Museums Advocacy Day 2012

Dear Museums Advocacy Day supporters,

With just a few days to go until Museums Advocacy Day 2012 gets underway, we ask you to please share the following message with your members and networks:

Museums Advocacy Day 2012 Webcast
The American Association of Museums will be webcasting portions of the two-day
event. We invite you to visit to watch a LIVE webcast of these Museums Advocacy Day events:
• Monday, February 27, 9:00am-11:30am ET – Advocacy Essentials
• Monday, February 27, 12:30pm-2:00pm ET – Federal Agency Speakers
• Monday, February 27, approximately 6:45pm-7:30pm ET – Congressional Reception**
• Tuesday, February 28, approximately 8:15am-9:30am ET – Congressional Breakfast

We hope that these programs – and the accompanying materials on this webpage – will provide your members and colleagues an opportunity to advocate from anywhere. We also invite you to join the conversation on social media channels (using the #museumsadvocacy hashtag).

With your help, we can make Museums Advocacy Day 2012 a truly national event.

NEA & NEH Funding

The AASLH, on top of things as always, has made it very easy to write in to your congressperson about the recent slash in funding for both the NEA and NEH:

AASLH is a proud member of the National Humanities Alliance, and we are asking you to please write your Members of Congress and ask them to support the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) by opposing cuts to the agency’s funding in the FY 2012 House Interior Appropriations bill.

The bill was marked up by the Subcommittee on July 7th and includes $135 million in funding for NEH. This represents a $20 million cut from the FY 2011 level of $155 million and is $11 million less than the President’s budget request of $146 million. The proposed cut to NEH is 13% below the FY 2011 funding level, while overall funding for the Interior Appropriations bill was only reduced by 7%.

The full House Appropriations Committee is scheduled to consider the bill on Tuesday, July 12. Messages from advocates are needed to help oppose these cuts.

The Alliance has set up a template message for you to customize, including sample bullet points. We strongly encourage you to personalize this message by telling your Representative why NEH and its programs are important to you, your institution, your field, your state, and/or district.

  • If you have received or worked on an NEH grant, please consider the local or long-term impact of this funding.
  • Citing specific accomplishments can be especially helpful (e.g. numbers of students taught, workshop participants, federal dollars leveraged, program viewers, collections protected, awards received, articles published).
  • You may also wish to indicate what would be lost without this funding.

Take Action Now! Click here to read the full message from the Alliance and to contact your Representative Now!

Museum Advocacy

This seems sadly apropos for a week in which funding for the NEA and NEH has been cut again. AAM is doing two free museum advocacy webinars next week.

Two FREE Upcoming Advocacy Programs – July 12 and July 13

AAM will offer two FREE programs next week, and we invite you to participate:

August is Congress’s District Work Period: Now’s the Time to Plan a Site Visit
Tuesday, July 12, 2011 at 2pm EDT
Members of Congress typically spend the entire month of August back home, meeting with constituents and doing site visits. This is the perfect time to arrange a visit to your museum! We’ll show you how easy it is to set up a meeting, a site visit, or another event involving your elected officials. And we (almost) guarantee that your elected officials will jump at the chance to visit your museum.
Register now or learn more about AAM’s Online Advocacy Training Series.

Museum Benchmarking Online Demonstration
Wednesday, July 13, 2011 at 2pm EDT
Want to see how your museum compares with others while also creating meaningful advocacy data? AAM will demonstrate its new benchmarking tool – Museum Benchmarking Online (MBO) – the 21st century successor to AAM’s Museum Financial Information survey, long considered the most comprehensive source of data about America’s museums. MBO is easy to use, totally secure, and fully online. Museums can use it to generate instant, customized reports to help make their case.
Register now or visit to learn more.

“AAM’s new online benchmarking is a powerful tool for strategic planning, board and funder presentations, and public communication efforts,” said AAM President Ford W. Bell. “Museums that can compare themselves to other similarly structured museums will have a competitive advantage in making their case to elected officials, foundations, educators, and the public. I invite my colleagues across the museum field to join us for these free webinars.”

House Appropriations Letter Supporting Office of Museum Services

This is a move-fast kind of alert. I just completed the process outlined here by the AAM, and it took two minutes and twelve second. (Yes, I used a stopwatch.)

