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Community Engagement

RIT-GCV&M Partnership Connections, 2017 Expertise: Helping to “Create” a Handling Collection

In addition to the historic village and art gallery, GCV&M boasts a nature trail, which is a great avenue for learning about life sciences and, of course, STEM! In the summer of 2017, the museum raised a particular need: how to clean the flesh from an owl skull. College of Science faculty member Sandi Connelly had just the right solution—carrion beetles! Prof. Connelly brought the skull back to campus where the beetles did their magic. Now, the skull has a place in the museum’s “handling” collection—to give visitors an idea of anatomy and physiology of our animal friends.

RIT-GCV&M Partnership Connections, 2018 Scholarship: Lecture by Babak Taheri & Martin Gannon

Professor Babak Taheri, Professor of Marketing in the Business Management Department at Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, UK, and Mr. Martin Gannon, Lecturer in Entrepreneurship; Edinburgh Napier University, Edinburgh, UK, presented their research on stakeholders’ journey of experience on Friday, September 7, 2018. The lecture was free and open to the public. They also conducted research at the museum to investigate sincerity and authenticity dimensions in visitor engagement at the GCV&M.

RIT-GCV&M Partnership Connections, 2017-ongoing Event: Fall Festival and Ag Fair

Annually the RIT-GCV&M Partnership arranges for transportation and admission to the museum’s annual Fall Festival and Agricultural Fair. Undergraduate and graduate students from the entire campus take a step back in time to visit the museum and see live entertainment, talk to fortune teller Madam Sabotini, explore the barn exhibition with heritage breeds, and shop at the Farmer's Market. Each year the visit is co-sponsored by any number of departments and programs, including the Center for Leadership and Civic Engagement’s Into the ROC program.

RIT-GCV&M Partnership Connections, 2017-ongoing Experiential Learning: Hospitality & Tourism

Hospitality and Tourism Management, Saunders College of Business, use Museum as site for assignment. One example is the assignment developed by Professor Muhammet Kesgin entitled “Experience: From Expectations to Memory.” For this assignment, students anticipate what they will see and do at the museum prior to arriving for a full-day visit. Then, the students compare the expectations with the reality of their visit. Students in the hospitality and tourism program have visited the museum each semester since the partnership began.

RIT-GCV&M Partnership Connections, 2019 Scholarship: Streetscape of Corn Hill neighborhood

Professor Giovanna Potesta, Assistant Professor of Architecture in the Golisano Institute for Sustainability, directed students in research focused on Rochester’s Corn Hill neighborhood which, in turn, led to the creation of two streetscapes of the area (1910, 2018). Students constructed the models in the spring 2019 and they will be transferred to the museum and put on view in the Livingston-Backus House which was originally located in Corn Hill.

RIT-GCV&M Partnership Project in Focus, 2017: Wooden Common Press

The Cary Graphic Arts Collection at RIT maintains a collection on the history of printing, including a full pressroom with 18 historic presses. Few original wooden common presses still exist; in order to better present the history of printing, the Cary Collection involved a multi-disciplinary senior design team, with the assistance of experts from the Genesee Country Village and Museum, to design a wooden press based upon historical research, to build a press in accordance with this design, and to publish a paper documenting the design and construction processes.

RIT-GCV&M Partnership Project in Focus, 2018: Researching Visitor Engagement

Dr. Raj Murthy and Dr. Muhammet Kesgin (RIT’s Saunders College of Business), Dr. Juilee Decker (RIT’s College of Liberal Arts), Professor Babak Taheri (Heriot-Watt University), Mr. Martin Gannon (Edinburgh Napier University) are collaborating on a multi-phase research project focused on visitor engagement and living history museums, with GCV&M as a case study. Research was begun in the fall 2018 and is ongoing. To date, more than 1000 visitor surveys have been completed by guests to the museum and 18 interviews with museum interpretation staff have been conducted.

RIT-GCV&M Partnership Project in Focus, 2018: Victorian Hands

Museum Studies major Landyn Hatch utilized RIT’s Makerspace, The Construct, to create 3D-printed mannequin hands for the Genesee Country Village & Museum for its 19-century clothing exhibit.

RIT-GCV&M Partnership Project in Focus, 2019: Cannon Fire

Every July the Genesee Country Village & Museum hosts a Civil War Encampment, which draws hundreds of infantry, cavalry and artillery reenactors. A highlight of the weekend used to be a town battle around the museum’s 68 historic structures. But in 2015, the museum stopped firing cannons in the historic village because the black powder charges appeared to be damaging the windows and plaster of the buildings. The museum wanted to reintroduce cannon fire but needed a plan to protect the 100- to 200-year-old structures.