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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 November 6, 2018. Regent Roger Tilles and Regent Judith Johnson, Co-Chairs of the Cultural Education Committee, submitted the following written report. 

In attendance were committee members: Regent Tilles, Co-Chair, Regent Johnson, Co-Chair, Regent Cea, Regent Cottrell and Regent Ouderkirk. Regents, in addition to Cultural Education Committee Members, in attendance were: Chancellor Rosa, Vice Chancellor Brown, Regent Young, Regent Cashin, Regent Collins, Regent Chin, Regent Hakanson, Regent Reyes, and Regent Mittler. Also in attendance were Commissioner Elia, Executive Deputy Commissioner Berlin, Senior Deputy Commissioner for Educational Policy Jhone Ebert, and Counsel and Deputy Commissioner for Legal Affairs Alison Bianchi.


Co-Chair’s Remarks: Regent Tilles and Regent Johnson welcomed everyone. Regent Tilles indicated the Museum Regents Advisory Council would be meeting later today and the focus will be on P-20 education initiatives.  Regent Tilles then introduced Deputy Commissioner Mark Schaming. Deputy Commissioner Schaming provided a brief report on Office of Cultural Education news and activities:

  • More than 2.4 million students and children participated in the State Library’s summer reading program, Summer Reading at New York Libraries. This is an increase of approximately 230,000 participants over last year. Also, more than 113,000 books were read and nearly 1.5 million minutes of reading were logged within the myON platform, an e-book platform the State Education Department partnered with for the 2018 summer reading program.
  • Artwork from the State Museum’s contemporary Native American art collection is currently on view at the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art at SUNY New Paltz in the exhibition, “Community and Continuity: Native American Art of New York”. Beadwork, photography, painting, and sculpture introduce visitors to the diversity of Native American art in New York.
  • In October, staff from SED’s P-12 and Higher Education program areas visited the Cultural Education Center for a staff retreat. During the retreat they toured Museum collections on the 3rd floor and Library and Archives collections on the 11th floor to get a behind-the-scenes look at what we do in OCE. After the tour, OCE and P-20 staff discussed how we currently work together between program areas and explored new opportunities for collaborations moving forward.

British Colonial Documents from the Hudson Valley [CE (D) 1]

State Archivist Tom Ruller reported on the State Archives collection of British colonial documents from the Hudson Valley as well as a project to preserve and make these records available for the first time since 1911. New York's Hudson Valley formed an important population center in the country's colonial period. The region was home to a number of important communities reflecting the broadest spectrum of New York's colonial people and economies. Materials documenting this important period, between the Dutch and the new American republic, were destroyed or damaged in the 1911 Capitol fire.  The State Archives has recently completed a multi-year project to conserve, digitize and make these materials available for research. 

State Museum’s Recent Acquisitions for the History Collection [CE (D) 2]

State Museum Chief Curator of History Jennifer Lemak presented an overview of the new acquisitions in the History Collections of the New York State Museum as well as a summary of museum history artifacts currently on loan to cultural education institutions across the nation.

2019 Non-State Aid Budget and Legislative Priorities [CE (D) 3]

Executive Deputy Commissioner Beth Berlin presented proposals for the Board’s 2019 Non-State Aid budget and legislative priorities that relate to the Office of Cultural Education. The proposals include: increase funding by $11 million for the State Aid for Public Library Construction; provide $5 million in funding for the Museum Education Act (legislation passed both houses in 2018, but funding was not included in the Enacted Budget); and provide $5 million for expanding two public broadcasting program – Enterprise America and GPS for Success – statewide to each public television station.

Associated Agenda Item

Meeting Date: 
Tuesday, November 6, 2018 - 9:45am