That two minutes and twelve seconds included composing the following paragraph, which I offer here for you to cut-and-paste into the relevant section of the email form (it requires you to type something in there):

As a member of the Tufts Museum Studies community, I am keenly aware of how necessarily IMLS support is for the future of museums in America. The availability of public funding for innovative, community-based educational outreach of the kind provided at museums is crucial. The IMLS has a longtime track record of providing just such support.

Representative Mike Capuano has not yet signed this appropriations letter. This is an opportunity for Tufts students to really make a difference. I know you can take less than two minutes out of your day to do this!

Instructions as provided by the AAM below:

Act Now! Ask Your Representative to Join House Appropriations Letter Supporting Office of Museum Services

Great News!  Once again in conjunction with Museums Advocacy Day, U.S. Representatives Paul Tonko (D-NY), Louise Slaughter (D-NY) and Leonard Lance (R-NJ) are circulating a “Dear Colleague” letter in the U.S. House of Representatives encouraging Members of Congress to join their bipartisan letter to the House Appropriations Committee urging $35 million for the Office of Museum Services (OMS) at the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).

**The deadline to sign on to this letter is this THURSDAY, MARCH 17, 2011. **


“Members of the House of Representatives are most likely to sign on to a Dear Colleague letter when asked by a constituent,” said AAM President Ford W. Bell.  “We have already seen a number of attacks on cultural agencies and programs this year, and we need to ensure enough Members of Congress sign on to this letter to protect the IMLS Office of Museum Services from funding cuts.  I applaud the leadership of Representatives Tonko, Slaughter and Lance on this issue.”

The letter highlights the many educational and other vital services museums provide in their local communities every day and asks the Appropriations Committee to support $35 million for FY12 for OMS.

Thanks to advocate visits during Museums Advocacy Day, the following Representatives have already agreed to sign the letter:

Rep. Paul Tonko (D-NY), lead co-signer
Rep. Leonard Lance (R-NJ), lead co-signer
Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY), lead co-signer
Rep. Karen Bass (D-CA)
Rep. Shelley Berkley (D-NV)
Rep. Madeleine Bordallo (D-GU)
Rep. Dan Boren (D-OK)
Rep. Robert Brady (D-PA)
Rep. Andre Carson (D-IN)
Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN)
Rep. John Conyers (D-MI)
Rep. Joe Courtney (D-CT)
Rep. Donna Edwards (D-MD)
Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN)
Rep. Chaka Fattah (D-PA)
Rep. Bob Filner (D-CA)
Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ)
Rep. Brian Higgins (D-NY)
Rep. Mazie Hirono (D-HI)
Rep. Rush Holt (D-NJ)
Rep. Dale Kildee (D-MI)
Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH)
Rep. Sander Levin (D-MI)
Rep. Dave Loebsack (D-IA)
Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA)
Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY)
Rep. Jerry McNerney (D-CA)
Rep. Michael Michaud (D-ME)
Rep. Gwen Moore (D-WI)
Rep. James Moran (D-VA)
Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY)
Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC)
Rep. Laura Richardson (D-CA)
Rep. Mike Ross (D-AR)
Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL)
Rep. Pete Stark (D-CA)
Rep. Edolphus Towns (D-NY)
Rep. Niki Tsongas (D-MA)

The Office of Museum Services received just over $35 million in the last completed funding cycle (FY10). President Obama has requested an 8.2% reduction in his FY12 budget proposal. Congress is currently completing work on its FY11 budget, and the House is already beginning to work on funding for FY12.

To get involved in more advocacy for museums visit today!

Happy (?) Museums Advocacy Day!

If you haven’t been following the AAM’s Facebook feed – or any of their other communication methods – you might not know that today and tomorrow are designated as Museum Advocacy Days. The AAM, through its website Speak Up For Museums, is promoting a number of ways to get in touch with your local representatives and make a case for why museums are vital in their communities.

There will be a number of events down in Washington, D.C., but for us students who might not have the resources to jet down there to participate in the workshops, what can be done at home?


– You can catch up on your reading by leafing through the AAM’s Advocacy Materials website – it’s a great collection of PDFs with highlights of the how and why of advocating for museums.

– You can watch the archived webinar about museum advocacy that the AAM did a few months ago. (And read our own Kris Bierfelt’s highlights overview if you don’t have time to watch the whole thing.)

– You can also watch the live feed of the programming in Washington, D.C. through the AAM’s website here.

Come on back tomorrow, and we’ll have even more ways you can participate in standing up for museums.