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Tapestry Newsletter
December 20, 2017



Pennsylvania's House and Senate are not in session now, and both are scheduled to return on January 2, 2018. The Senate Appropriations Committee held a meeting off the floor on Monday, October 23 and voted the Pennsylvania Museum Preservation Act out of committee. In June the bill needed a few changes, and two very small changes were added to clarify language. This bill has appeared on the Senate's calendar in December, but has been carried over, meaning the Senate has set it aside for the time being. We will continue to monitor this legislation for our members.
The American Alliance of Museums is organizing Museums Advocacy Day in Washington, DC to bring its members together with U.S. House and Senate offices. Museums Advocacy Day is a unique opportunity to join with other museum professionals and supporters to make the case for museums. PA Museums is a proud supporter of Museums Advocacy Day. The 2017 event brought together over 380 advocates in Washington, D.C. Save the dates, February 26-27, 2018. Registration is open!  

Mark your calendars! Governor Wolf is likely to kick off the 2018-2019 budget discussions with his Executive Budget presentation on February 6, 2018. 


The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC) announced that it will be awarding just under $2 million in grants to qualified museums and official county historical societies under the Cultural and Historical Support program. The grant program uses funds placed in PHMC's operating budget by the state legislature and is restricted for this purpose only. Working in concert with legislative leadership to determine the best way to distribute these limited funds, applicants must meet organizational eligibility requirements and awards are based on a calculation that uses the operating budget from the most recently completed fiscal year.


*    Museums located in Pennsylvania with annual operating budgets exceeding $100,000 (excluding capital and in-kind services) and at least one full-time professional staff person (or approved equivalent) and that are not supported by other state agency funding programs.
*    Official County Historical Societies. If the operating budget is less than $300,000, the organization must apply as an Official County Historical Society. Official County Historical Societies with operating budgets in excess of $300,000 must apply as a Museum.

APPLICATION DEADLINE - February 9, 2018 (application system opens on January 2, 2018)

APPLICATION PROCESS - For FY 2017-2018, PHMC is using a new electronic application system.

PHMC is pleased to announce all PHMC grant program applications are transitioning to DCED's Electronic Single Application for Assistance system. Your organization may need to register as a First Time User for a new User Name and Password. You can access the application system here on January 2, 2018.

Once you register and log on to the new system, the easiest way to begin a new PHMC Cultural and Historical Support grant application is to:

*    Create a Project Name such as "My PHMC museum support grant"
*    Select "YES" for "help selecting your program"
*    Click "Create a new application"
*    Select "PHMC" under the Agencies heading and click SEARCH
*    Click "Apply" next to the Cultural and Historical Support Grant program

Applicants are not required to mail a hard copy of the application and supporting documents.
For additional assistance with the Electronic Single Application for Assistance system, please contact DCED's Customer Service at: 1 (866) 466-3972,
Much more information is available at the PHMC's website.


Grants from the National Trust for Historic Preservation's African-American Cultural Heritage Action Fund are designed to advance ongoing preservation activities for historic places such as sites, museums, and landscapes representing African American cultural heritage. The fund supports Capital Projects, Organizational Capacity Building, Project Planning, and Programming and Interpretation. Grants made from the African-American Cultural Heritage Action Fund will range from $50,000 to $150,000.

Letter of Intent are due January 31, 2018.

Please click here for more information.

A LOOK BACK AT 2017 Save

PA Museums took a look ahead to 2018 in our last newsletter. What are some of the events and trends that stood out in 2017? Many of us like to take a moment to reflect before jumping into a new year, so PA Museums put together a short list in no particular order of importance that includes some things to take stock in.

Museum and cultural leadership changed or is changing at many of our member organizations. In 2017 leaders changed at the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, the Center for Art in Wood, The Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, the Westmoreland Museum of American Art, Fallingwater, the James A. Michener Art Museum, the Carnegie Museum of Art, and the Erie Art Museum.

Pennsylvania hosted great museum conferences in 2017. PA Museums' own conference was in Erie. The Mid-Atlantic Association of Museums came to Pittsburgh. The Museum Computer Network celebrated its 50th year in Pittsburgh. The Museum Trustees Association met in Philadelphia.

The year was a divisive one in many ways, and in the historical community everyone was aware of the debate raging around monuments. There are a few Confederate monuments in Pennsylvania, and most battlefield monuments were outside the crossfire. Some suggested museums as the most appropriate place whenever an offensive monument was removed. Thumbs up to all the institutions that had to wrestle gracefully with that.

USAToday, known for its lists and short format stories, published a list of American's Ten Best Museums for Families, and three Pennsylvania Museums made the list. Imagine if Pennsylvania had be forced to buy that kind of advertising for museums.

In 2017 museums worked to connect their audiences to America's involvement in the First World War and commemorated the World War I Centennial. Without living veterans and battlefields, many of our member institutions looked into their collections and what life in their community was like during World War I. Much of this work will continue in 2018, and museums will bring lessons from the World War I Centennial and Civil War 150 (from some years ago) to the USA250 coming up.

Sharing Collections Online 
Free Online Webinar with PastPerfect
Tuesday January 16th, 2018 
2 p.m. Eastern

All museums, whether their focus is art, archaeology, archives, or history, stand to benefit from sharing collections online. PastPerfect's experts will review the basics of sharing your collections with PastPerfect Online - an easy, secure, and affordable way to share your collections - and the specific ways that public access will help your museum thrive.

