Museum Day in Springfield

Museum Day is April 23, 2015

Click Here to Register!

Please note, payment of $30 per person can be made by check or via paypal.  Staying overnight? IAM has a block of rooms for $89+tax at The State House Inn - an Ascend Collection Hotel 101 East Adams Street - Springfield, Illinois 62701   Phone (217) 528-5100.

Location: Illinois State Museum & Capitol
Tentative Agenda:
7:30am-10am   Registration and packet pick up at ISM
7:30am-10am   Continental Breakfast with Legislators and Networking
10am-Noon       Advocacy Program with an overview of current issues, talking points, and guest speakers
Noon-1pm         Lunch on your own
1pm-5pm         Meetings with your legislators (you schedule these)


Optional Evening Before Event FREE to Registered Participants:
Wednesday, April 22, 2015
Location: JR Building 313 S. 6th Street
5pm-7pm          Advocacy Training for Beginners: “What to Know Before You Meet at the Rail”
7pm-8:30pm      Informal gathering of museum professionals (Location TBD)

Advocating for museums is critical to a thriving museum community.  But, before you say “I’m too small to matter” or “they have too many other concerns to make time for us”- consider some direct benefits to being an ACTIVE museum advocate:

  • You make the case for your impact on the community. 
    Your institution has a direct impact on the constituents of your elected officials- they will care about you!
      Get their attention with quick bullet points of number of the teachers and students served, how many staff, members and volunteers you have, any capital projects that hired outside help, any special projects that served a community need (literacy, food, clothing, etc.) or just a list of your recent accomplishments will work.  How do you impact your community?  See IAM’s Economic Impact Statement for more ideas.
  • You increase your network for public and private funding. 
    Your institution fosters cultural awareness in your community and THAT HAS VALUE!  By sharing your message, you can expand your network of stakeholders in the community and strengthen the base of support.  Are your elected officials members of your museum?  Why not?  
  • You can influence legislation that impacts museums. 
    A strong, united voice in the museum community with museums big and small represented can make a difference. 

The # 1 Advocacy pitfall: Waiting until you have a serious problem before meeting with your representatives or elected officials. 

Extending your hand for help during crisis mode is NOT the best time to ask elected officials for support.  If a crisis does occur, it would be far better to have built a relationship and informed them of your impact on the community.  That way, you have a supporter who understands what effect your museum has on their constituents.  Making your case to dodge the iceberg is easier if the boat is not already sinking…

WHAT TO DO TODAY:  Call up the local office and invite them to your next event.  If you can, acknowledge them publicly at the event or take pictures to post on social media to thank them for coming.  Don’t forget your local officials too!