Bethel Woods Center for the Arts logo 2020Partnership is for Building Capacity, Creating Sustainability, Growing Accessibility

Initiative will focus on Center's oral history collection

Bethel, NY (December 14, 2020) – The Museum at Bethel Woods, located at the site of the 1969 Woodstock festival, has been selected to participate in The Museum Association of New York’s (MANY) “Building Capacity, Creating Sustainability, Growing Accessibility,” an IMLS CARES Act grant project designed to help museums impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Museum at Bethel Woods is one of 98 museums from across New York State participating.

Throughout this two-year project, museums will identify a program to deliver virtually to their audiences, with an emphasis on revealing cultural and racial diversity within their communities. For Bethel Woods, this project will focus on sharing their oral history collection. Museum curators Julia Fell and Neal Hitch, two of the 200 staff who will be trained to use new hardware and software to develop these programs, are actively seeking diverse perspectives from those who attended Woodstock in 1969. The team is eager to discover new ways of sharing these stories with the world.

“We are so excited to have this opportunity to work with our colleagues across the state, the team at MANY, and with the support of IMLS to share such an important part of our collection with new audiences,” said oral history lead and Assistant Curator at Bethel Woods, Julia Fell said. “We can’t wait to bring informative, diverse, and perhaps most poignantly, positive and fun stories to the forefront during these challenging times,” she continued.

“We are honored to be awarded IMLS CARES act funding and excited to be able to make an impact on the work of our colleagues and their museums across New York State,” added Erika Sanger, MANY Executive Director. “We are living in an age of transition, experiencing a radical shift in our ways of learning and communicating. The group selected captures the diversity of our shared history in New York and our nation. The stories embodied in the museums’ collections and the storytelling talents of their interpretive staff are the heart of the project,” Sanger continued.

Other projects participants in the Mid-Hudson area include:

Boscobel House and Gardens

D & H Canal Historical Society

Ellenville Public Library & Museum

Gomez Mill House

Historical Society of Newburgh Bay

Hudson River Maritime Museum

Mid-Hudson Children's Museum

Mount Gulian Historic Site

Museum at Bethel Woods

Percy Grainger House

Putnam Art Council

Westchester Children's Museum


Full Project Participant Map:

MANY Partner Map










This project was made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services [CAGML-246991-OMLS-20].  


About Bethel Woods Center for the Arts
Bethel Woods Center for the Arts inspires, educates, and empowers individuals through the arts and humanities by presenting a diverse selection of culturally-rich performances, popular artists, and community and educational programming.  Located 90 miles from New York City at the site of the 1969 Woodstock festival in Bethel, NY, the lush 800-acre campus includes a Pavilion Stage amphitheater with seating for 15,000, an intimate 440-seat indoor Event Gallery, the award-winning Museum at Bethel Woods, and a Conservatory for arts education programming.
Through the in-depth study and exhibition of the social, political, and cultural events of the 1960s, as well as the preservation of the historic site of the Woodstock Music and Art Fair, Bethel Woods educates individuals about the issues and lessons of the decade while inspiring a new generation to contribute positively to the world around them. The not-for-profit organization relies on the generous support of individuals, corporations, and foundations to develop and sustain programs that improve the quality of life in the region and beyond.
For more information please visit

About IMLS
The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation's approximately 120,000 libraries and 35,000 museums and related organizations. The agency’s mission is to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement. Its grant making, policy development, and research help libraries and museums deliver valuable services that make it possible for communities and individuals to thrive. To learn more, visit and follow us on Facebook and Twitter
About MANY
The Museum Association of New York inspires, connects, and strengthens New York’s cultural community statewide by advocating, educating, collaborating, and supporting professional standards and organizational development. MANY ensures that New York State museums operate at their full potential as economic drivers and essential components of their communities. To learn more, visit and follow us on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and LinkedIn.