal Jazz Ensemble

Saturday, April 19

Annual Egg-stravaganza

Saturday, April 19

Palliative Care

Wednesday, April 23 



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com