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Help Us Protect the Arts

The Trump administration’s 2019 budget once again calls for the complete elimination of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), the National Endowment for Humanities (NEH), and the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). This act would be a harsh setback for the George Eastman Museum and other arts, cultural, and educational institutions. It would harm many people who benefit from the agencies’ programs: artists; scholars and students; veterans and the disabled; and children, parents, and the elderly. It is urgent that we all advocate for these institutions, which are invaluable to our culture and society.

Over the past 25 years, the Eastman Museum has received more than $5 million from the NEA, NEH, and IMLS—supporting almost every aspect of our mission. These grants have enabled our institution to undertake projects it could not otherwise afford, including:

  • Preserve about 800 films onto new film stock so that they can be publicly exhibited
  • Preserve 1,270 daguerreotypes by Southworth and Hawes
  • $300,000 for critical upgrades to our vaults
  • $200,000 for the Technicolor Online Research Archive
  • $149,997 for the library finding aids for special collections
  • $148,079 for cataloging and digitizing the Gabriel Cromer collection of nineteenth-century French photography

Federal grants have helped the Eastman Museum advance our mission for the benefit of the Rochester community and the larger universe of individuals whose lives are enriched by preservation of and access to objects in our collection.

It is imperative that the museum’s supporters, regardless of their political affiliation, communicate to their elected representatives—in federal, state, and local government—that arts and cultural institutions are essential to our communities and are dependent on sustained or increased public support. The George Eastman Museum urges you to reach out to members of Congress and demand sustained funding for these agencies, which play such a vital role in our cultural lives and democratic society.

Take Action

Contact Your Representative 

American Alliance of Museums Action Toolkit 

Live in Rochester, NY? Contact our Local Representatives

Contact Governor Andrew M. Cuomo 

Contact the Office of the Twenty-fifth Congressional District of New York (Formerly the Office of Congresswoman Louise M. Slaughter)

Contact Senator Charles E. Schumer 

Contact Senator Kristen Gillibrand 

More contact information in New York available on MANY Online 

Resources

American Alliance of Museums Appeal to Speak Up for Museums 

Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Statement (March 2017)

Association of Art Museum Directors Statement (March 2017)

WXXI: Considering possible major federal funding cuts to the arts and museums (March 2017)