Last week, we reported on the Trump Administration’s Fiscal Year 2018 budget outline, which calls for the elimination of the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), and the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA).
Two things stand in the way of the Trump proposal becoming law: 1) Congress, which is now beginning the process of actually writing appropriations bills to fund the federal government, and 2) Constituents like you contacting Congress and making it clear that these federal agencies are a wise and worthwhile investment.
Already contacted your legislators? Spread the word on Facebook (and ask your friends to join the cause).
Right now, U.S. Representatives have the opportunity to support the IMLS Office of Museum Services by joining a letter of support to the House Appropriations Committee. The bipartisan letter is now being circulated by Reps. Paul Tonko (D-NY), Leonard Lance (R-NJ), Louise Slaughter (D-NY), and David McKinley (R-WV). The number of congressional signers will have a direct impact on the budget process moving forward. The deadline to sign the House letter is Friday, March 31 and a Senate letter is expected soon.
As of today, 97 members of Congress have already signed on: Beatty (OH), Beyer (VA), Bishop (GA), Blumenauer (OR), Brady (PA), Brownley (CA), Cárdenas (CA), Castor (FL), Cicilline (RI), Clarke (NY), Clay (MO), Cleaver (MO), Coffman (CO), Cohen (TN), Collins (NY), Comstock (VA), Connolly (VA), Courtney (CT), Conyers (MI), Crist (FL), Davis (CA), Danny Davis (IL), DeFazio (OR), DeSaulnier (CA), Deutch (FL), Doggett (TX), Doyle (PA), Ellison (MN), Engel (NY), Eshoo (CA), Fudge (OH), Gallego (AZ), Garamendi (CA), Grijalva (AZ), Gutiérrez (IL), Hastings (FL), Heck (WA), Higgins (NY), Jackson Lee (TX), Jeffries (NY), Keating (MA), Kennedy (MA), Kihuen (NV), Kildee (MI), Kind (WI), Kuster (NH), Lance (NJ), Langevin (RI), Larson (CT), Lawrence (MI), Lawson (FL), Lee (CA), Levin (MI), Lewis (GA), Lipinski (IL), Loebsack (IA), Lofgren (CA), Lowenthal (CA), Luján (NM), Lynch (MA), Carolyn Maloney (NY), Sean Patrick Maloney (NY), McGovern (MA), McKinley (WV), McNerney (CA), Meeks (NY), Moore (WI), Moulton (MA), Murphy (FL), Nadler (NY), Neal (MA), Norcross (NJ), Norton (DC), Pallone (NJ), Pascrell (NJ), Peters (CA), Peterson (MN), Pingree (ME), Pocan (WI), Quigley (IL), Rice (NY), Rush (IL), Sarbanes (MD), Schneider (IL), Scott (VA), Shea-Porter (NH), Sires (NJ), Slaughter (NY), Speier (CA), Swalwell (CA), Takano (CA), Thompson (CA), Tonko (NY), Tsongas (MA), Velázquez (NY), Welch (VT), Yarmuth (KY), Young (AK).
You can also urge Congress to support NEA and NEH using AAM’s template letter (or visit websites of our partner organizations Americans for the Arts to support NEA or the National Humanities Alliance to support NEH).
Has your museum received a grant from one of these agencies? If so, you have an essential—and powerful—story to tell Congress about how federal support helps museums care for collections, educate the community, and leverage additional private donations.
Let’s be sure Congress knows what’s at stake and how many grants their state gets from IMLS, NEA and NEH.
One last request: Help us continue to provide these valuable tools by making a tax-deductible contribution today to support the cause!