The Met Museum launches #CongressSaveCulture campaign for COVID-19 relief

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Metropolitan Museum of Art has launched a campaign called #CongressSaveCulture to advocate for financial relief for non-profit arts organisations in light of COVID-19. The Met hopes that $4 billion in government support will be included in the $2 trillion stimulus package.

According to a press release, the Met is calling on the federal government to include at least $4 billion in government support for non-profit arts organisations at risk.

The Met is also calling for the implementation of a universal charitable tax deduction to encourage giving to the organisations.

The Met, which previously announced an expected shortfall of at least $100 million, is calling on its staff, volunteers, members and social media followers to amplify the #CongressSaveCulture campaign.

The Met previously announced $100m shortfall

“As we prioritize the health and safety of people around the globe first and foremost, we must also plan for the world we will re-enter once this crisis finally subsides,” said Daniel H. Weiss, president and CEO of the Met.

“With that in mind, we must ensure that arts organisations, large and small, will be able to withstand the economic devastation so many are facing. Cultural organizations are important not just because of the value that the arts bring to our lives but because these institutions also drive tourism and create jobs.

“The need for government relief for arts institutions and their employees cannot be underestimated.”

“This is an initiative asking for support not just for The Met, but for the overall museum environment, which is at risk,” said Max Hollein, director of The Met.

Cultural institutions drive tourism and create jobs

“We are deeply concerned about the arts and culture community, and are urging for government support to ensure the survival of this important sector.

“In such unsettling times, the arts can provide badly needed comfort, hope, and a sense of connection,” added Hollein.

“Museums play an instrumental role in our time and have done so for several centuries, by preserving local and international cultures, helping us interpret the many worlds we live in, and convening diverse communities.

“In this moment of crisis, we all must do what we can to ensure that this essential component of our society will be preserved and protected for future generations.”

‘We must plan for the world we will re-enter’

The Met is encouraging people to go to the American Alliance of Museums (AAM) website and send a letter to representatives in Congress, share the hashtag #CongressSaveCulture on social media platforms, and sign The Met’s petition to support arts organisations at Change.org.

Museums across the US are collectively projected to lose at least $33 million every day due to closures over the coronavirus pandemic.

American Alliance of Museums and Oxford Economics estimate that museums contribute $50 billion to the US economy and $12 billion in tax revenue annually.