Problems facing museums in this pandemic environment

This is a link to a very recent article in the Washington Post detailing the economic problems that museums of all sizes, and non-profits of all types are facing in the pandemic. It talks about how organizations relying on admissions revenues for daily operations are trying to cope, and how organizations with endowments are facing plunging portfolios.

It also discusses how large foundations (like the Ford) are creating emergency assistance funds that may help our member institutions over the tough spots we face now and into the future.


Join Field-wide Letter on COVID-19 Recovery for Museums

Congress is moving swiftly to pass a massive economic relief package in response to the COVID-19 crisis and the Alliance is working to ensure the museum community is included. Based on budget numbers from several museum associations and numbers from the Oxford Economics/AAM’s “Museums as Economic Engines” study, we calculated that museums are losing at least $33 million a day due to closures as a result of COVID-19, will be in desperate need of significant federal support and that we needed to urge the U.S. Congress to include at least $4 billion for nonprofit museums in economic relief legislation to provide emergency assistance through June. You can join this important effort by signing your organization on to this letter. 

To join the letter: Please email as soon as you are able with confirmation that your organization will sign-on and the name of your organization exactly as it should be listed on the letter. The more organizations join, the stronger the message. If you miss the 12 p.m. noon March 20 deadline but would like to join the letter, please continue to get in contact – we’ll continue to update and add organization’s names to the list for future and on-going circulation.

In the meantime, your continued outreach directly to your legislators is imperative. You can use our online action center to find your state and federal legislator information, and personalize your message to Congress in just a few clicks. You can use the same messaging with your state and local legislators. Please also share this information with your members and encourage them to contact their legislators as well.

Thank you for your critical advocacy for museums!

Ember Farber
Director, Advocacy

Government Relations & Advocacy
202.289.1818 • 202.218.7703 direct • 571-213-8517 CELL


 American Alliance of Museums
2451 Crystal Drive, Suite 1005
Arlington, VA 22202


Due to international health concerns, the CAMM 2020 Conference scheduled for April has been cancelled.  All registrations will be refunded (and thank you in advance for your patience).   Information about the 2021 conference will be posted in the coming weeks.   On behalf of the CAMM board, we wish you good health, and we look forward to seeing everyone in 2021.

$5 Million in Maritime Heritage Grant Funding! Action Needed!

The attached letter signed by US House of Representatives Brian Higgins (D-NY) and Greg Murphy (R-NC) requests the House Appropriations Committee chair and ranking member to assure inclusion of $5M in the 2021 Defense Appropriations bill for the National Maritime Heritage Grant Program. This bill is being written now! The maritime heritage community must reach out to our local members of Congress requesting them to sign on as supporters of this bipartisan letter of request.

Please email or contact your local member asking them to be a co-signer of the letter. Be sure to attach, or include with your letter, the attached letter from Reps Higgins and Murphy.

Members can sign on to the letter by contacting Rep. Higgins’ Legislative Director Kayla Williams at:

As always, I encourage you to send your emails to a staff member by name to assure receipt and prompt attention. Your member’s local office can provide the email address; staff can also forward your letter to the appropriate staff member.

Please make the effort and contact your local Representative. More co-signers to the letter will help assure our success in securing the $5M for the grant program.


Timothy J. Runyan, PhD

Chair, National Maritime Alliance

Final Maritime Heritage DOD(3)


Society for the History of Technology’s Dibner Award

I am pleased to announce that nominations are open for the Society for the History of Technology’s Dibner Award.

The Dibner Award for Excellence in Museum Exhibits was established in 1985, through the generosity of Bern Dibner, to recognize excellence in museums and museum exhibits that interpret the history of technology, industry, and engineering to the general public. Winning exhibits, in addition to being well designed and produced, should raise pertinent historical issues. Artifacts and images should be used in a manner that interests, teaches, and stimulates both the general public and historians. The award consists of a plaque and up to $1,000 to cover expenses for a member of the design team to accept the award at the SHOT awards banquet.

Exhibits are eligible for this award if they have been open to the public for no more than 24 months before the deadline for nominations on 15 April 2020

The Society especially encourages nominations from local and regional historical societies. Virtual exhibits are not eligible for the award.

Further information about the prize, including nomination forms, a list of past recipients, and the members of the Dibner Award Committee can be found on the SHOT website.

Should any questions arise while completing the nomination form, please feel free to contact me or any other member of the Dibner Committee.

via Bernard Finn