The Geneva Historical Society and five other area museums will soon receive funds to develop exhibitions and associated program materials exploring the history of vacationing in the Finger Lakes. The funds come from a Museums for America grant from the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services.
Each of the six exhibits will examine a different aspect of vacationing in the Finger Lakes — work, food and drink, lakefront architecture, growing up at the lakes, land development and use, and marketing the region. Each include reproductions of historic and contemporary photographs, material from archival and oral history sources, and interactive components.
They are scheduled to be installed next summer, and will be supplemented with artifacts from local collections and community members.
Ken Shefsiek, executive director of the Geneva Historical Society, said “This grant will enable the Society to combine its efforts with those of other small museums in the Finger Lakes to explore the region’s history and future as a vacation destination.” Visitors will be encouraged to travel around the region to see all six exhibits.
Besides Geneva, the museums participating are the Ontario County Historical Society, Canandaigua; the History Center in Tompkins County, Ithaca; the Yates County Genealogical and Historical Society, Penn Yan; the Cayuga Museum of History and Art, Auburn; and the Chemung Valley Museum, Elmira.
Funding for the exhibit also includes $10,000 awarded last year by the state Council for the Humanities, a state affiliate of the National Endowment of the Humanities.
Museums for America is the Institute’s largest grant program for museums, providing more than $17 million in grants to support the role of museums in American society to sustain cultural heritage, to support lifelong learning; and to be centers of community engagement.
The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 122,000 libraries and 17,500 museums.
For more information about the six partner museums or the Finger Lakes Vacations project, call John Marks at the Geneva Historical Society at (315) 789-5151.