Friday, March 5, 2010

From the Director- Newsletter Column

From the Director

Spring is around the corner and I can’t wait! Although we have not been hit by the snow, it has been cold. It is hard to sit and write to you all without passing on the sad news of the proposed cuts to the New York State Parks and Historic Sites. By the time you read this newsletter the announcement will have already been in the papers, but it is fresh on my mind. What is scary is the big picture and long term effects of such a move. Will Schulyer Mansion ever reopen once closed? What will happen with its collection, the wonderful building and visitor center? How about the staff? Will this history be lost? The next to get cut will be the funding agencies like the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) which has already taken large cuts. Our immigrant series has been made possible by grants through NYSCA and the New York Council on the Humanities. We are in the process of applying for another NYSCA grant to help with the online phase of the immigrant series and I am keeping my fingers crossed that there will be some money for NYSCA to even consider our application. I encourage you all to contact your elected state officials to express your feelings on this matter.
On a more happy note, I am pleased to say that the funding we received from NYSCA last year has helped purchase new exhibit furniture and exhibit elements like our new touch screen interactive station. These new items will help us better serve the public for many years. The French-Canadian or Franco-American exhibit will be the second exhibit to really benefit from these new improvements. Aine Leader-Nagy and I are hard at work putting together the new exhibit and we are thrilled with the turnout for interviews! The exhibit will open May 1st. If you are of Irish descent please start collecting your family history to share with us this summer and Fall.
Heritage Day and the Concert Under the Stars will be at a new time this year, July 23rd and 24th so please mark your calendars and plan to attend.
Thank you for your support! Brad

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