An open letter to the U.S. Congress

Include Museums in COVID-19 Relief and Economic Stimulus

7 so far! Let’s get to 10 signers!

Economic impact data compiled by AAM and Oxford Economics shows that museums contribute $50 billion a year to the US economy; support 726,000 jobs annually; and generate $12 billion in tax revenue to local, state, and federal governments. Museums are economic engines and play an essential role in the nation’s educational infrastructure, spending more than $2 billion a year on education. They are also community anchors, addressing challenges in times of crisis. Museums of all sizes are experiencing closure, attendance drop-offs, canceled events, and possible or actual layoffs in certain areas. Declines in international and domestic tourism, declines in local attendance, and increases in social-distancing will have a devastating impact on the museum community which operates on thin margins of financial sustainability. Currently, most museums are experiencing higher unanticipated costs related to increased sanitation labor and cleaning supplies to help prevent the virus’ spread while maintaining operations. Many museums also may need to cope with costs of moving employees to remote work and there are field-wide concerns, especially about the lowest paid and hourly staff potentially being hit the hardest. In addition to losses in earned revenue, museums are expecting lost charitable contributions as donors reassess their capacity to give due to the stock market’s volatility. I work at one of these museums and am witnessing the hardships firsthand. Please include museums in COVID-19 relief and economic stimulus.

First sent on March 20, 2020 by Friends of the American Alliance of Museums

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