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Advocacy Alert - $5 Billion Proposed to be Diverted from the Senate Labor-HHS-Education Funding Bill

From the American Alliance of Museums (AAM)

Advocacy Alert - August 15, 2019

Contact Your Senators: $5 Billion Proposed to be Diverted from the Senate Labor-HHS-Education Funding Bill

Even though Congress is on recess, critical funding decisions are being considered now. In recent days reports have noted that $5 billion may be diverted from the Senate spending bill that funds the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) to pay for President Trump's border wall.

Earlier this summer, as part of a four-bill spending package (H.R. 2740), the U.S. House of Representatives approved the FY 2020 Labor-HHS-Education and Related Agencies appropriations measure, which includes an historic $8 million increase to $42.7 million in funding for the Office of Museum Services (OMS) within IMLS.

The Senate has yet to formally consider its version of the bill, but Senate appropriators currently are making decisions about funding levels, so it's critical that you write your Senators now, especially if they are members of the Senate Appropriations Committee (see below) - or meet with them in person as part of #InviteCongress - to ask them to support the House-passed funding increase for OMS. For more information, please see our issue brief on IMLS Funding.

It's critical for you and other museum advocates from across the country to make your voices heard now!


Members of the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee

  • Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) *
  • Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA)

*Indicates member of the Labor-HHS-Education Subcommittee, which funds IMLS.

Invite Congress to Visit Your Museum Week August 12-16, 2019

From the American Alliance of Museums (AAM)

Did you know that a visit to the museum can change how elected officials think about museums? The August congressional recess is a great time to invite your elected officials to visit your museum. A visit with local, state or federal elected officials and (or) their staff members is a powerful opportunity to show off the many and unexpected ways your museum serves the community and make the case on issues critical to museums

The American Alliance of Museums (AAM) has created "Invite Congress to Visit Your Museum Week" from August 12-16, 2019. Reaching out to legislators may seem like a daunting task, but the AAM "how to" guide provides step-by-step instructions, links and templates.

Find out more

A banner legislative session for arts & culture!

From the Cultural Advocacy Coalition
"Dear Advocates and Policymakers,

It is with deep gratitude that we celebrate the end of the legislative session as of yesterday. Thank you to the Cultural Advocacy Coalition's dedicated advocates, supporters and friends, who spoke out and encouraged investment in creative expression for all Oregonians. 

THANK YOU to Oregon’s policymakers, who took important steps to invest in our cultural sector. We look forward to the Governor signing all of the following bills passed by the Senate and House this week:
  • Extend the Cultural Trust Tax Credit for 6 more years (HB 2164)
  • Extend special tax assessments for historic preservation properties for 2 more years (HB 2164)
  • Fund Capital Investment Projects (HB 5030 & HB 5050)- Total of $5,125,000:
    • Lincoln City Cultural Center - $1.5M for an exterior plaza
    • Beaverton Arts Foundation - $1.5M for the Patricia Reser Center for the Arts
    • Liberty Theatre - $1M for stage house and facilities improvements
    • Oregon Nikkei Legacy Center - $500,000 for preservation and renovations
    • Cottage Theatre - $375,000 for theatre expansion
    • High Desert Museum - $250,000 for exhibit and gallery
  • 2019-2021 Budgets for the Cultural Trust and the Oregon Arts Commission have been funded at the Governor’s recommended levels (SB 5524)
  • Renew the provision to spend cultural trust license plate monies on the marketing and promotion of the Trust (HB 2377)
Also in support of the cultural sector, the legislature provided funding for Oregon Public Broadcasting, and the Oregon Historical Society, long-standing members of the Cultural Advocacy Coalition.

Nearly all of our legislative priorities were adopted. We will be back in the 2020 session with a request to increase the amount of the Cultural Trust license plate by at least $5 a plate. We will continue to work with the Governor and the boards of the Oregon Cultural Trust and the Oregon Arts Commission on two concerning issues: 1) Increasing administrative costs, and, 2) Decreasing contributions to the Trust. 

With many thanks and forward momentum!"

Thank you, 

Dr. Nancy Golden 
Board of Directors President 
Cultural Advocacy Coalition 

Helpful materials from Arts & Culture Advocacy Day

Arts & Culture Advocacy Day in Salem occurred on April 23, 2019, hosted by the Cultural Advocacy Coalition. They provided the following PDF, which lists:

  • Tips for advocacy and communicating with legislators 
  • Legislative priorities for 2019
  • 2019 session bill summary report

View the document here.

Mailing Address: P.O. Box 8604, Portland, OR 97207
Contact: connect@oregonmuseums.org 
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