Update on Finger Lakes Museum project

On Wednesday, August 20, nineteen people, including several new faces, attended the second organizational meeting of the Finger Lakes Cultural & Natural History Museum Project at the Finger Lakes Tourism Alliance in Penn Yan. Ten others have also committed to the project but were unable to attend. Everyone present bubbled with enthusiasm and ideas.An interim Board of Trustees was selected in order to start the process for forming a not-for-profit corporation. Board members, who will serve for the duration of 2008, include project organizer John Adamski, Finger Lakes Community College (FLCC) professor emeritus Bill Banaszewski, The Nature Conservancy executive director Jim Howe, Finger Lakes Tourism Alliance president Cynthia Kimble, and Keuka College professor Rolf Zerges, Ph.D.. The program was organized by strategic planner Ellen O’Neill, who will serve as a consultant to the Board.Participants divided into two groups to brainstorm the two concepts of cultural and natural history. This museum project is unique in that it will combine both aspects of Finger Lakes history. The cultural group was moderated by FLCC history professor emeritus Henry Maus and the natural history group was led by Bill Banaszewski, founder and long-time chair of FLCC’s Environmental Conservation Department. The goal was to define the two history concepts, determine the museum’s purpose, identify any issues, vote for priorities and plan the next steps. The full group then reconvened to compare and analyze the results.It was discussed that “The Finger Lakes Cultural & Natural History Museum” was a mouthful and that an easier moniker should be considered. That’s why “The Natural History Museum of the Adirondacks” became “The Wild Center”. Naming ideas will be discussed at the next meeting in September and should somehow reflect the regional theme of Water, Wildlife, Wineries and Wonders.Before adjourning the three-hour meeting, participants volunteered to serve on some committees that will be established by the Board, including finance, marketing, master planning, program, and site selection. The levels of expertise of all those in attendance, in so many different areas, can only insure this project’s success.

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