FASNY Museum of Firefighting Executive Director Jamie Smith Quinn recently received a Museum Association of New York (MANY) Award of Merit for Individual Achievement. The not for profit MANY provides resources, training and expertise to New York’s heritage organizations and museums to strengthen their capacity and help them better serve their communities while meeting their institutional missions.
Only five other people and projects, including the National September 11 Memorial and Museum, received a MANY Award of Merit this year. Chosen from “an impressively large and diversely creative pool of nominations,” Quinn was the only awardee honored for individual achievement. As MANY’s highest honor, Awards of Merit are intended to recognize outstanding work in the museum community, reward the staff of these institutions, and encourage development of future innovative projects.
“This is not only wonderful recognition for me, but also for the museum itself,” Quinn said. “Hopefully it will bring even more attention to all the accomplishments that we are all making here at the museum, both at the staff and board levels.”
Quinn started with the museum in 2005, and has since helped develop many popular exhibits and programs, funded largely by grants and sponsorships. Most recently, the interactive Jr. Firefighter Challenge opened with the support of VFIS and Williams Lumber. Part of the museum’s 10-year strategic exhibit plan, the course accommodates 3- to 10-year-olds with the complete firefighter experience, including replicas of a firemen’s pole, fire truck, deck gun, ladder, tool hoist as well as smoke, fire and rescue simulations.
The museum has developed a long-running partnership with cheese producer and dairy farm cooperative Cabot/McCadam, which funded the Discovery Room focused on fire safety and prevention activities for children. The award-winning “Rainbow Valley” fire safety video presentation, “Get Low and Go,” and “Stop, Drop and Roll” stations are among the attractions. Super Saturdays include innovative presentations about fire prevention and safety as well as interactive activities. Partnerships with several schools, fire departments and other organizations make this kind of programming a success.
Dalmatian Day, the museum’s signature annual event, has grown to be the biggest one-day fire safety event in the county, and perhaps the entire state.
Home to an extensive collection of firefighting artifacts, the museum has also undertaken several preservation efforts and experienced great growth on Quinn’s watch.
She accepted her Award of Merit April 13 at the MANY Annual Conference in Corning.