Advocacy Alert:  April 11, 2014

Alliance President Ford Bell Testifies Before Congress; Now it’s Your Turn

American Alliance of Museums President Ford W. Bell appeared before the House Interior Appropriations Subcommittee yesterday, requesting funding for key museum programs within its purview, including the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Smithsonian Institution, and historic preservation programs. 
 
“Making the case for vital programs such as NEA, NEH and the Historic Preservation Fund, as well as national touchstones like the Smithsonian is a critical aspect of field-wide advocacy efforts and certainly a priority for AAM,” Bell said. “I hope all museum advocates will join me by telling Congress about the importance—and local impact—of federal funding for our cultural agencies.”
 
After Bell’s testimony on museums as essential educational providers, job creators, and cradles of community identity, members of Congress from both parties shared compelling stories about the power of small federal cultural grants to transform local economies. Rep. Mike Simpson (R-ID), for example, regaled the audience with the tale of Rupert, Idaho, a town of 5,500 people whose 90-year-old theater was in disrepair, but received a small federal grant that leveraged significant outside resources. The restored theater stands today as a point of civic pride and economic strength.

Take one minute to make YOUR case to Congress

You can also read the American Alliance of Museums’ testimony in support of the Institute of Museum and Library Services—submitted by Alliance member Don Wildman, host of Travel Channel’s Mysteries at the Museum and Monumental Mysteries, to the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education. Wildman’s testimony requests increased funding for the Institute of Museum and Library Services and its Office of Museum Services, noting the pivotal role museums played in his own childhood.
 
You can find other tools for communicating with Congress on the Alliance website at www.aam-us.org/advocacy.