posted by CAA — Apr 16, 2021
CAA representatives advocated for the arts and humanities with partners at the American Association of Museums (AAM) and the National Humanities Alliance (NHA) this spring for Museums Advocacy Day on February 23 and Humanities Advocacy Day on March 11, 2021. Alongside other academic societies, scholars, and museum professionals, CAA urged congressional representatives and senators to back full funding for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and particularly the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS), which provides grants for museums and arts organizations throughout the country, for the fiscal year 2022. Increased allocations for these programs would bring funding levels back to what they were over a decade ago in 1998. We met with the offices of New York representatives Tom Reed, Jerry Nadler, Carolyn Maloney, John Katko, and Yvette Clarke and senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Chuck Schumer. Sen. Schumer joined Museums Advocacy Day in person to share his enthusiasm about moving forward with emergency relief funds for arts organizations and supporting more space for them in the next year’s congressional budget.
CAA has been participating in these meetings for the past three years. We noted that 1/3 of all museums in the US are at risk of closing without assistance. We also stressed the importance of museums as institutions that have served our community greatly during COVID and have come up with creative solutions for childhood education, community building, virtual exhibitions, and out-of-the-box engagement strategies. The arts and humanities have helped our communities cope and their spaces—schools, libraries, and museums—remain some of the only spaces in communities that can be accessed freely by the public.