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Contact Congress Today to Speak Up for Museums

Category: Advocacy Alert
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Advocacy Alert – March, 10 2023

In this Alliance Advocacy Alert:

  • Contact Congress: Urge Your Representative to Support OMS Funding Now!
  • Charitable Giving Incentives Introduced: Ask Your Legislators to Co-sponsor
  • Museums Advocacy Day: 250 Advocates Make the Case for Museums on Capitol Hill
  • Join the Cause: Advocate from Anywhere
  • AAM Statement on Museum Ban in U.S. House of Representatives Earmark Guidance

Contact Congress: Urge Your Representative to Support OMS Funding Now!

Representatives Paul Tonko (D-NY), Andy Barr (R-KY), Chellie Pingree (D-ME), and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) are circulating a letter to their House colleagues calling for robust funding for the Office of Museum Services (OMS) at the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).

It just takes a couple of minutes to use our template and ask your Representative to sign on. The letter is a key measure of legislators’ support for federal funding for museums, and it is especially important now to build on our momentum from Museums Advocacy Day. We also urge museum advocates who participated in congressional meetings during Museums Advocacy Day to follow up with their congressional contacts and encourage their Representative to sign on.

Please contact your Representative today!

Legislators need to hear from you—the people they represent—about how their decisions affect museums and museum people.

President Biden Releases Budget Request: While President Biden released the broad outline of his FY 2024 budget yesterday, we are still awaiting the details, including the proposed budget for IMLS. This is expected to be released in the next week and we will keep you posted. The President’s request is just the beginning of the annual budget and appropriations process. The museum field must continue to work with its allies in Congress on both sides of the aisle to ensure support for museums is expanded. We are committed to helping ensure that all legislators understand that museums are essential community infrastructure, and will continue to bolster the efforts of thousands of museum advocates nationwide.

Charitable Giving Incentives Introduced: Ask Your Legislators to Co-sponsor

Good news! On March 1, a bipartisan group of U.S. Senators introduced the Charitable Act (S.566) that would create a non-itemizer, universal charitable deduction – one of our priority “asks” on Museums Advocacy Day. Specifically, the bill would enable taxpayers who take the standard deduction (about 88% of taxpayers) to deduct charitable donations of up to one-third of the standard deduction, about $4,600 for individuals and $9,200 for married couples based on the current standard deduction. The bill was introduced with 10 bipartisan cosponsors, including lead sponsors and AAM Museums Advocacy Day Congressional Awardees Senators Chris Coons (D-DE) and James Lankford (R-OK). A House version of the measure is expected to be introduced in the coming weeks. Please contact your Senators and urge them to co-sponsor the Charitable Act and ask your Representative to do so once the House bill is introduced.

Contact Congress: Charitable Giving Incentives

250 Advocates Make the Case for Museums on Capitol Hill

Illustration of the dome of the U.S. Capitol Building and a megaphone, graphic reads Museums Advocacy Day 2023: February 27-28, 2023.

We were thrilled to gather with 250 advocates in person in Washington, D.C. for Museums Advocacy Day 2023 on February 27-28. Together we advocated for much-needed funding increases for the Office of Museum Services, urged legislators to support policies that benefit museums, and built important relationships with new and returning members of the 118th Congress. We heard from federal agency leaders and policy and advocacy experts, and honored four Advocacy Leadership Awardees and two Congressional Honorees. Participating advocates made visits to over 300 House and Senate offices on Capitol Hill. While Museums Advocacy Day is a unique and powerful opportunity to make the case for museums directly to Congress, you don’t have to be in Washington, D.C. to join the cause.

Use our advocacy templates, tools, and resources to make your voice heard today!

Advocate from Anywhere

Museums Advocacy Day is just the beginning of our efforts to advocate for museums in 2023. You can speak up for museums with our updated Advocate from Anywhere tools to:

» Download and share updated Museum Facts and Data

» Contact Congress about key issues affecting museums

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

» Invite Congress to Visit Your Museum

» Engage your board in advocacy for museums

» Get the 2023 Advocate Materials

Stay tuned for continued updates from AAM for important and timely opportunities to advocate this spring.

Your steadfast advocacy efforts make a huge difference in building needed support for museums and museum professionals.

AAM Statement on Museum Ban in U.S. House of Representatives Earmark Guidance

AAM–representing over 35,000 individual museum professionals, trustees, volunteers, and museums of all types and sizes across the country–is outraged by the U.S. House Republican leadership and appropriators singling out museums as ineligible for Community Project Funding (also known as earmarks) in recently released guidance. Singling out museums is damaging to the standing and reputation of museums across the nation and an affront to the 96 percent of Americans who are in favor of funding support for museums.

In addition to museums, projects that support other critical community resources including health care clinics, food assistance for children and families, afterschool programs, job trainings, among others also are precluded from this year’s House earmarks.

Notwithstanding the House ban, museums remain eligible for Congressionally Directed Spending (earmarks) through their U.S. senators, for which guidelines can be found here.

» Read more in our statement.


Visit to access all of AAM’s advocacy resources.

P.S. This week is National Civic Learning Week. Check out #CivicLearningWeek on social media and their free resources and classroom activities.

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