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Hundreds of Advocates Meeting in Washington, DC with Members of Congress on Museums Advocacy Day 2024


For Immediate Release

Washington, DC — More than 300 staff, students, board members, volunteers, supporters, and independent professionals who work for and with museums travelled to Washington, DC, from across the country to advocate for federal support of America’s museums, making visits to over 300 House and Senate offices on Capitol Hill. Organized by the American Alliance of Museums (AAM), the sixteenth annual Museums Advocacy Day, February 26–27, will present Congress with powerful research and stories on the economic, educational, and community impact museums have locally and nationally.

With two-thirds of museums still experiencing reduced attendance as compared to 2019, the museum field faces a long recovery from the impacts of the pandemic. In recent years, museum advocates’ collective efforts have resulted in increased funding for museum programs at the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). In 2024 and beyond, it will be critical that museums receive federal support to continue serving as educational, economic, and cultural assets to our communities.

During Museums Advocacy Day 2024, we are advocating for Congress’ tradition of strong bipartisan backing of the agencies who support the critical role museums play in society and the communities they serve every day.

“Museums are essential community infrastructure, educational partners for our schools, and have proven themselves as critical to communities across the US,” said Brooke Leonard, AAM Interim CEO. “Hundreds of museum advocates from across the country are joining us for Museums Advocacy Day to urge Congress to act in support of the museums that enrich the lives of their constituents and contribute to the vibrancy of their locales.”

Legislative asks:
Museum advocates will urge Congress to support least $55.5 million in FY 2024 funding and at least $65.5 million in FY 2025 funding for museum programs at the Institute of Museum and Library Service’s Office of Museum Services (OMS), and to sign on to Appropriations letters supporting “robust funding” for OMS once circulated. Advocates will urge legislators to Include a non-itemizer (universal) charitable deduction in any forthcoming tax package, and co-sponsor the Charitable Act (S. 566/H.R. 3435) to renew and expand the deduction. For members of the House of Representatives, museum advocates will urge lifting the House ban that makes museums ineligible for House Community Project Funding (also known as earmarks) in the annual appropriations process.

Congressional Honorees

Each year during Museums Advocacy Day, the Alliance presents awards to legislators who have demonstrated exemplary support for museums. This year’s awardees are Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) for her leadership supporting funding to help museums serve their communities and Representative Blake Moore (R-UT) for his leadership to boost charitable giving.

Advocacy Leadership Awards

During Museums Advocacy Day, the Alliance presented awards to advocates who have demonstrated exemplary leadership in their advocacy for the museum field:

Arthur Affleck for strong advocacy for children’s museums and museums of all types at Museums Advocacy Day and year-round, and leadership of the Association of Children’s Museums (ACM) to expand its programs and partnerships and enrich the lives of children and families. Throughout his work, Arthur prioritizes advocacy at all levels of government as critical for children’s museums and all museums; is committed to amplifying the voice of children’s museums; and demonstrates his passion for education and equity.

Brenda Granger for exemplary leadership and tireless advocacy as Executive Director of the Oklahoma Museums Association (OMA), representing the state’s 500 museums at all levels of government. Brenda is a model advocate, cultivating meaningful relationships with state, local and federal legislators, and speaking up for Oklahoma museums—including taking the lead on researching the economic impact of Oklahoma museums, and continually working to connect Oklahoma’s museums with state legislators.

About the American Alliance of Museums

The American Alliance of Museums (AAM) is the only organization representing the entire museum field, from art and history museums to science centers and zoos. Since 1906, we have been championing museums through advocacy and providing museum professionals with the resources, knowledge, inspiration, and connections they need to move the field forward.


Press Contact:

Natanya Khashan

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