Since 2012, the national, fieldwide #InviteCongress effort has encouraged and empowered museums of all types and sizes to invite their federal, state, and local legislators and stakeholders in to the museum for a firsthand look at the powerful work of museums and museum professionals.
If a full, formal visit isn't in your plans at this time, there are still plenty of ways to participate in #InviteCongress 2022:
Find and learn about your federal and state legislators, including their social media information.
Contact their offices to introduce yourself and your museum.
- Use our Contact Congress online action center to send messages to your federal legislators about issues impacting museums. Our templates make it easy to communicate in just a few clicks.
Follow your elected officials on social media, post positive messages about you and your museum's work in the community, and join their newsletter lists so you are aware of their priorities and future opportunities to connect with them.
Complete an Economic and Educational Impact Statement for your museum or organization and share them with your legislators.
If you participated in Museums Advocacy Day, follow up with the offices you met with to share what's new at the museum and remind them of the museum field's priorities.
Keep communicating with your elected officials' offices to find a time when legislators and staff can visit the museum.
Don't forget to let us know about your #InviteCongress activities!
Urge Your Legislators to Support the Office of Museum Services (OMS) and Include $20 Million Increase for Facilities Improvements!
Great news, your advocacy efforts on museums and infrastructure are beginning to pay off! The U.S. Senate draft fiscal year (FY) 2023 Labor-HHS-Education Subcommittee Appropriations bill and associated explanatory statement released late last week - if passed by Congress - would provide a $33,800,000 increase for IMLS overall, which maintains most of the OMS increases previously reported in our July Alliance Advocacy Alert proposed by the U.S. House of Representatives. Most notably, the legislation would include a $20 million funding increase for improving museum and library facilities. According to the explanatory statement:
Improving Library and Museum Facilities.--The Committee includes $20,000,000 to make urgently needed improvements to public and Tribal library and museum facilities nationwide, with a priority for such facilities located in rural, underserved, or economically disadvantaged areas. The Committee provides this new, annual funding to enable these libraries and museums to undertake renovations, expansions, and construction projects such as plumbing, HVAC, and roof repairs, electrical upgrades, and accessibility improvements. In making grants under this authority, the Director shall prioritize rural and underserved communities and facilities that pose a severe health or safety threat to library or museum patrons or staff.
AAM survey results underscore the need with nearly forty per cent of responding museums planning to make investments into their building, HVAC equipment, and other infrastructure to improve energy efficiency and reduce the environmental impact of their operations. While the draft represents the Senate Democratic majority's preferences and the appropriations process has a long way to go, it provides a critical opportunity to advocate for much needed funding increase for OMS and secure a new funding resource for museum facilities investment.