Chambers of Commerce Send a Second Request to the U.S. Congress in Support of Cultural Institutions

On August 6, the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with New York’s Capital Region Chamber of Commerce, sent a letter to U.S. Congressional leadership addressing the continued impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on cultural institutions and requesting an increased allocation of funds for the Institute of Museums and Library Services (IMLS) and the National Endowment …

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#InviteCongress for an August visit

This post was written in collaboration with the Association of Children’s Museums (ACM) and is cross posted on the ACM blog. The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on science and technology centers and museums, natural history museums, children’s museums, and other STEM-rich, place-based institutions. Our field is beginning to get a sense of …

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Museum Community Sends a New Set of Requests to the U.S. Congress

On July 13, ASTC and other national museum associations sent U.S. Congressional leadership a letter raising up the continued threats our sector faced due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Through the joint letter, the coalition requests several legislative actions be included the next Federal relief bill that would provide support for our community. These requests include: Emergency Funding Programs …

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Grants from the National Endowment of the Humanities will help sustain seven ASTC Members through the COVID-19 pandemic

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) announced $40.3 million in new grants to help more than 300 cultural institutions across the country navigate the COVID-19 pandemic. As part $2.2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, NEH received $75 million in supplemental funding. The NEH’s CARES Act grants will help awardees retain staff who can preserve …

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Museum Practitioners Publish Open-Access Scholarship at the Intersection of Personal Identity and Museum Practice

Twelve museum professionals from across the United States took part in a new professional development program—the Writing Scholars Workshop—that seeks to elevate the voices of a new generation of museum workers, and advance the museum field’s dialogue around critical topics and practices.  Developed and led by Curator: The Museum Journal and Knology, a nonprofit social science think tank, …

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Help tell the story of what afterschool and youth development programs need going forward

Across the U.S., 10.2 million kids rely on afterschool programs and in every community, the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the ability of these programs to serve young people and their families. To face this challenge effectively, it is important for education leaders, policymakers, funders, and the public to have comprehensive information about the current situation, …

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24 U.S. Senators Request $2 Billion for Museums

On May 29, 24 senators from 16 states sent a letter to Senate leaders Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Charles Schumer (D-NY) requesting at least $2 billion for museums in the next COVID-19 relief package. In the letter, they write: “…we urge you to include at least $2 billion for the Institute for Museums and Library Services to administer …

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143 Chambers of Commerce Urge the U.S. Congress to Support Cultural Institutions

On May 6, a coalition of 143 chambers of commerce sent a letter to U.S. Congressional leadership requesting Federal relief and funding for the cultural and performing arts sectors during the COVID-19 pandemic, including museums, aquariums, and zoos. Led by the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce (GBCC) and the Capital Region Chamber of Commerce (New York), …

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A Deep Dive into the New CARES Act Grant Programs from the U.S. Department of Education

Updated July 1, 2020 to include information about the newly announced “Reimagine Workforce Preparation Grants Program.” The U.S. Department of Education (ED) received $30.75 billion for an “Educational Stabilization Fund” through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, signed into law on March 27, 2020. Four grant programs—each described in greater depth below—are part …

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88 Members of the U.S. House of Representatives Support $6 Billion for Museums

On April 16, 88 members of the U.S. House of Representatives sent a letter to House leadership, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), that requests a dedicated fund of up to $6 billion for museums to be distributed through the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Representatives Debbie Dingell (D-MI) and Fred Upton (R-MI) were …

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Including STEM Engagement in U.S. COVID-19 Recovery Efforts

In addition to their core research work, many Federal science agencies have a mission to engage the public with current scientific research; educate Americans in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM); and seed tomorrow’s workforce. The COVID-19 pandemic emphasizes the importance of providing tools for the public to evaluate scientific information, bolstering community science literacy, …

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Museum Community Asks for Support in Phase 4 of U.S. Federal COVID-19 Relief

As a result of our previous collective advocacy efforts, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act enacted on March 27, 2020 included nonprofits in the loans from the Small Business Administration (SBA) and some support for the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). See  this summary  for more on the CARES Act. On April 6, nine museum associations …

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A Second Letter to Congress Requests $4 Billion for Museums for COVID-19 Economic Relief

On Wednesday, March 18, ASTC joined with our colleagues to send a letter urging the United States Congress to include at least $4 billion for nonprofit museums in COVID-19 economic relief legislation to provide emergency assistance through June. Museums are losing at least $33 million a day due to closures as a result of the  COVID-19 outbreak and are in desperate need …

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U.S. Federal Agencies Share Opportunities for Science Centers and Museums

On February 26, representatives from eight U.S. Federal agencies shared current programs and future opportunities in science engagement and STEM education for science centers, museums, zoos, aquariums, and other cultural institutions. ASTC convened this event to supplement Museums Advocacy Day, an annual event organized by the American Alliance of Museums (AAM) that brought 375 museum …

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An Updated Look at the State of Science and Engineering in the U.S.

Science centers and museums have a deep commitment to equity and inclusion in STEM, and to ensuring that those engaged in our work is representative of the diversity of the communities we serve. At present, we know that certain populations are underrepresented in the STEM workforce, obtain STEM degrees at lower rate, and score lower …

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