How are you advocating for #museums this summer?

Ember FarberAdvocacy, Alliance Labs, Featured0 Comments

Group of people attending an advocacy day meeting on Capitol Hill

Ember Farber is the director of Advocacy at the American Alliance of Museums (AAM). In that role, she communicates with AAM’s advocate network and the field about federal policy issues and advocacy opportunities through legislative and advocacy updates, calls-to-action, print, email and social media and through Museums Advocacy Day.

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Ember Farber, director, advocacy, AAM

As a long-time AAM staff member, I’ve had the honor of working with and advocating for museums for almost 15 years. I’m a lifelong museum-goer and believe deeply in the power of museums to tell our most important stories. What I have learned visiting museums has informed every facet of my life – from identifying with my own history to catalyzing my passion for the issues and causes I care most about.

By training and temperament, I’m also a lifelong believer in the role of advocacy and advocating for ourselves in all areas of our daily lives. This is why year-round advocacy for museums is a topic that is on my mind every day. If you’ve ever met me or heard me speak, you’ve likely heard me say this: It is my personal belief that all museum professionals and supporters have a role to play as advocates for museums, and it’s my mission to empower you to play that role.

Our action as advocates for museums is critical. So, in the spirit of empowerment, I urge you today to take part in two important advocacy opportunities this summer.

Group of people attending an advocacy day meeting on Capitol Hill

From left to right; Al Martin, WCMFA Trustee President; Chris Strovel, Eastern Panhandle Field Representative, Senator Shelley Moore Capito (WV); Rebecca Massie Lane, Museum Director; U.S. Representative John Delaney, (MD-6); Wallace Lee, Museum Development Director; Mary Jo Brown, Regional Coordinator, Senator Joe Manchin (WV); Stephen Smoot, Eastern Panhandle Director, U.S. Representative Alex Mooney (WV); Robin Summerfield, Field Representative, Senator Ben Cardin (MD); Julianna Albowicz, Special Assistant to Senator Barbara Mikulski
(MD). Photo Credit: Washington County Museum of Fine Arts

1. Sign the Fieldwide Letter to Congress in Support of Funding for Museums

As part of our ongoing effort to protect funding for key federal agencies that support museums, we are asking museums and related organizations to sign on to a field-wide letter to Congress. To date, over 525  museums and related organizations have joined this effort.

The field-wide letter also has the support of several key national partners in this effort, including American Association for State and Local History (AASLH), American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works (AIC), American Public Gardens Association (APGA), Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD), Association of Children’s Museums (ACM), Association of Science-Technology Centers (ASTC), Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), and the National Coalition for History.

The deadline to join the field-wide letter is THIS Friday, July 21!

2. #InviteCongress to Visit Your Museum August 12-19!

This year marks the sixth annual “Invite Congress to Visit Your Museum” Week. Since 2012 hundreds of museums have invited their local, state and federal legislators and their staffs to visit their museums. Museums have hosted behind-the-scenes tours, engaged legislators and staff in permanent and special exhibits, and taken them to see in-progress construction and renovation projects. Every year we hear about the profound impact these events have on the museums, elected officials, and staff who participate.

Our “Invite Congress” toolkit includes a template invitation letter, a How-To Guide for setting up the meeting, and other resources to ensure a successful visit. Read more in the June 22 advocacy alert.

I know there are lots of museum supporters out there who may not be directly affiliated with a museum right now, or in a position to pursue these initiatives. Your voice matters, too. We’ve got lots of tools for individuals to advocate for museums available at www.aam-us.org/advocacy or you can start here.

Are you advocating for your museum in other ways? Please let us know and happy advocating!

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About the Author

In addition to her advocacy work, Ember also maintains AAM’s public advocacy materials at www.aam-us.org/advocacy. Advocacy is a personal and professional passion for Ember, who holds a Master’s degree in political management from the George Washington University.

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