Cooperstown Graduate Program

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Program name: 
History Museum Studies Program
Institute for Cultural Entrepreneurship

The Cooperstown Graduate Program offers an MA in History Museum Studies.

The Cooperstown Graduate Program (CGP) is a partnership between the State University of New York College at Oneonta and the New York State Historical Association. The Program trains creative, entrepreneurial museum leaders committed to generating programs and services for the public good. CGP trained professionals dedicate themselves to the development of strong institutions that play a central role in their communities, encouraging broad public audiences to use artifacts and the study of art and history as a catalyst for social change.

One of only two programs in the country located on a museum campus rather than a university campus, students have the opportunity to interact regularly with museum professional staff, with objects, and with exhibitions. The CGP curriculum balances museum studies with the study of history and material culture. Core and elective courses in research, history, object study, administration, and education provide an excellent foundation for the development of museum programs and exhibitions. The coursework at CGP provides students with real professional experience including creating programming and exhibitions for museums in the region, acting as consultants, and working on strategic plans, feasibility studies, historic furnishing reports, and collections plans. Students gain a basic understanding of all aspects of museum work (particularly administration, collections, exhibitions and programming) and specialize in a career track and in a subject area.

In addition, the Cooperstown Graduate Program is a co-collaborator with the Museum Association of New York (MANY) and the New York State Historical Association (NYSHA) in running the "Institute for Cultural Entrepreneurship" -- a four-day program that is held at the Cooperstown Graduate Program. This program is for mid-career museum, preservation, historic site and other arts and culture professionals designed to introduce business applications and principles of entrepreneurial thinking with the goal of expanding vision and leadership skills. Participants at the Institute for Cultural Entrepreneurship are introduced to what today’s entrepreneurial museum leaders are saying. The Institute is a dynamic four-day experience that immerses participants in the world of nonprofit entrepreneurship training through case studies and skill building exercises that contribute to creative idea generation. Training sessions are designed to serve as catalysts that challenge traditional models of museum work in innovative and creative ways. Practice exercises teach creative idea generation and follow-through while entrepreneurial and problem solving skills are tested on case studies developed expressly for this Institute. Follow-up webinars keep participants connected with mentors and one another to help them become the change agents that 21st century museums demand.

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