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Speak Up for Museums: Spring Advocacy Updates

Category: Advocacy Alert
Image of the U.S. Capitol 2019

Advocacy Alert – March 24, 2022

In this Alliance Advocacy Alert:

  • Museums Advocacy Day: Museum Advocates Make Their Voices Heard
  • Good News in FY 2022 Omnibus: Funding Increases for IMLS, NEH, NEA Approved
  • Senate Finance Committee Hearing on Charitable Giving: AAM Submits Statement for the Record
  • FY 2023 Interior Funding: AAM Submits Testimony in Support of NEH, NEA, Smithsonian Institution, and Historic Preservation Funding
  • Public Service Loan Forgiveness: April 5 Webinar

Museum Advocates Make Their Voices Heard During #MuseumsAdvocacy2022

On February 28-March 1 550 museum advocates participated in Museums Advocacy Day, including virtual advocacy and issue programming and 375 virtual meetings with Congressional offices.

The fourteenth annual Museums Advocacy Day welcomed participants from nearly all fifty states and Washington, DC. Advocates presented Congress with powerful research and stories on the economic, educational, and community impact museums make locally and nationally, and how they are vital to our nation’s recovery. We made our voices heard with Congressional offices across the country and on social media. We continued to make known the (pre-pandemic) Economic Impact of Museums and the deep public support for them; and shared recent survey data which shows the museum field will take years to recover to pre-pandemic levels of staffing, revenue, and attendance. We recognized Congressional Honorees and Advocacy Leadership Awards. We heard from a congressional chief of staff, federal agency leaders, and partner policy experts about the unique value of museums and the critical importance of continued advocacy for museums and the federal programs that support them.

Thank you to all of our 2022 Supporters, partners, and advocates who helped make Museums Advocacy Day 2022 a unique and powerful event. The power of our collective voices was felt and we are committed to continuing our advocacy for museums in the year ahead.

You can join the cause today by using our updated Advocate from Anywhere tools to:

» Download and share updated Museum Facts, including the Museum Facts Infographic

» Contact Congress about key issues affecting museums

» Learn about your legislators and find your legislators‘ social media information

» Engage your board in advocacy for museums

» Get the 2022 Advocate Materials

And stay tuned for further notification from AAM when the FY 2023 OMS funding support letters are circulating in Congress this spring!

Good News in FY 2022 Omnibus

Good news! Your advocacy efforts continue to get results. The IMLS Office of Museum Services (OMS) will get a $7 million increase to $47.5 million in the fiscal year (FY) 2022 Omnibus Appropriations bill signed into law last week – an impressive 17.2% increase in a package that contained an overall 6.7% increase in non-defense discretionary spending. The funding package had been delayed several times since the fiscal year began on October 1, 2021.

IMLS will get an additional $4 million (a $1 million increase for Research, Analysis, and Data Collection; and $3 million increase for Program Administration-$2 million of that Administration funding is for the creation of an information literacy taskforce). All library programs were level funded with FY 2021. The total increase for IMLS, including OMS is $11 million. OMS increases were in the following programs:

  • $1 million increase for Museums for America up to $27.9 million;
  • $2 million increase for Museum Grants for African American History & Culture up to $5.2 million; and
  • $4 million for Museum Grants for American Latino History & Culture (new program authorized by the National Museum of the American Latino Act).

The National Endowment for the Humanities and the National Endowment for the Arts will get $180 million each-an increase of $12.5 million each. The Omnibus also included $173 million for the Historic Preservation Fund, $29 million above the FY 2021 enacted level. Within this amount, the bill includes $74 million for State and Tribal Historic Preservation Offices, $26.5 million for Save America’s Treasures grants, $28 million for competitive grants to preserve the sites and stories of underrepresented community civil rights, $10 million for grants to Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and $10 million for the National Park Service’s Semiquincentennial Preservation Grants.

Due to disagreements over offsetting costs, no COVID-19 relief funding was included in the Omnibus package and remains pending in Congress. Looking ahead, President Biden’s FY 2023 budget proposal is expected to be released on March 28.

Senate Finance Committee Hearing on Charitable Giving

On March 17, the Senate Finance Committee held a hearing entitled Examining Charitable Giving and Trends in the Nonprofit Sector. Alliance President and CEO Laura L. Lott submitted a Statement for the Record urging Congress to strengthen charitable giving incentives to ensure that all nonprofits, including museums, have the resources to serve their communities.

FY 2023 Interior Funding

On March 10, Alliance President and CEO Laura L. Lott provided written testimony to the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies in support of FY 2023 funding for NEH, NEA, Smithsonian Institution, and Historic Preservation Programs.

Public Service Loan Forgiveness Webinar April 5

The Department of Education is reforming the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program to provide a better path to relief for millions of nonprofit and other public service workers struggling under the weight of student loan debt. The National Council of Nonprofits and Student Borrower Protection Center will host a webinar on the program, Accessing Public Service Loan Forgiveness, on Tuesday, April 5 at 1:00 p.m. ET.

Visit www.aam-us.org/advocacy to access all of AAM’s advocacy resources.

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