Advocacy Alert: June 8, 2012

AAM Announces “Invite Congress to Visit Your Museum” Week; Set for Aug. 11–18, Museums Need to Show Congress How Essential They Are

WHAT: Museums invite members of Congress to visit their museums 
WHY: Show Congress what museums are and what they do
WHEN: Aug. 11–18

“In August, members of Congress will be at home for nearly a month, looking for opportunities to connect with constituents,” said AAM President Ford W. Bell . “At a time when the national debt has reached $15 trillion, ‘sequestration' (automatically triggered cuts) could lead to deep cuts to all federal programs, state budgets are being squeezed, and non-essential funding is being slashed, museums must demonstrate that they are worthy of a federal investment.”

What will influence Congress the most as they make these tough budget choices? “According to a recent study, constituent visits have more influence than any other influence group or strategy,” Bell said. “This ‘Invite Congress to Visit Your Museum' event is the perfect opportunity for Congress to learn first-hand how museums provide essential community services. I urge every museum to participate in this event.”

AAM has made it easy to participate. Just follow these easy steps:

  1. Find out who represents you in Congress.
  2. Send a letter to invite them for a visit.
  3. Call the local office to find the name of the scheduler and call or email to follow up.
  4. Continue following up until a meeting can be set up (if the member of Congress is not available the week of Aug. 11, offer alternate dates).
  5. Plan the visit – See the AAM “How To” guide to help you prepare – including what to do before, during, and after the visit.

This coordinated effort will help museums demonstrate that they are not a luxury or just “for the wealthy,” as the U.S. House of Representatives claimed in March when it passed its budget.

Will you get involved?

 If your museum is planning to participate in this effort, please let us know. We'd like to highlight some of the “early adopters” that will be hosting visits by Congress. Please email us if you've set up a meeting (or are in the process of doing so) or if you have any questions about this effort.