Museum Day in Springfield

April 18 Museum Day Button


This year at Museum Day, IAM teamed up with Museums in the Park to ask the General Assembly to address the 2015 suspension of the Public Museum Grants.  We are pleased to announce that the funds were restored!


December 10, 2018
To: Illinois Museum Community
From: Larry Suffredin, Tom Suffredin

Re: SB 279

I met Friday with Speaker Michael Madigan to discuss passing SB 279 on January 7, 2019 when the current General Assembly returns. He stated that his view is that all the grants covered by SB 279 should be handled under the current re-appropriation language by Governor-elect Pritzker when he takes office on January 14, 2018. Therefore, the House will not pass SB 279.

Since the passage of the budget in June it has been the position of Museums and other stakeholders that SB 279 was not necessary and that the current law allowed the Governor’s office to issue the grant checks. It was the Governor’s office that felt it needed the additional authority of SB 279 before it would re-instate the grants the Governor suspended in March 2015.

The new Governor will be announcing his choices for Directors at Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity and Department of Natural Resources shortly. As soon as they are known we will meet with them to ask for immediate action after the inaugural.


Another Successful Museum Advocacy Day
at the Capitol

On April 18th, 2018, museums professionals from Chicago to Carbondale came together to advocate for museums in Illinois.  Each year the Association holds an Illinois Museum Advocacy Day to remind our legislators that we are here and are doing great things in their districts.  If you were unable to attend this year, make plans to join us next year.  

We share vital economic and educational information with our legislators demonstrating our impacts in our community and across the State.  Click here to enter your data for the Illinois Museums Economic Impact statement.  This is a great tool to share with your elected officials to demonstrate your impact in your community!

Illinois Museum Day


Illinois is better with museums.

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!