NEWS: Museum Advocacy Day Ensures Lawmakers Know the Vital Role of Museums

February 27, 2017

Blackbaud joins museum professionals and supporters in Washington, D.C. to share impact and value of museums to local communities with Congress

Charleston, S.C. (February 27, 2017) — Blackbaud, Inc. (NASDAQ: BLKB), the world’s leading cloud software company powering social good, today announced it is partnering with the American Alliance of Museums again to host Museums Advocacy Day in the Nation’s Capital.

Since 2009, more than 1,700 advocates have come to Washington, D.C. for Museums Advocacy Day and delegates have made more than 2,350 congressional visits. The purpose of this day is to advocate for federal support of America’s museums. Advocates from across the country gather for a day of issue briefings and then meet on Capitol Hill with members of Congress and their staff members.

The American Alliance of Museums represents over 35,000 individual museum professionals, volunteers, institutions and corporate partners. It aims to develop standards and best practices, gather and share knowledge, and provide advocacy on issues of concern to the entire museum community.

“Motivated in part by concerns about reports that the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) could face potential elimination, museum professionals are stepping up in record numbers this year,” said Alliance President and CEO Laura Lott. “These agencies play a uniquely valuable role in helping make the arts and humanities accessible to every American. The museum field will stand strongly against any effort to impede the important work of NEA and NEH, and the multiplier effect their grants have in local communities.”

“We will need every museum professional, every trustee, and every volunteer to speak with one voice to help preserve these vital agencies, and to make sure the new Congress knows about the vital role museums play in our communities, our economy, and in the education of our young people,” Lott added.

“Blackbaud is proud to join forces with over 300 advocates, including museum directors, trustees, educators, development officers, government relations, visitor services, volunteers, students and business owners, to bring a unified message to Congress, share stories demonstrating why museums are essential and describe how federal policies affect museums,” said Kevin Knight, Blackbaud’s senior vice president and general manager, Arts and Cultural. “We feel compelled to stand by our customers and help educate our lawmakers on the vital role museums play in the communities they serve.”

Blackbaud wants members of Congress to understand how museums continue to be an anchor in their communities.  The company recently donated $1 million to the International African American Museum (IAAM), which will be built on Charleston’s Gadsden’s Wharf. Blackbaud will sponsor the Digital Media Lab that will allow virtual or in-person visitors to the museum to trace their family origins, research their ancestry and record their own stories. This museum will anchor African American history to the place in Charleston that holds rich heritage and unique history and allow visitors to walk away with a newfound sense of cultural appreciation and unity.

The nonprofit arts and culture industry generates over $135 billion annually in economic activity, supports more than 4.1 million full-time jobs and returns over $22 billion in local, state and federal tax revenues. The typical museum devotes three-quarters of its education budget to K-12 students and helps teach the state, local or core curriculum, tailoring their programs in math, science, art, literacy, language arts, history, civics and government, economics and financial literacy, geography and social studies.

Learn more about Museum Advocacy Day at www.aam-us.org/advocacy/museums-advocacy-day and the issues being presented to Congress at www.aam-us.org/docs/default-source/advocacy/issues-at-a-glance.pdf.

Follow this news on Twitter using #MuseumsAdvocacy2017.

See the full press release >

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