Did you know? Today is Museums Advocacy Day 2015!

Today is the 7th annual Museums Advocacy Day. More than 250 of your colleagues and fellow museum supporters are on Capitol Hill meeting with members of Congress and their staff to share the following facts and more about the impact of American museums:

  • Children who visited a museum during kindergarten had higher achievement scores in reading, mathematics and science in third grade than children who did not. This benefit is also seen in the subgroup of children who are most at risk for deficits and delays in achievement.
  • Museums directly contribute $21 billion to the U.S. economy each year. They generate billions more through indirect spending by their visitors.
  • The nonprofit arts and culture industry annually generates over $135 billion in economic activity, supports more than 4.1 million full-time jobs and returns over $22 billion in local, state and federal tax revenues.
  • Museum volunteers contribute a million hours of service every week.
  • Seventy-eight percent of all U.S. leisure travelers participate in cultural or heritage activities such as visiting museums. These travelers spend 63 percent more on average than other leisure travelers.
  • About 17 percent of museums are located in rural areas with fewer than 20,000 residents; other museums reach these communities with traveling vans, portable exhibits and robust online resources.
  • In determining America’s Best Cities, Businessweek.com placed the greatest weight on “leisure amenities [including density of museums], followed by educational metrics and economic metrics, and then crime and air quality.”

While many working in the museum field know that museums play a key role in education, job creation, tourism, economic development and more, elected officials are not fully aware of our enormous impact. With a new Congress just getting to work, now is a critical time to join the cause and help spread the word about the importance of museums.