Advocating for Conservation and Museums This Fall

As summer turns to Fall and Congress moves back into session, we are entering what could be an active time for Museum Advocacy, both before and after the November election.
While Congress has not yet enacted any of the 12 annual appropriations bills into law, the House and Senate have each completed some work on their Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 funding proposals. There may also be an upcoming vote on a
stop-gap bill to keep the Federal Government Open.

The chart below compiled by AAM shows how the FY 2017 bills compare to FY 2016 current funding for some programs impacting museums:



 FY 2017 HOUSE


 IMLS Office of Museum Services

 $31.3 million

 $31.3 million

 $31.9 million

 National Endowment for the

 $147.9 million

 $149.8 million

 $148.4 million

 National Endowment for the Arts

 $147.9 million

 $149.8 million

 $148.4 million

 NSF Advancing Informal STEM Learning

 $62.5 million


 $62.5 million

 Smithsonian Institution

 $840 million

 $863 million

 $860 million

 State and Tribal Historic
Preservation Offices

 $56.9 million

 $58.9 million

 $57.9 million

 Civil Rights Movement sites

 $8 million

 $11 million

 $10 million

 Save America’s Treasures


 $5 million


 National Park Service Operations

 $2.370 billion

 $2.435 billion

 $2.406 billion

Considering that the total allowable funding for FY 2017 domestic spending is essentially frozen at current levels, the numerous small increases for museum-related programs are an encouraging start. However, none of these totals have been finalized and they could all be altered significantly in year-end negotiations. Even if you have done so before, it would be helpful to let your legislators know where you stand on issues affecting museums and conservation. Visit the AAM website, where you will find many advocacy templates that you can personalize and use for this cause.

Get in touch with your representatives now to create a strong link and enhance the value of any future communications with them about legislation up for vote. Please be on the lookout for AIC advocacy alerts in the coming weeks.