TAKE ACTION ON THE 2024-25 PA BUDGET NEGOTIATIONS

Please contact your lawmakers in Harrisburg today. You can find your Representative in the PA House or your Pennsylvania Senator here. You can use the sample text below and/or customize it to include information about your organization and the importance of the PHMC’s Cultural and Historical Support grants. Please send copies of correspondence to PA Museums (rusty.baker@pamuseums.org) so we can keep track of this effort.

May XX, 2024

Dear:

I write today on behalf of ________your organization______ in strong support of the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC)’s Cultural and Historical Support Grants, which provide critical operating support for about 160 museums and historical societies.  I, along with the PA Museums, request your support for increasing the Cultural and Historical Support grants line item to $6 million in the FY24-25 PA Budget.  This amount would restore the level of funding these grants received back in 2012.

PA Museums is a statewide association, an independent nonprofit creating and supporting museum community in Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania’s museum community includes museums of all kinds large and small. Our rich heritage as one of the original thirteen colonies has provided a firm foundation for our museums, historic sites, history organizations, science museums, and children’s museums to engage millions of visitors annually with world class collections and programs. Our community of museums and historical organizations are centers of teaching and learning about local and Pennsylvania history for school children and preserving the history and the architecture of communities. These institutions are the stewards of millions of dollars in artifacts and hallowed places that tell the story of our state and its people. Our organizations are economic drivers for tourism dollars and make direct and indirect impacts to the economy while supporting 25,000 jobs in the Commonwealth.

After having been reduced, then eliminated, and then put back into the state budget as a line item, the Cultural and Historical Support grants have been flat funded at $2 million since 2012.  With museums’ still recovering from losing visitors during the pandemic, increases in operating expenses over the years and in every area of operations, the $2 million line item does not provide enough support to the pool of grantees.

With the above in mind, we are respectfully requesting an increase to the Cultural and Historical Support grants line item to $6 million.  This amount would restore the level of funding these grants received back in 2012.

Thank you for your time and attention to this important funding.  Please do not hesitate to call upon me.

Sincerely,

XXX
Title
Organization

ABOUT OUR ADVOCACY WORK

PA Museums is the foremost advocate in Pennsylvania for museums and historical organizations. Our advocacy activities focus on state government policy and issues that directly impact our membership.  PA Museums will advocate on behalf of our members on the local and federal levels from time to time, and a large part of our advocacy work is sharing information about museums with the broader public.

Our advocacy activities are nonpartisan, and our aim is to educate and inform elected officials and their staff so that Pennsylvania’s museums and historical organizations have the support they need. We invite our members to actively engage their legislators and elected officials regularly in a friendly, professional relationship. PA Museums sometimes requests support for museums and historical organizations and request our members contact their elected officials to ask them to support particular legislation that strengthens museums.

Like a good watchdog, we keep an eye on what Pennsylvania’s lawmakers are doing in education, tourism, and economic development that intersect with museums and historical organizations. Every year we report frequently on the state budget process from its beginnings in February with the Executive Budget to the final budget approved at the end of June. When the House or Senate present alternative plans, we report on these. We pay close attention to the budget’s allocations for the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, and the Department of Community and Economic Development.