Cobblestone Museum one of 7 WNY heritage sites in running for ‘Creativity Incubator’

Photos by Tom Rivers: A bride steps inside the Cobblestone Church during a wedding in July 2014.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 21 March 2018 at 9:13 pm

CHILDS – The Cobblestone Church is one of seven heritage sites in Western New York in the running to have a team of experts visit and make suggestions for interpretation and other ways to connect with visitors.

An online contest which determine which site will receive the expertise. The contest for the Heritage Network Creativity Incubator program runs until April 1. The Incubator is sponsored by the New York State Council on the Arts/Greater Hudson Heritage Network.

The Cobblestone Museum is included with some prestigious sites in WNY, including the Herschell Carrousel Factory Museum in North Tonawanda, Roger Tory Peterson Institute of Natural History in Jamestown, Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural Site in Buffalo, Memorial Art Gallery in Rochester, Geneva Historical Society and Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts at St. Bonaventure University.

(The Cobblestone Museum currently has the third most votes, behind the leader Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts at St. Bonaventure University and then the Memorial Art Gallery. Visit to vote.)

Doug Farley, the Cobblestone Museum director, said the contest has already help spread the word about the Cobblestone Museum, a National Historic Landmark in Gaines.

A Bible is displayed inside the Cobblestone Church, which was constructed in 1834, making it the oldest cobblestone church in North America.

The Incubator series was launched to assist museums and historical sites that are pressured from changing demographics, shrinking attendance, tightened budgets, increased competition, and exponential growth of technology and social media.

The Creativity Incubator includes workshop series led by the Museum Mavericks, who are some of the most creative thinkers in the field today.

The winning museum or heritage site will have its collections or permanent installations re-imagined by the Museum Mavericks and session participants. The group will also explore the chosen site’s collections, discovering the amazing stories they hold and creating new ones.

“The end goal of the program is to open our eyes to the possibilities and encourage museums to think more imaginatively about the interpretation of their collections and the visitor experience,” according to the Incubator.

The Cobblestone Museum also has a few seats left for a maple bus tour on Friday. Georgia Thomas of Medina is leading the tour to Merle’s Maple Farm in Attica and Cartwright’s Maple Tree Inn in Angelica. For reservations call (585) 589-9013 or book online at

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