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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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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IMLS Issues Funding Opportunity for CARES Act Grants for Museums and Libraries

On May 8, the Institute of Museum of Library Services (IMLS) issued a new Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for IMLS Cares Act Grants for Museums and Libraries (CAG-ML-FY20). The IMLS CARES Act Grants for Museums and Libraries grant program invites project proposals that focus on preserving jobs, training staff, addressing the digital divide, planning …

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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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Relief for museums and nonprofits in the $2 trillion CARES Act

The U.S. Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act enacted on March 27, 2020 is a $2 trillion relief package that provides financial support for individuals, small businesses, states, and other entities impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The CARES Act follows passage of two other pieces of COVID-19 legislation: the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response …

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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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Asking Congress to Support Museums in COVID-19 Response

UPDATE: A new letter asking for $4 billion in relief funds for museums and a temporary universal charitable deduction was sent on Wednesday, March 18. View the blog. On Friday, March 13, ASTC joined with our colleagues to send a letter asking the United States Congress to consider museums and other centers for science engagement that are helping communities prepare and respond to …

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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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President Trump’s proposed budget includes cuts to science and education

Earlier this week, the White House released its proposed budget for fiscal year (FY) 2021, which will begin on October 1, 2020. The President’s budget is more a statement of administration priorities than an actual fiscal plan, as it is Congress’ responsibility to actually pass a budget.  As with the several past budget requests, the …

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ASTC’s Statement on the U.S. President’s 2020 Budget Proposal

Cristin Dorgelo, President and CEO of the Association of Science-Technology Centers (ASTC), released the following statement regarding the Trump Administration’s Fiscal Year 2020 budget.   Although we await the eventual release of details, the broad outlines of President Trump’s Fiscal Year 2020 budget proposal made public today are acutely troubling for America’s scientific enterprise and …

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U.S. Congress Again Saves, Increases Museum Funding

“The Association of Science-Technology Centers (ASTC) commends the U.S. Congress for completing work on the Federal budget for Fiscal Year 2019 and for continuing to support science; research; and science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education. This bipartisan effort to resolve Fiscal Year 2019 funding is particularly welcome as the science community works to recover …

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United States Releases New Federal STEM Education 5-year Strategic Plan

Earlier today the U.S. National Science and Technology Council’s Committee on STEM Education (CoSTEM) released the new U.S. Federal STEM Education 5-year Strategic Plan. Click here to download your copy. This new strategic plan lays out the topline vision of “a future where all Americans have lifelong access to high-quality STEM education and the United …

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