Nonprofit Cultural Institutions Send Message to Congress

Leveraging Cultural Institutions in Community Recovery and Resilience

Congress is sorting through how to address the near-term and long-term impacts of the COVID-19 crisis. Planning for recovery must take place even as we cope with immediate struggles. As the country’s leadership consider those steps to a future where all Americans can thrive, cultural institutions can make an important difference.

Last last month five major professional associations sent a message to Congress that recovery requires cross-sector approaches, and ones that embrace climate action, so that all of us benefit from the recovery – right away through jobs and access to resources, and in the long-term through a safe and healthy environment and a resilient economy. By incorporating cultural institutions as community anchors in sustainable planning and recovery implementation, Congress can leverage the visibility and high level of public trust in our institutions to highlight its work to “build back better.”

This message got through thanks to the endorsement of the American Association for State and Local History, Association of Children’s Museums, New England Museum Association, California Association of Museums and the American Alliance of Museums.

The letter highlighted seven ways to do this important work for the good of all:

1) Mobilize formal and informal education approaches for nation-wide climate literacy.
2) Support affordable broadened and intensified Internet access for rural and disadvantaged communities.
3) Support research and investment in nature spaces that are cool, clean, healthy and restorative.
4) Increase availability of clean and renewable energy to drive down operational energy costs while reducing environmental impacts.
5) Support energy generation and efficiency projects that emphasize innovation, demonstration and scaling to reduce costs and environmental and health impacts.
6) Support transportation infrastructure that provides healthy and safe, affordable, clean-energy travel within communities—directly to cultural organizations.
7) Invest in coastal, riverine, and urban stormwater management infrastructure that accelerates the removal of combined sewage overflow systems at the same time that we restore natural ecosystems and adaptive infrastructure.

Congress has the power to invest positively, renewably, in the future of all communities across the country—and cultural institutions will help.

You’ll find the full text of the letter through the link below. Thanks so much to my peers at We Are Still In who are doing this work so well, and were critical to the development of this letter. It’s just the beginning of the difference we can all make in our future.

Please share widely, and let me know what I can do to help you send these messages.

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