Advocacy Alert: August 8

August Recess Now Underway; Invite Congress to Visit Your Museum!

Health care. Immigration. Federal spending.

These are just some of the big issues that legislators will hear about from their constituents during the August congressional recess now underway.

Will museums be on the radar? It’s up to us to make sure. Invite Congress to Visit Your Museum today.

Members of Congress will return to Washington on September 9 with just 9 legislative days before they need to take action on the federal budget. So far this summer, Senate appropriators have approved a small increase for the Office of Museum Services at IMLS, while the House Appropriations Committee has considered slashing funding for the National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities by 49 percent each, among other funding cuts. Meanwhile, tax incentives for charitable donations are under threat as Congress considers tax reform legislation.

How do we make sure the essential role that museums play in communities is understood as legislators make these upcoming budget decisions?

“No other advocacy activity stands to have the same impact on legislators as engaging directly with the museum field, and seeing what goes on at museums in their community every day – teaching school children, providing a welcome learning space for children on the autism spectrum, opening their doors to military personnel and their families – as just a small sampling of what museums do,” said Alliance President Ford W. Bell. “We must make the case about the value of museums as a unified field. I hope every museum will use our tools to Invite Congress to Visit Your Museum today.”

The Alliance provides all the tools you need. Follow these easy steps:

  1. Find out who represents you in Congress.
  2. Send an Invitation letter.
  3. Follow up with the local office until a meeting can be scheduled for the week of August 10, (or offer alternate dates if needed).
  4. Plan the visit! See the Alliance “How To” guide–including what to do before, during, and after the visit.

Don’t forget to take some pictures and let us know if you have visits with legislators and their staff scheduled for this August!

P.S. The Alliance’s field-wide advocacy efforts to protect funding for museums and engage legislators throughout the year are made possible through your Alliance membership. The broader our membership, the stronger the case for museums is. You can join, renew or review all of your membership benefits today. Thank you for your membership!