Budget Requests to Congress are Good News for Museums
Letter from Ed Able, CEO of AAM, regarding court decision.
Non Cash Gifts
Issue, click here
Charitable Tax Treatment of Gifts
from Ed Able, CEO of AAM:
I wanted to contact
you personally about an issue that you may also be following
through Aviso and other AAM communications - that is the increased
scrutiny of acceptable non-profit governance, financial reporting
and charitable giving practices in Congress. I am deeply concerned
about proposals the Senate Finance Committee is considering
reversing the charitable tax treatment of gifts of appreciated
property - especially non-cash gifts such as art, collectables,
and real estate.
This issue may be
familiar to those who remember the passage of the 1986 tax
reform bill. That legislation eliminated the fair-market value
deduction of gifts of appreciated property. This effectively
stopped gifts of art and other collections to museums. AAM
successfully led the 7 year effort to reverse the law. It
was reinstated in 1993. We have an opportunity to prevent
returning to that dark period in our history when an unknown
number of objects never made it into public collections due
to an unfavorable tax policy. The charitable community is
mobilizing to educate Congress about the dangers of eliminating
or drastically altering current law governing charitable gifts
of appreciated property.
AAM is actively
engaged and continues to work with the other associations
and organizations that represent the nonprofit community.
We are in policy discussions with Finance Committee Chairman
Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, Ranking Member Max Baucus, D-Mont.,
Senate Finance and House Ways and Means committee members
as well as key staff. I also serve on the board of Independent
Sector and on one of the working groups of the national Panel
on the Nonprofit Sector which are leading the efforts on behalf
of the charitable community to address both gifts of appreciated
property and the larger issues of nonprofit accountability.
I am committed to representing the interests of museums in
all these discussions.
has yet to be introduced, I anticipate that when Congress
returns to Washington the process of drafting legislation
will begin. In the weeks and months ahead you will receive
information and calls to action on this issue from AAM and
many other organizations. I need you to join with us in this
effort by responding to these requests to contact your members
of Congress. Please take the time to educate yourself, your
staff, your board, and other key stakeholders and community
supporters on this issue so when you are called upon to act,
you and your supporters will be educated and effective advocates.
If you have specific questions, please contact AAM's Government
and Media Relations at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202/289-9125. You
may also call me directly at 202/289-9110 to share any concerns
you may have.
Edward H. Able, Jr.
President and CEO
President's Proposed FY 2006 Budget to Congress
An analysis taken
NCH WASHINGTON UPDATE (Vol. 11, 6; 9 February 2005) Website
On 6 February 2005 President George W. Bush advanced to Congress
his proposed $2.57 trillion federal government budget for
FY 2006 (the full budget document is available online at:
http://www.gpoaccess.gov/usbudget/fy06/). Some Hill watchers
characterize it as "one of the most special-interest
driven budgets presented in a very long time." As anticipated,
it guts many domestic programs -- some 150 federal programs
are slashed or eliminated entirely. However, some federal
history-related agencies and programs such as the National
Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the Department of Education's
"Teaching American History" grants program did relatively
well and managed to receive a
"level-funding" recommendation. Others, like the
"Save America's Treasures" initiative were cut in
half. Still others -- the National Historical Publications
and Records Commission (NHPRC), for example -- were zeroed
For better or worse,
here are the numbers we currently have: For the Department
of Education there is a $56 billion request that includes
$119 million for the "Teaching American History"
initiative. In all, some 48 education programs are slotted
to be terminated in part in order to increase spending on
the "No Child Left Behind" initiative and expand
it to the nation's high schools.
For the National
Endowment for the Humanities, $138 million -- the same recommended
by the administration last year. Readers should keep in mind
that because of inflation and increased costs of operations,
level funding in actuality translates into a programmatic
cut. Nevertheless, in an effort to expand its history-related
activities, the NEH recommendation includes $11.2 million
for the history-based "We the People" (WTP) initiative.
