By Land D. (Landy) Elliott
WASHINGTON, D.C.–More than 300 staff, trustees, volunteers and other friends of museums from around the United States gathered at a Museums Advocacy Day reception on Monday to honor members of Congress for their support of the nation’s museums.
Kimerly Rorschach, director of the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, attended the Capitol Hill event to present an award on behalf of the Association of American Museums (AAM) to U.S. Senator Richard Burr (R-NC).
In her remarks, Rorschach thanked Senator Burr for championing the reauthorization of the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the federal agency which promotes museums and libraries and advises the President and Congress on policies to increase public access to information and ideas.
“We are all grateful to Sen. Burr for his bipartisan efforts to support universities and museums,” said Rorschach, who is also president-elect of the national Association of Art Museum Directors. “With his support, and that of Congress, art museums will continue to serve their communities effectively, even in challenging economic times.”
Rorschach also took the opportunity to thank the Senator for his dedication to military families through the Senate Military Family Caucus, which he co-founded with Senator Barbara Boxer. She noted the museum community’s creation of the Blue Star Museums program, which offers free admission to military families to museums across the country.
“I am honored to receive this award from the Association of American Museums, and I thank them for the important work they do,” Burr said later, in a written statement. “Museums, aquariums and historical sites are economic and educational engines for local communities and we owe it to all Americans to protect these vital resources and ensure they are around for future generations as well.”
The Association of American Museums also recognized the efforts of Representative Aaron Schock (R-IL) and Senator Daniel Inouye (D-HI) during the event.
The awards reception was a part of this year’s Museum Advocacy Day activities, an annual event orchestrated by AAM, where museum professionals meet with members of Congress to discuss federal policy impacting the museum field.
IMAGE: Walter Zaykowski, a legislative assistant for Sen. Burr, accepted the award on the senator’s behalf. Photo by Cable Risdon.