Making collections publicly accessible will expand your audience and allow you to engage with your visitors in an entirely new way. Once your collections are online, you can:

    Join regional and national communities to share your collections alongside other museums. 
    Review statistics to learn about what your visitors are interested in. 
    Set up Google Analytics to learn about who your visitors are and how they are finding you. 
    Share more items than ever before with almost unlimited space.

Click here to sign up for this free webinar. If you have questions, don't hesitate to be in touch. You can reach us at or 1-800-562-6080.

Leadership and Administration in Historical Organizations
Online Course with the American Association for State and Local History

January 22 - March 23, 2018
Please click here for more information and registration.


Cash in on Heritage
A Heritage Tourism Summit with the Washington County Heritage Association
January 27, 2018 
8 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Attention all organizations and businesses interested in cashing in on heritage tourism by increasing visitors and customers. Discover how to make your business or venue a "must see" destination!

Spend the morning making new connections and learning from industry experts about creating dynamic, collaborative visitor experiences. The Summit's offerings will include:

· Keynote Speaker: Tom Starinsky - Associate Director, Historic Gateway Neighborhood Corp & Historic Warehouse District Development Corp - Cleveland, Ohio

· Amanda Dunyak Gillen - Director of Learning & Visitor Experience - The Frick

· Presentations on millennial marketing, creating experiences, media and public relations, as well as engaging with educators and students

Registration begins at 8:00 a.m. with breakfast. Summit from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. with optional afternoon distillery, winery, and historical tours.

Please click here for more information and registration.

2018 Small Museum Association Annual Conference 
February 18 - 20, 2018 
The Hotel at the University of MD 
7777 Baltimore Ave, College Park, MD 20740 
Registration is open.

Museums Advocacy Day with the American Alliance of Museums (AAM) 
February 26-27, 2018 
Washington, DC

The American Alliance of Museums is organizing Museums Advocacy Day in Washington, DC to bring its members together with U.S. House and Senate offices. Museums Advocacy Day is a unique opportunity to join with other museum professionals and supporters to make the case for museums. PA Museums is a proud supporter of Museums Advocacy Day. The 2017 event brought together over 380 advocates in Washington, D.C. Save the dates, February 26-27, 2018. 
Registration is open.


The Building Museums Symposium
with the Mid-Atlantic Association of Museums 
March 9-11, 2018 
Philadelphia, PA

Join museum colleagues, architects, other design and construction professionals, and project funders in lively conversatio n about what is involved in a museum building project.

Attend a day-long workshop on all the elements you need to know to plan, design, and build a successful and sustainable new museum or addition to an existing museum. Learn about planning and building best practices, and how to identify project "red flags."

Visit new and refurbished museums by attending behind-the-scenes tours. Meet the 2018 winners of the prestigious Buildy Award given to honor exemplary museum building projects. Network with conferees at special receptions and informal "birds of a feather" gatherings.

Find Your Centre: Cultivating Community Connections 
PA Museums Annual Statewide Museum Conference 
Centre County, PA 
April 15-17, 2018
Registration will open February 1, 2018 
Reception Host, The Centre County Historical Society at the Centre Furnace Mansion
Programs Host, The American Philatelic Society, Bellefonte
Special Achievement Awards Host, The Pennsylvania Military Museum
Thanks to Phoenixx Design, our Special Achievement Awards Sponsor. 
The program will include:
Monday, April 16 Keynote Address with Seema Rao, author of Objective Lessons: Self-Care for Museum Professionals
Tuesday, April 17 Keynote Address with John Fea, History Chair, Messiah College, Author of Why Study History? and Was America Founded as a Christian Nation?
We are also actively seeking sponsors, exhibitors, and advertisers for our conference.

Annual Meeting and Museum Expo 
The American Alliance of Museums 
May 6-9, 2018 
Phoenix, AZ


Henry Chapman Mercer's legacy was featured in Harvard Magazine and Doylestown's Intelligencer took a look at a 250 year old cabin on the grounds of Fonthill Castle.
The Morning Call had a flashback to the 1960s at the Lehigh Valley Heritage Museum.
The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) announced recent grant awards. Congratulations to Pennsylvania's museums and historical organizations starting on page 39 of the list.
The Bucks County Courier Times published a roundup of exhibitions in the Philadelphia area.
The Bridgeville Area Historical Society's program on the Erie Maritime Museum's Brig Niagara ran in TribLive.
In the new museums department, we noticed stories about a Girl Scout Museum near Valley Forge and a new Military Museum in Hollidaysburg.
The Temple News talked inspiration with The Franklin Institute's Larry Dubinski.
TribLive visited the Lincoln Highway Experience and shed some light on a search for artifacts.
Pittsburgh's NPR station featured the Carnegie Museum of Natural History's exploration of The Anthropocene.
Recommendations, The All Pennsylvania Edition 
The Studio at the Carnegie Museums published the results of their field study on museum visitors and mobile devices. It is a gold mine of information.
Penn students visit the Philadelphia Museum of Art to become better doctors.
The Center for the Future of Museums got into it about empathy and museum theater with the Carnegie Museums' Maureen Rolla. 
 PA Museums wishes you a wonderful holiday season and a very happy New Year! 
Centre Furnace Mansion Winter
Check out the PA Museums directory for all member museums and historic sites to get ideas for i nteresting activities at home or away and be sure to spread the word!  If your institution is not on our list, please let us know
234 North Third St. | Harrisburg, PA 17101
717-909-4950 |
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