Press Clipping Success Stories from Museums Advocacy Day 2012

Excerpts from Memphis Commercial Appeal: Memphis’ only daily newspaper, circulation over 400,000

Guest Column: Museums have mission to serve; educate, February 28, 2012

“In tough economic times, government officials trying to balance their budgets often consider cutting funds for cultural institutions such as museums. Some view museums as luxuries we cannot afford. However, museums are much more than warehouses filled with objects. They are places where change occurs and lives are transformed. I believe the museums that continue to flourish despite tough times are those that embrace their communities and address the challenges of our times. Instead of simply being repositories for "stuff," public museums have a mission to serve, educate and empower our citizens.”

“One way that museums can be centers for social change is through education. More than ever before, museums work in collaboration with schools to meet students' educational needs. The idea of a "participatory museum" means more than just hands-on activities; it means a museum where the students and other visitors help to create the experience. Students now have an active role in their museum experiences and develop critical thinking skills while engaging interactively with the subject matter.“

 “Institutions such as the C.H. Nash Museum at Chucalissa and the Pink Palace Family of Museums are publicly owned. Blockbuster exhibits and tax dollars alone will not keep these museum doors open. To be successful, the public must take an active role in defining what museums are to become. This crucial connection cannot happen without museum visitors being advocates and voicing their support of museums to our government officials. Today is National Museum Advocacy Day -- an excellent time to express that support. Remember, like libraries, schools and other public institutions, museums are meant to serve the public, but the public must also support and serve those institutions. “

Mallory Bader is a graduate assistant at the C.H. Nash Museum at Chucalissa and a graduate student in the Museum Studies Program at the University of Memphis.

Excerpt from news coverage in the Massillon Independent: Northeast Ohio daily newspaper

By Erin Pustay, March 2, 2012

“Art and history, sometimes, just needs a passionate voice.  Massillon Museum Executive Director Alexandra Nicholis Coon is giving a passionate voice to all the art, history, education and culture the small museum provides to the entire community.  Early this week, her voice carried all the way to Washington, D.C., where she addressed legislators about the importance of America’s Museums.  “This captive audience is critical,” Nicholis Coon said, “to helping legislators better understand the function of museums, not only as cultural institutions and institutions that preserve history, but also as economic drivers.”

Former Massillon Museum Executive Director Christine Shearer was instrumental in giving the Massillon Museum a national voice.  She helped to establish relationships with local representatives and worked through organizations such as the Ohio Museums Association to advocate further and louder than before.  Advocacy efforts by all museum staff members helped to provide the Massillon Museum and the community with funding for historical, preservation, and educational opportunities.”