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Cayuga Museum Gets $100K for New Exhibit on County’s History


$100,000 is coming to one museum to better tell the story of Cayuga County.

The Cayuga Museum of History and Art will use the funding to create a permanent exhibit focused on the national impact of the county’s history.

Haley Boothe has previously served as curator of the museum’s Case Research Lab and was responsible for updating its tours. She will curate this new exhibit, Speaking with Finger Lakes News Radio, she said the exhibit hopes to cover the entire history of Cayuga County and its role on the state, national, and international stages.

“The goal is to create an interpretive plan for a new exhibit about the entire history of Cayuga County. I will be working with stakeholder groups to define the best way to tell the history of the area which includes many stories of underrepresented groups. Hopefully, these stories will highlight the people, industry, and uniqueness of Cayuga County.”

She went on to say that the museum wants to tell the story of people from across the county who have had an impact on history.

“There are so many people who have lived here who have made an impact locally and nationally, so [the museum is] really focusing on those different stories to tell a comprehensive story of Cayuga County.”

The research and planning phase is expected to take two years with the exhibit’s planned opening tentatively scheduled for 2028.

Funding for this ambitious endeavor comes from a $50,000 Inspire! Grant for Small Museums from the Institute of Museum and Library Services and a matching donation from Brad Schwartz.

Cayuga Museum Executive Director Kirsten Gosch said in a statement, “A comprehensive exhibit exploring the history of Cayuga County through everyone’s perspective will fill a need in the community for residents and tourists alike. The development of an interpretive plan is an important first step and I’m confident that Haley will approach this major project with consideration and creativity. I’m thrilled to see this work begin and extremely grateful for the support of IMLS and Brad Schwartz, and can’t wait to learn about the new discoveries that are made over the next two years.”

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