Museum community requests additional COVID-19 relief for museums

A coalition of national museums associations—including ASTC—are speaking up on the continuing need for relief to museums as a result of the lasting impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a letter sent to the bipartisan leadership of the United States House of Representatives and United States Senate, the museums associations asked for additional funding through the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) program as well as support for the many museums ineligible for SVOG because they do not have “fixed seating.”

In addition to ASTC, the letter was sent on behalf of the American Alliance of Museums (AAM), American Association for State and Local History, American Public Gardens Association, Association of African American Museum, Association of Art Museum Directors, Association of Children’s Museums, Association of Science Museum Directors, and Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

Many museums across the country have only been able to avoid permanent closure because of previous relief funding from federal, state, and local governments—including SVOG and forgivable Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans. But because of the continuing impact of the pandemic, including the dramatic recent surge of the Omicron variants, museums across the country are already announcing new temporary closures and reduced hours along with unprecedented staff shortages.

At the same time, nearly all museums have continued to serve their missions and their communities, including by providing increased community resilience, supporting STEM learning and engagement, and promoting vaccination.

ASTC joins with our fellow museums associations in encouraging our community to lift up the interests of museums to their Members of Congress. You can write now through the AAM advocacy alert.

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