Advocacy Alert: June 17

Announcing ‘Invite Congress to Visit Your Museum’ Week 2016; AAM Advocacy Tools Make it Easy to Invite Federal, State, and Local Officials

The Alliance is excited to launch the fifth annual field-wide, “Invite Congress to Visit Your Museum Week,” August 6-13, 2016.

Congressman Dave Reichert reading at KidsQuest Children's Museum storytime during #InviteCongress 2015.
Photo credit: KidsQuest Children’s Museum

We know that museums are unique and innovative learning spaces, but do your elected officials know that? The most powerful way to demonstrate that museums are essential is to invite federal, state and local legislators to see first-hand how your museum is serving your community.

This summer, public officials—members of Congress and state and local leaders—will be looking for ways to connect with constituents like you, and each year we hear how much they love visiting their local museums. Use AAM’s advocacy tools to send the invitation.

Our step-by-step guide will help you plan the visit:

  1. Find out who represents you in Congress.
  2. Send an invitation letter.
  3. Follow up with the local office until a meeting can be scheduled for the week of August 6, (or offer alternate dates if needed).
  4. Let us know when you have a meeting set up and we will help publicize the visit.
  5. Plan the visit! See the Alliance “How To” guide—including what to do before, during and after the visit.
Questions about participating? E-mail us. Use #InviteCongress on Facebook and Twitter. Since August 2012, over 100 #InviteCongress visits have taken place.

Legislative Update: Bills with Museum Funding Increases Advanced by House and Senate Committees

Earlier this week, both the House and Senate Appropriations Committees took action on their chambers’ Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies appropriations legislation. As we have reported previously, the House legislation contains a number of increases requested in Alliance testimony and by hundreds of grassroots museum advocates who responded to our latest advocacy alert. In general, the Senate proposal includes smaller increases.

See how the FY 2017 proposals compare to FY 2016 current funding:
 Agency/Program  FY 2016 Current 
 FY 2017 House  FY 2017 Senate
 National Endowment for the Humanities  $147.9 million  $149.8 million  $148.4 million
 National Endowment for the Arts  $147.9 million  $149.8 million  $148.4 million
 Smithsonian Institution  $840 million  $863 million  $860 million
 State and Tribal Historic Preservation Offices  $56.9 million  $58.9 million  $57.9 million
 Civil Rights Movement sites  $8 million  $11 million  $10 million
 Save America’s Treasures  unfunded  $5 million  unfunded
 National Park Service Operations  $2.370 billion  $2.435 billion  $2.406 billion

P.S. Want to learn more about how to engage your trustees in advocacy? Download your free copy of our recently released
Stand for Your Mission, a discussion guide for museum leaders and trustees, developed in partnership with BoardSource.