The American Alliance of Museums has announced that hundreds of advocates will visit Capitol Hill to speak up for museums on 24 – 25 February 2020.
The American Alliance of Museums (AAM) has announced that hundreds of staff, students, board members, volunteers, supporters and independent professionals from within the sector will head to Washington, DC for the twelfth annual Museums Advocacy Day.
The event will allow museum representatives from all around the country to advocate for federal support of American museums, as they visit more than 400 House and Senate offices on Capitol Hill. Over 350 attendees will present Congress with research on the positive impact that museums have on society.
The critical role of museums
Thanks to efforts by AAM and museum advocates, previous wins include increased funding for museum programmes at IMLS, including a record-breaking $3.8 million last year, in addition to $7.3 million increases each for NEA and NEH. This year’s event will focus on encouraging Congress’ tradition of strong bipartisan backing of these agencies.
“With Congressional elections just months away, now is a critical time to tell the stories of museums,” says Laura Lott, President and CEO of the American Alliance of Museums. “Museums serve all our communities; engage with the issues real Americans face daily; and foster education, empathy, connection, and community while simultaneously acting as a significant economic boon for the United States.”
The importance of investing in museums
AAM reports the following figures that exemplify the importance of investing in museums:
- Museums invest more than $2 billion in education programs each year.
- Museums welcome more than 55 million visits from schoolchildren each year.
- US museums contribute $50 billion into the economy each year, and support more than 726,000 American jobs.
- Museums receive more than 850 million visits annually, more than all major league sporting events combined.
- For every $1 invested in museums and other cultural organizations, more than $5 is returned in tax revenues.
- Museums have a significant financial impact in every state.
- Nearly all museums are nonprofit organizations, and over one-third of their funding comes from charitable donations.
AAM encourages members to advocate from anywhere even if they can’t join in in person. They can send letters to officials, talk to local press and share the message on social media with the hashtag #museumsadvcacy2020.
During Museums Advocacy Day 2020, AAM will also present awards to legislators proven their strong support for museums. These will go to Senator John Hoeven (R-ND), is a longstanding champion of state museums and history projects and Representative Barbara Lee (D-CA), one of the most consistent and vocal advocates of federal funding for the arts and for museums.
The American Alliance of Museums’ Annual Meeting, the largest gathering of museum professionals, will take place in San Francisco this year, from 17 – 20 May.
Top image courtesy of The American Alliance of Museums