The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) held a forum, entitled "Stewardship of America's Legacy: Answering the Call to Action," on June 16 and 17 in Buffalo, New York. The forum brought together front-line leaders in the movement to save America's collections for future generations. At its conclusion, participants had concrete information and fresh inspiration for keeping the health of collections, in their own institutions and in their communities, central at a time of reduced resources.

IMLS hosted this forum in cooperation with Heritage Preservation, the American Institute for the Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works, and the Art Conservation Department of Buffalo State College, State University of New York. "Stewardship of America's Legacy: Answering the Call to Action" was the fourth in the series of IMLS forums in the Connecting to Collections National Tour. The forum took place at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, with a reception and Connections Lab at the Burchfield Penney Art Center. Participation in the forum was free of charge.

"Stewardship of America's Legacy: Answering the Call to Action," explored how committed individuals, ranging from small town librarians to directors of national conservation training programs, can work together to improve collections care and to inspire and inform others, both nationally and in their communities. Speakers addressed ways to make the case for collections funding, cutting-edge topics in collections care, using networks to tap into expertise, and engaging the public in sustaining the nation's collections.

The keynote speaker was Maxwell L. Anderson, who as The Melvin & Bren Simon Director and CEO of the Indianapolis Museum of Art has successfully made collections care central to the museum's mission, operations, and outreach.

Participants in this forum:

  • Attended plenary sessions of panels with speakers who have successfully addressed issues of significance for smaller institutions.
  • Participated in a complimentary lunchtime "Connections Lab" with opportunities to engage speakers, representatives of funding agencies, and other resource representatives.
  • Took home a specially prepared resources packet.
  • Learned about IMLS funding programs by meeting with IMLS staff and representatives of institutions that have received IMLS grants.
  • Received complimentary admission to the Albright-Knox Art Gallery and the Burchfield Penney Art Center.
  • Had the opportunity to tour the conservation labs at the Art Conservation Department of Buffalo State College.

The forum received support from the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Carol A. Fatta/The Fatta Foundation, the Baird Foundation, the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Humanities.