Among AAM’s projects is museum advocacy on a national level.  Recently, they sent Tammis K. Groft, deputy director of collections and exhibits at the Albany Institute of History and Art, to Washington as a “citizen-lobbyist” to speak to a committee about the importance of NEH Preservation and Access Grants.   She wrote a few blog posts on the subject on the AAM’s advocacy blog.  PAG grants are a major way museums of all sizes fund collections stewardship projects, and the funding for the program is slated to be cut by 50% next year.  Contact your elected officials to advocate for NEH conservation programs!

The Humanities Advocacy Network is also a great resource for humanities advocacy, including preservation and history programs.  You can sign up to get action alerts and email your representatives from the page.

I’d love to see more blogging from AAM or other organizations on museum and history advocacy issues.  The wrangling over appropriations can be very opaque, and a human voice really helps to clarify issues and make advocacy work seem much more possible for small museum professionals and those without much lobbying practice.  (My occasional posts about Minnesota cultural legislation don’t cut it.)

All this is prefatory to mentioning that AAM’s museum advocacy day will be February 23-24, 2009:

AAM is pleased to invite museum professionals from around the country to
Washington, DC on February 23-24, 2009 for Museums Advocacy Day.  During the
two-day program, participants will be briefed on AAM's legislative agenda and
will learn how to effectively communicate the value of museums to public policy
makers. The second day will consist of visits to Capitol Hill where advocates
will make their case to Congress.

In 2009, a new Congress and a new administration will begin working on a wide
range of issues, including funding for museum programs and the reauthorization
of the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).  We need to make our
voices heard!

February 23 will be a day of advocacy training, where you will:
hear from a range of Capitol Hill experts about the political landscape in 2009
be briefed on AAM's legislative agenda for museums
get tips about meeting with elected officials and the stats you need to make
your case
learn how to participate in "year-round" advocacy, engaging elected officials
in the ongoing work of your museum
network with advocates from your state about your upcoming Capitol Hill visits
attend an evening reception with Members of Congress and staff invited
Tuesday February 24 we will take our message to Capitol Hill. Advocates will
gather in groups by state to make coordinated visits to House and Senate
offices to make the case for continued federal support for museums. Museums
Advocacy Day will begin on Sunday, February 22, with optional visits to your
favorite Washington, DC museums.

"There could not be a more critical time for museum advocates to make their
case on Capitol Hill," said AAM President Ford Bell.  "With so much at stake,
we need to effectively communicate the value of museums to our elected

For more information please contact our Government Relations team at (202)

Stay tuned for more details about the final program.

But for now, SAVE THE DATE - February 23-24, 2009!