Museum Advocacy Day is a two-day observation, usually taking place during the last week of February. This year, it takes place from February 26 to 27. The day marks the fruitful efforts of the supporters and beneficiaries of a museum with the support of the American Alliance of Museums. The day brings people together as they advocate for better funding routes for museums across the U.S. The mission is to identify and advocate for funding and support from Congress.
History of Museum Advocacy Days
Museum Advocacy Day informs the public about the policies that impact the funding and functionality of America’s museums. The aim is to inform and arm the supporters with necessary facts and figures about the benefits, shortfalls, and learnings of different ways that a museum sustains itself. Through this observation and awareness campaign, people have the opportunity to join in the pressure campaign against curtailed funding of American museums.
Museums are inextricably linked to America’s identity, history, and economy — yet so many workers find it hard to pay their bills and ensure the continuation of museums. Through Museum Advocacy Day, we can change that. Throughout the two-day observation, museum representatives from across the country connect and share their stories of struggles regarding lack of job security and benefits in this career.
Museum funds are allocated as per the size, visitor statistics, hours of operation, funding sources, and the subject of the museum. The two days also highlight the recommendations being made to support the distribution of the budget as per the size, location, and discipline of museums across the country.
Museum Advocacy Day is affiliated with the Association of Science and Technology Centers and the American Alliance of Museums, the oldest and best-known museum advocacy non-profit group in the country. The observation is an educational experience for museum supporters and workers across the country. By learning about the facts and making their case against curtailed funding of museums, they place themselves in better positions for negotiation and action.
Museum Advocacy Days timeline
English officer Elias Ashmole discovers the first-ever museum at the University of Oxford.
A renewed interest in art and architecture drives banking families and wealthy merchants to collect art as status symbols.
Museum workers and enthusiasts assemble to form the first-ever advocacy group for museums called the American Alliance of Museums.
More than 300 museum professionals from across the country gather for the first-ever Museum Advocacy Day.
Museum Advocacy Days FAQs
Who funds the museums in the U.S.?
Public funds, endowments, donations, and membership fees are the main sources of income for most museums in the U.S.
What is the best time to visit a museum?
The opening hours and pre-evening rush are some of the best times to visit a museum for a hassle-free and immersive experience.
Which is the oldest museum in the U.S.?
The Charleston Museum in Charleston, South Carolina, was established in 1773 and is the oldest museum in the U.S.
How to Observe Museum Advocacy Days
Write a letter to your elected officials
Museums serve the people and are meant for public consumption. We underestimate the impact that a museum can have on growing kids and people of all ages. As one of the greatest gifts that one generation passes to the next, we must be vocal about museums and advocate for their preservation.
Share the agenda
Call your local representatives and speak about the urgency that museums are dealing with. Speak about the importance of museums in your community and come up with ways in which you can bring a positive change to the museums in your community.
Explore the museums around you
There’s nothing like getting your tourist cap on and taking a stroll in your local museums with a fresh pair of eyes and an open mind. There’s so much to explore, there’s a story in every nook. It’s never too late to learn new things about the city you call home.
5 Excellent Tips To Make The Most Out Of Your Museum Experience
Book tickets online
Avoid the hassle of extra-long ticket lines with a pre-booked ticket.
Set your phone on vibration
Leave the world outside and try to be present during museum visits or tours.
Seek a guide
Get the best details and juiciest information from an expert.
Read the descriptions, ask questions, and have a childlike curiosity for all artifacts.
Support the museum with a purchase or two from the gift shop.
Why Museum Advocacy Days is Important
Museums are an essential part of a civil society
Museums preserve matters of cultural, religious, and historical value. They are a symbol of generational connection and are an important educational experience that every person must have in their lives. Museum Advocacy Day fights to secure protection and funding to continue its operations.
Museums need federal funding
There’s been a persistent threat by Congress and special lobbying groups to either limit or eliminate federal support for museums. Legislators operating in a vacuum will never be able to fully grasp the urgency and the importance of museums — not unless we raise our collective voice. The annual event draws the attention of the community and makes the case for improved funding for museums.
Museums serve the public
Museums protect historical art and artifacts from falling into the hands of capitalists and private interest groups. Meanwhile, we must have access to our collective heritage! For museums to stay open and available to everyone at minimal costs, they must continue to receive public funding.
Museum Advocacy Days dates