Dear Friends, Members, and Supporters,
I am pleased to share the news that the 2023/24 New York State Budget included $1M in funding for The Museum Study Act. The department of economic development, in conjunction with other departments and entities, will conduct a comprehensive study of public and private museums and report their findings and recommendations.
The study will identify and gather data about all museums in the state including size, hours of operation, visitor statistics, funding sources and amounts, and the subjects of their collections. The resulting report will help illustrate economic and social impacts, quantify needs, and recommend systems to ensure equitable distribution of state funds. It will help communities, legislative representatives, and individual supporters learn about the missions, audiences, and funding needs of our state's museums.
“From world famous institutions like the Metropolitan Museum, the American Museum of Natural History, and the Baseball Hall of Fame to treasured history collections and local cultural hubs, museums have long been synonymous with New York State. Despite the fame and significant economic impact, our museum sector has actually had no real “home” in the New York State government,” said Assemblymember Didi Barrett. “In this year’s state budget, legislation I sponsored with Senator Jeremy Cooney was included to study and document how the state currently does and does not fund our some 1,500 museums and provide a pathway to ensuring these beloved institutions in every corner of the state have the support and stability to flourish long into the future. I want to thank the Museum Association of New York, the Speaker and my Assembly colleagues for their support of this important study.”
Too many of our museums operate in a culture of scarcity, struggling to pay bills and wondering each year how they will keep their doors open. Museums need support to ensure the protection of their collections, to strengthen their roles as community education partners chartered by New York State’s Education Department, and to grow their role as economic engines generating $5.37B to the state's economy.
“New York State is the proud home of world class museums, both large and small. More importantly, they are part of the fabric of our communities across the entire state,” said NYS Senator Jeremy Cooney. “As important as museums are to New York, these institutions lack an established funding structure in state government. I am proud this year’s budget included allocated funding for a multi-agency team to conduct a study of public and private museums to ensure the protection of collections and an equitable funding structure in the future.”
MANY is deeply grateful for the efforts and support of bill author and sponsor, Assemblymember Didi Barrett, Senate bill sponsor Senator Jeremy A. Cooney, all of our legislators that supported the nearly unanimous passage of the bill in 2022, and Governor Hochul for including this critical investment in the 2023-24 NYS budget.
Please take a moment out of your busy schedules to thank your Assemblymember and NYS Senator for their support of The Museum Study Act.
I promise to keep you informed as we learn more about the study planning and implementation.
With thanks for your support and your advocacy,
Executive Director, Museum Association of New York
Click here to see the bill language