Advocacy Alert: Feb. 27, 2011

Support the Cause - Advocate for Museums on March 1 

On Monday, Feb. 28, and Tuesday, March 1, over 320 museum advocates—museum professionals, trustees, students and supporters—will be gathering in Washington, DC, for the third annual Museums Advocacy Day . 

As you know, this stands to be a difficult year in Washington, with new leadership in the House of Representatives and a difficult budget environment. The new session of Congress started just last month, and we have already begun to see attacks on museums. 

"It is more important than ever for us to make our elected officials understand exactly why museums are so essential—to schools, to communities and to our nation's economy," said AAM President Ford W. Bell. "I have said before that our strength lies in our numbers. We need a united front and a unified message. And we need ALL of us to do this." 

SO, WHAT CAN YOU DO TO RESPOND TO THIS CALL TO ACTION? 

5 Ways to Participate in Museums Advocacy Day 2011:

  1. On Tuesday, March 1, share the same key messages with your legislators that advocates are taking to Capitol Hill. Use the Contact Congress feature of Speak Up for Museums on Tuesday or throughout the week to send letters to your legislators in support of funding for the Office of Museum Services at IMLS, the role of museums in comprehensive education reform and the fact that museums are economic engines. 

  2. Museums Advocacy Day participants are also sharing with legislators an Economic Impact Statement for their museum. Prepare and share yours today

  3. Ask your legislators to sign-on to support "Dear Colleague" letters being circulated in the House and Senate by Representative Paul Tonko (D-NY) and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) in support of the Office of Museum Services. 

  4. Encourage your trustees and visitors to your museum to weigh-in with legislators. 

  5. Use the Web and social media to further our collective advocacy efforts. Add a link to Speak Up for Museums to your museum's website, connect to AAM on Facebook or post an entry about issues affecting museums and the legislators that represent your museum on your museum's blog. WATCH THE LIVE STREAM OF THE CONGRESSIONAL BREAKFAST ON TUESDAY MARCH 1!

Every advocacy activity you do makes a difference—and when we all take a minute to weigh-in with our legislators with a unified message, we can have an even greater impact. 

Want additional resources for continuing your advocacy for museums throughout the year? Visit our E-Advocacy page for materials including a year round advocacy plan worksheet and ideas about different ways to reach out to your legislators.