Dear Members, Friends, and Colleagues,
Last week, the American Association of State and Local History published their 2022 National Visitation Report. The report illustrates that although some history organizations saw as much as a 75% increase in attendance in 2021 over 2020, overall visitation remains well below pre-pandemic levels. With hard data like this, organizational leaders and stakeholders can gain insights into the progress of the sector’s ongoing recovery.
Quantifiable trends clearly show that museums can no longer operate –care for collections, produce exhibitions, and engage with communities– the way that they operated in 2019. But how much funding do museums need now and for what purposes? How do we measure the value that museums bring as economic drivers? How can we show all the ways that museums contribute to communities?
In Governor Hochul’s recent announcement of the historic allocation of $150M in capital grants available through the New York State Council on the Arts, she said “New York’s arts and cultural organizations strengthen our economic well-being, nourish our diversity and identity, and support our communities.” The Museum Study Bill, passed almost unanimously by the legislature earlier this year, directs the department of economic development, in conjunction with other departments and entities, to conduct a comprehensive study of public and private museums, including taking a census of public and private museums in the state, and to report the findings and recommendations of such study.
This bill and the resulting report will help all of New York’s museums quantify their impact and communicate their value. But we still need Governor Hochul to sign the bill.
Your voice is essential in our efforts to strengthen the field and to show the Governor the important roles your museums play in your community. Please take a few minutes out of your day today to let the Governor know that you support the bill, that you need the data to respond to changes in our world, and the ways in which the report will help communicate the value of your museum. You can send an email to Governor Hochul using this link or send a handwritten note to:
The Honorable Kathy Hochul
Governor of New York State
NYS State Capitol Building
Albany, NY 12224
With thanks in advance for your time and your support,