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Report of Regents Cultural Education Committee to The Board of Regents

Your Committee on Cultural Education had its scheduled meeting on April 4, 2017. Regent Roger Tilles, Chair of the Cultural Education Committee, submitted the following written report. In attendance were committee members: Regent Tilles, Chair, Regent Cea, Regent Cottrell, Regent Chin, Regent Ouderkirk and Regent Johnson. 

Regents, in addition to CE Committee Members, in attendance were: Chancellor Rosa, Vice Chancellor Brown, Regent Cashin, Regent Collins, Regent Finn, Regent Hakanson, Regent Mead, Regent Mittler, and Regent Reyes. Also in attendance were Commissioner Elia, Executive Deputy Commissioner Berlin, and Counsel and Deputy Commissioner for Legal Affairs Alison Bianchi.


Chair’s Remarks: Regent Tilles welcomed everyone and introduced Deputy Commissioner of Cultural Education Mark Schaming. Deputy Commissioner Schaming informed the Committee that the Museum will host a preview screening of WMHT’s Henry Johnson: A Tale of Courage documentary tonight (April 4) at 6:00 p.m. In addition, Deputy Commissioner Schaming informed the Committee of three upcoming exhibition at the State Museum that the entire Office of Cultural Education is working on: A Spirit of Sacrifice: New York State in the First World War (opens April 15); Enterprising Waters: New York’s Erie Canal (opens September 16); and Votes for Women: Celebrating New York’s Suffrage Centennial (opens November 4).

Ready to Read at New York Libraries [CE (D) 2]

State Librarian Bernard Margolis introduced Project Director for Ready to Read at New York Libraries Karen Balsen, who reported on the status of the State Library’s Ready to Read at New York Libraries initiative and plans for 2017 through 2019. The initiative is designed to improve and expand the availability of quality public library early literacy and early learning services in local communities across the State. Ready to Read at New York Libraries has grown over the past three years and has now reached 444 of the over 1,000 public libraries and neighborhood branches in New York State. More than 850 library staff have benefited from the training programs thus far. Balsen introduced Patti Uttaro, Executive Director of the Monroe Library System and a member of the New York State Early Childhood Advisory Council, who shared how Ready to Read at New York Libraries has had a positive impact on public libraries and families with young children in the Rochester area. Uttaro provided an overview of the specific programs in the Rochester area that have benefited from Ready to Read, including training to expand early learning spaces and constant communication with families and caregivers.

Transfer of Court Records to the State Archives [CE (D) 1]

State Archivist Tom Ruller and Director of Archival Services Maria Holden reported on a recent acquisition of nearly 2,000 boxes of historical court materials from the New York County Clerk’s Office. The records date from the 1630’s to 1847 and document thousands of civil court proceedings from across the state, including records from Alexander Hamilton. The documents will be housed at the State Archives climate-controlled storage room at the Cultural Education Center. Conservation work on the documents will be ongoing. The records are available to researchers. Link to Time Warner Cable News video about the records:

Recent Acquisitions for the Contemporary Native American Art Collection [CE (D) 3]

Dr. Gwendolyn Saul, Curator of Ethnography, presented recent additions to the New York State Museum’s collection of contemporary Native American art. Saul explained how the Museum’s contemporary Native American art collection represents the master craftsmanship and vibrant innovation in the artistic expressions of Native American artists affiliated with New York State. The collection includes more than 150 objects, including 8 new works that were added to the collection between 2016 – 2017. Saul provided an overview of each of the 8 artworks that were acquired over the past year. 

Associated Agenda Item

Meeting Date: 
Tuesday, April 4, 2017 - 9:00am