HMFM director Dr. Bob Brown and his wife Claudia were in Washington D.C. this week for Museum Advocacy Day! Check out all the exciting things they were part of:
Claudia and I arrived in DC late Saturday, Feb. 23 to get ready for AAM’s Museum Advocacy Day. Sunday we had a day off and managed to walk about 87 miles from our hotel to the Lincoln Memorial – awesome; Korean War Memorial – one of the most moving memorials I’ve ever seen, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial – a perfect setting, a perfectly wonderful monument to one of the great Americans of the late 20th century, and the WW II monument – a truly fitting and monumental tribute to the Greatest Generation. We walked past the White House, Washington Monument (closed), and Sackler Gallery.
Monday was an incredible day of training for lobbying with our Congressional delegation and made me feel much more confident, rather than like a fish out of water. Perfecting the Museum’s “elevator” speech, and learning the basics of Washington, DC-isms.
Today I truly had the honor of participating in the most American tradition of them all – meeting with our elected officials and petitioning them for a cause close to my heart – the future and the health of the museum community. While Representative Daines and Senators Baucus and Tester were understandably busy given the current situation of sequestration, I,John Barsness (of Bozeman) and Olga Dmitryuk (a student from Moscow) had a great meeting with staff members from all three Congressmen. They were all friendly, open, and helpful – in other words, Montanans. We urged then to sign a letter supporting “robust” funding for IMLS (Senator Baucus has already signed – thank you!), encouraged them to preserve the Charitable Deductions for nonprofits, and remember that museums are an integral part of the educational system as Congress looks at acting on a new Elementary and Secondary Education Act. All were very supportive and I hope that each will take advantage of my invitation to visit the Museum.
Senator Baucus has been a big friend of the entire country’s museum community and of the Historical Museum in our efforts to obtain and restore the ADC Headquarters.
Senator Tester is closely connected to us through his efforts for healthy forests and a healthy forestry industry; not to mention Trolley #50 that was restored in Big Sandy. We hope that Representative Daines will become a friend and I look forward to giving him and his staff a behind-the-scenes tour of the Museum the next time they are in town.
Being in Washington, the center of the universe, is an exciting and moving experience. I felt truly humble and blessed as I wandered around the Rayburn House Office and Hart Senate Office Buildings. Fantastic!