Advocacy Alert – October 12, 2020
In this Alliance Advocacy Alert
- Legislative Update – Keep Up the Pressure for COVID-19 Economic Relief
- Save the Date for Museums Advocacy Day 2021!
- Nonprofit Voter Resources
Legislative Update – Keep Up the Pressure for COVID-19 Economic Relief
A desperately needed new round of COVID-19 economic relief legislation faces a steep uphill climb. However, the need is only increasing the longer the White House and Congress take to reach a deal. As Laura L. Lott, AAM President and CEO, said in a recent statement, “While the CARES Act assisted numerous museums to retain their staffs and maintain what operations were possible, the funding has run out and we’ve witnessed massive layoffs and furloughs that will have ripple effects throughout communities. The human pain is incalculable and will only continue to grow without the assistance museum advocates have been demanding of their elected officials.”
As part of the negotiations, the U.S. House of Representatives has passed a new COVID-19 relief bill that currently includes $135 million each for the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the National Endowment for the Arts, and also contains important provisions that benefit all nonprofits, including museums. While the on-again-off-again nature of the talks is confusing and frustrating, museum advocates need to keep up the pressure and stay in the conversation.
With most members of Congress on recess and in their states/districts, we encourage you to reach out to them. Our updated Invite Congress to Visit Your Museum How-To Guide includes all of the steps, tips, and messages you need to effectively host legislators live, virtually, or over the phone. Legislators are eager to connect with the constituents and communities they represent across all available platforms.
It’s critical that museum advocates keep reaching out to tell your museum’s story of how COVID-19 is affecting you, your museum, and your community. Lawmakers need to hear loud and clear the urgent need for immediate economic assistance.
Please keep reaching out to your members of Congress. Another economic relief package at some point in the future is inevitable and museum advocates need to continue to make their case. And don’t forget to use #InviteCongress and #Relief4Charities to share your activities on social media.
See more ways to connect with legislators and speak up for museums.
Thank you for your advocacy for museums.
Save the Date for Museums Advocacy Day 2021!
The events of 2020 and the devastating impact of COVID-19 on museums make clear what is at stake for museums, and the imperative need to use our voices to make the case for museums. Following the elections and with the convening of the 117th Congress, it will be critical to join forces with fellow museum supporters and professionals to make our voices heard with legislators and their staff.
For more than ten years, Museums Advocacy Day has been providing the essential training and support advocates need to meet face-to-face in Washington, D.C. with members of Congress and their staff. Advocating in support of museums in February 2021 may look different than in past years, but it will be more important and impactful than ever before. To maximize our collective voices and impact, we are currently planning for a robust virtual Museums Advocacy Day in February. We hope you’ll plan to participate in Museums Advocacy Day 2021, Feb. 22-23 – you can make an impact from wherever you are!
Registration information to follow this fall.
Nonprofit Voter Resources
Did you know that nonprofits, including museums, are allowed and encouraged to participate in non-partisan voter engagement and voter registration activities? When conducted in a non-partisan manner, nonprofits and museums can participate in certain election-related activities such as voter education and voter registration–including encouraging people to register and vote, and providing information on early and absentee voting, registration and voting dates and deadlines, and locations of polling places.
As nonprofits and community anchors, museums often serve communities frequently left out by the democratic process. Museums can play a critical role in creating more equitable representation in our democracy. AAM provides multiple informational resources including our suite of free Nonprofit Voter Resources, our new AAM Nonprofit Voter Resources Guide, and our just-updated Guide to Election Year Activities.
Does your museum participate in allowable election activities, such as serving as a polling place? Let us know about your activities so we are aware of participation across the museum field.
You can support AAM’s year-round advocacy efforts and your museum’s advocacy work by purchasing the Alliance’s Speaking Up: Museum Advocacy in Action toolkit today, now available on the Alliance’s website.