- New Museum Project
- Temporary Exhibits
- Online Exhibits
Valdez, Alaska, February 23, 2023 -In February, Patricia Relay from the Valdez Museum & Historical Archive and Dixie Clough from Museums Alaska will travel to Washington, D.C., joining museum professionals from across the country for Museums Advocacy Day, February 27 -28, 2023 hosted by the American Alliance of Museums. The purpose is to share the important work museums do with the Alaska Delegation.
Museums are not only vital to our society and culture, but they are also essential. In addition to serving as community anchors, providing unique educational opportunities for people of all ages, and protecting our cultural heritage, museums are a boon to our economy. Alaska has over 100 museums, cultural centers and historic properties that preserve and exhibit our history. They are anchor institutions, rooted in their communities that deliver education services, research opportunities, exhibit local art and culture, provide public programs, and generate revenue through cultural tourism.
Prior to the pandemic, nationally, museums contributed $50 billion to the economy, supported more than 726,000 American jobs, and generated more than $12 billion in tax revenue, one-third of it going to state and local governments. Each job created by the museum sector results in $16,495 in additional tax revenue. Every direct job at a museum supports an additional job in the economy, a higher rate than many other industries. In fact, museums and other nonprofit cultural organizations return more than $5 in tax revenues for every $1 they receive in funding from all levels of government.
Here, in Alaska, museums have a $67,800,000 total financial impact on Alaska’s economy; support 229 full time jobs; and generate $6,752,692 in federal, state, and local taxes.
Our legislators need to know the unique role and importance of museums in our communities and our economy, the dire impacts the pandemic has had on the field, and the ways museums continue to serve their communities as essential community infrastructure and a backbone of the nation’s education system. Museums are deeply deserving of federal support, with 96 percent of Americans thinking positively of their elected officials who take legislative action to support museums. Congress faces a vast list of policy issues to consider, many of which can have a lasting impact on museums. We are proud to be participating in Museums Advocacy Day 2023, organized by the American Alliance of Museums, to share the value of museums with new and returning legislators.
Among other issues, museum advocates will urge Congress to increase funding for federal agencies that help museums better serve their communities, such as the Institute of Museum and Library Services, enact legislation to increase charitable giving, and support for the National Endowments for the Arts and the Humanities. Alaska’s cultural affiliations and geographic distances are immense. Federally supported grants are vital to our cultural organizations, especially in remote communities such as Valdez. With a population of 3,900 residents Valdez has just one dedicated venue in which artists can exhibit their work. It is only through the Alaska State Council on the Arts Community Arts Development Grant, funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, that the Valdez Museum can provide a venue for local and regional artists.
We encourage our community members to amplify our efforts. At the American Alliance of Museums website (aam-us.org/advocacy), you’ll find advocacy tools that let you convey your support for museums to your members of Congress with just a few clicks.
Better yet please share your love for your museum on social media and include the hashtag #MuseumsAdvocacy2023 #MuseumsAdvocacy #MuseumsAlaska #ValdezMuseum We look forward to sharing your stories.
About the Valdez Museum:
The Valdez Museum & Historical Archive is an active place. We bring the stories of our community’s history alive through our programs and activities. For more information, please visit our website at www.valdezmuseum.org or on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or YouTube.
About Museums Alaska:
Museums Alaska supports museums and cultural centers in Alaska and enhances public understanding of their value. To accomplish its organizational purpose Museums Alaska maintains a central office to receive and disburse information about museums, cultural centers and their activities, and to collect and share professional opportunities. Museums Alaska organizes an annual meeting to focus on the needs of Alaska museum professionals, volunteers, and their institutions. For more information, please visit our website at www.museumsalaska.org.
Patricia Relay, Executive Director
Valdez Museum & Historical Archive firstname.lastname@example.org
Dixie Clough, Director
Museums Alaska email@example.com