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Advocacy News

COVID-19 news and updates

OMA update

Like all of us, OMA is trying to stay on top of the daily changes and announcements regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. Our board members are engaged in advocacy, funding, planning and day-to-day museum administration issues related to the pandemic. And there are many Oregon agencies that have been working tirelessly to keep us all informed.

We recommend that our members use the following organizations' websites (and sign up for alerts) to stay on top of the latest COVID-19 news.

Use the OMA forum

In addition, we recommend that members use the OMA forum to share COVID-19 news and updates. You must be a member and register online to use the forum. Recent posts include a sign-on letter for Oregon museum funding, and requests for feedback on how the pandemic is affecting your work.

Museums Advocacy Day, February 24-25, 2020, Washington DC

Museums Advocacy Day, February 24-25, 2020, Washington DC

(from the American Alliance of Museums (AAM)

Join AAM February 24-25, 2020 for Museums Advocacy Day, a unique opportunity to network with peers from your region and beyond, build your professional advocacy skills, and hear from federal agency and nonprofit leaders. Learn advocacy strategies and techniques you can use on Capitol Hill, with your city council and state legislators, with local and regional funders, and to advocate for yourself throughout your career.

Being an engaged and effective constituent is your advocacy super-power!

Find out more.

Chartable giving survey - please respond by November 30

From the American Alliance of Museums (AAM)

Exacerbating existing trends in charitable giving, the 2017 tax law significantly changed the charitable giving environment by doubling the standard deduction. The Charitable Giving Coalition (CGC), made up of hundreds of charities and associations--including AAM--involved in providing philanthropic services to communities across the country, continues to examine the impact of these tax changes on charitable giving throughout 2019 and beyond.

In coordination with CGC, we encourage you to complete this brief, 9-question survey about the need for services in your community and giving trends at your organization. AAM currently plans to collect this survey data periodically. This data will help our efforts to enact a universal charitable deduction, allowing taxpayers to deduct their charitable contributions, regardless of whether they itemize. Please complete the survey by November 30, 2019.

Take the Charitable Giving Survey!

FY 2020 Federal Funding Status Update

From the American Alliance of Museums (AAM) -posted October 2019

While FY 2020 began on October 1, a short-term funding bill is keeping the federal government running at FY 2019 levels through November 21 to give Congress time to work out a spending deal and avoid a government shutdown. So far, the House has passed 10 of its 12 appropriations bills. The Senate has not passed any of its appropriations bills, although the Senate Appropriations Committee has passed several bills and reported funding levels for some agencies and programs, including for:

  • IMLS: The Senate’s draft proposal would increase Office of Museum Services (OMS) at the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) by $1 million. The House bill would fund OMS at an historic $8 million increase of $42.7 million. The FY 2019 funding level was $34.7 million. 
  • NEH & NEA: The Senate Appropriations Committee would provide the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities each with a $2 million increase – whereas the House would provide each with a $12.5 million increase to $167.5 million, the amount museum advocates requested. The FY 2019 funding level was $155 million for each agency.
Find out more.

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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