The Museums Alaska Board and Director will be traveling to Juneau from January 30 to February 2 to advocate for several field wide priorities.
We will be reaching out to organizations for support letters in the near future. To make it as easy as possible, we will provide templates that you can edit as needed.
Our three priorities for 2024 are:
Updating the Undocumented Property Statute
The current undocumented property statute requires museums and cultural centers to follow outdated and expensive methods of public notifications, which prevent them from managing their collections to meet their mission.
We have been working with Representative Carrick's office and several collections managers across the state to update the statute language to allow digital notices as an alternative to printed notices.
We will ask state representatives and senators to sign on to the updated law, which will allow museums to use lower-cost, digital alternatives to publishing FIC collections information in local papers.
This change is essential because local papers are disappearing and using social media posts will allow museums to geo-target the appropriate audience and reach more people on a lower budget.
Fully Fund the Alaska State Libraries, Archives, and Museums
The Alaska State Libraries, Archives, and Museums (SLAM) cannot fully meet the needs of the state without full funding. SLAM is a jewel in the state’s crown, caring for over 30,000 objects telling the vast history of the state. SLAM is our state’s calling card. It needs to be valued as such.
Fully fund the Alaska State Libraries, Archives, and Museums.
Our State’s repository of knowledge and history should always be fully funded and staffed to care for and share the history, knowledge, stories, and treasures of Alaska with our residents and visitors. Fully funding SLAM will also allow them to continue to support museums across the state of Alaska with the Grant-In-Aid program—an essential source of funding for Alaska museums.
Museums Infrastructure Matching Grant Program
Many museums are in older buildings and our state’s cultural heritage and history is at risk unless museums renovate or construct new buildings. Recent surveys have shown that more than half of Alaska’s museums and cultural centers anticipate undertaking major capital improvement projects in the next five years.
We will talk to the state representatives and senators about the need for establishing a matching grant program for museum construction and major expansions in the state of Alaska, similar to the existing Library Construction Grant Program. We do not intend to ask for the program creation this year, but set the stage for a future ask.