Albany Cultural Heritage & Tourism Partnership
The Advisory Board will meet quarterly to assess project group status and accomplishments, organized by the Lead Administrator.
The Cultural Heritage and Tourism Partnership Advisory Board Appointees (July 22, 2016 to July 22, 2018) include:
- Alay Medina, Chair and Cultural Affairs Director, City of Albany
- Maeve McEneny, Lead Administrator and Discover Albany Program Coordinator
- Bob Belber, Times Union Center
- Jill Delaney, Discover Albany
- Mark Eagan, Capital Region Chamber
- Leola Edelin, The Renaissance Hotel
- Susan Fogarty, The Palace Theater
- Dennis Gaffney, City of Albany
- Tammis Groft, Albany Institute of History and Art
- Heather Groll, NY State Office of General Service
- Jessica Neidl, NY State Museum
- Cordell Reaves, NY State Historic Preservation Office
- Sarah Reginelli (or designee), Capitalize Albany Corporation
- Mark Schaming, NY State Museum
- Miriam Trementozzi, Former Co-chair, Albany Heritage Tourism Advisory Council
Purpose & Vision
This plan is a continuation of the recommendations provided in the Albany Cultural Heritage Tourism Strategic Plan for 2016 to 2018 (PDF). Accordingly, it reinforces our foundational vision for the year 2020 as follows:
The City of Albany and the Capital Region are recognized as a top international cultural heritage tourism destination. [We] will have a strong preservation ethic, where residents promote their appreciation of place and community pride, and cultural heritage tourism robustly contributes to the region's economic vitality and growth.
The primary purpose of this plan is to provide greater specificity regarding the organizational structure and functionality of Albany's newly named Cultural Heritage and Tourism (CHAT) Partnership as we move forward. The overall goal is to continue to cultivate and promote Albany's unique cultural heritage as a highly visible, economically vibrant, and quality-of-life enhancing resource. As such, the Partnership will strive to help identify, support, enrich, and complete projects, as well as sustain on-going initiatives toward meeting these goals.
The CHAT Partnership is a true collective-impact enterprise. This means that talented and motivated stakeholders from a variety of institutional and community sectors will come together voluntarily, and as convened by the Mayor including:
- Historic sites
- Private industry
Because the Partnership is an ongoing collective process, this document is also work in progress. Various "release dates" on the front cover will indicate to the reader that updates regarding Foundational Initiatives and Place Making Projects, etc. have been made.
It is said that "a great city is judged by how it receives its visitors." The Partnership's collaborative structure is formulated so that all members can be unified by a common vision, and are empowered to undertake projects that capitalize on Albany's finest cultural and heritage assets. Ultimately, these efforts are expected to elevate an esteemed sense of place in Albany, for the benefit of both tourists and residents alike.
The CHAT Partnership will be chaired by the City of Albany's Cultural Affairs Director. Discover Albany will continue to play a key role in the management of this Plan. As such, the lead administrator for this plan will be Maeve McEneny (Discover Albany Program Coordinator), who will organize quarterly meetings, produce quarterly reports, coordinate communications, and continue to execute CHAT related Discover Albany programs as specified in its contract with the City of Albany. The structure of the Partnership will consist of two key components: an Advisory Board and Project Teams.
The Advisory Board is a semi-structured, voluntary body appointed by the Mayor to serve for a two year term. Board members, from whom the Project Teams may seek information and guidance, may be made up of:
- Active community members
- Content-area experts
- Hospitality/tourism/business leaders
Members may also share operational direction, help coordinate events planning/scheduling, and any other assistance to support and enhance CHAT related endeavors. Given that the Advisory Board is voluntary, all assistance sought must reasonably align with all CHAT Partnership goals, as outlined in the Strategic Plan.
The Advisory Board will meet to assess project group status and accomplishments. Advisory Board membership is flexible and does not necessarily require additional meetings outside the established quarterly sessions. As its core mission, the Board serves to coordinate a body of partners and Project Teams drawn from local cultural institutions or organizations. All CHAT partners serve voluntarily and at the discretion of the Mayor. Appointees will communicate regularly with the Cultural Affairs Director and Discover Albany to review project status reports, gauge progress, identify needs, and make recommendations to the Mayor.
Project Teams are self-directed and may be comprised of historians, content-area experts, designers, artists, researchers, hospitality/tourism/business leaders, and active community members who have content knowledge, skills, and available resources to execute specific Cultural Heritage and Tourism endeavors. Project Teams may also include Advisory Board members when it is appropriate.
A key feature in the composition of the Project Teams is that they be nimble. This means that they should only be as large and structured as necessary to execute projects. Project Teams determine their own operations, procedures, and communications. Teams will submit concise monthly updates to the Partnership Chair and Lead Administrator for the quarterly meetings.
Various dedicated individuals have been actively involved in the Albany Cultural Heritage Advisory Committee and/or Working Groups in the past, and will continue to be called upon to inform, create and coordinate the CHAT Partnership, according to their availability.
Please note that in order for a project to use the CHAT Partnership logo, Project Teams must get annual approval from the Partnership Chair (Director of Cultural Affairs).