Some of those funds would be used for new WTP-related activities,
including support for projects to digitize copies of scholarly
editions and to prepare reference works on important figures
and events in American history and culture. And, there is
a new national history competition for elementary and middle
school students. Noting that this year's proposal does not
reflect increases of 20 to 22 percent that the Bush administration
has recommended for the NEH in years past, Jessica Jones Irons,
the acting director of the lobbying group, the National Humanities
Alliance, characterized the NEH proposal as "disappointing,
especially given the White House's recent support for the
For the National
Endowment for the Arts, $121 million -- the same that Congress
allocated in FY 2005.
For the National
Park Service, the proposal is $2.25 billion, a 3 percent cut.
The budget includes $38.7 million, the same appropriation
as it received in FY 2005, for the Historic Preservation Fund.
includes $12.5 million in matching grants to advance the goals
of the "Preserve America" initiative which seeks
to provide one-time assistance to help communities demonstrate
long-term approaches to using historic
resources in an economically sustainable manner. In order
to pay for that initiative, the "Save America's Treasures"
(SAT) program sees its funding cut in half -- from $30 million
to $15 million. According to Richard Moe,
President of the National Trust for Historic Preservation
the cut "sends the wrong signal to the private sector
-- a signal that seriously compromises the program's goals
and undermines the leverage in value of the
government's role in stewardship of the places and objects
that tell America's story."
The budget reflects
a $615 million request for the Smithsonian and includes sufficient
funds to complete the final phases of renovation for the Old
Post Office Building that houses the National Portrait Gallery.
National Museum of American History there is a level funding
recommendation, with some money to begin the long anticipated
renovations to the museum.
For the Institute
for Museum and Library Services, there is $262 million, up
$21.5 million from FY 2005. For the museum services section,
the request is for $39 million, a $4.1 million increase. Some
of the funds would go for
a new program to fund African American museums and a related
training program in African American history. For the library
section of the IMLS there is $221 million -- again level funding.
For the National
Archives and Records Administration (NARA), there is $323
million -- about a 1.3 percent increase over FY 2005 figures.
The recommendation includes $281 million for operations, and
about $6.1 million
for facility construction. There is the requisite $36 million
for the Electronic Archives Initiative, and $100,000 to enable
the Inspector General to increase investigations of missing
or stolen documents.
The most draconian
history-related proposal in the presidents's budget is the
recommendation to terminate all new grant funding and staff
support for the National Historical Publications and Records
Commission (NHPRC). Over
the last 40 years this small agency has awarded some $153
million to over 4,000 state and local government archives,
colleges, universities, and individuals to preserve and publish
important historical records that
document American history. The proposal to zero out the program
in its entirety seems rather bizarre, especially considering
that just last year the president signed legislation (P.L.
108-383) reauthorizing the
commission at a $10-million-a-year level for another five
years. Also, just last month the White House appointed two
new representatives to serve on the commission. The Office
of Management and Budget has given little
support for the NHPRC over the years, and once again they
have made it a target.
One hopeful sign
for the NHPRC is that last year, when the administration advanced
only a slightly less harsh budget proposal (one that called
for the elimination of only 65 targeted programs), Congress
to ax only five of them. If any lessons can be drawn from
last year's budget battle, it is that programs that saw their
funding restored managed to do so because each had its own
dedicated and vocal constituency that was
willing to go to bat on behalf of the threatened program.
This year though,
the effort to restore funding for programs targeted to take
cuts or be eliminated will be especially challenging. Congress
faces new pressures -- a record deficit projection of $427
billion for FY 2005,
an ongoing war against terrorism and new expensive homeland
security needs, a costly war in Iraq (which is not even included
in the budget proposal), and a steadily declining dollar that
is having little impact on balance of
trade inequities. Clearly, the pressure is on Congress to
regain control over spending. If the history and archives
communities are to see the programs they care about hold their
own or perhaps even grow slightly, they
will need to mount a concerted grassroots effort.
challenges advanced in the Bush budget, representatives of
the Council of State Historical Records Coordinators, the
National Association of Government Archives and Records Administrators,
Society of American Archivists, met last week and agreed to
form a joint task force to focus on advocacy. In addition,
the National Coalition for History, together with the National
Humanities Alliance, and the Federation
of State Humanities Councils will shortly launch the "Humanities
Advocacy Network" -- a new legislative action tool that
will enable users to take direct action and communicate with
governmental officials. You can
preview the new website by visiting: http://www.humanitiesadvocacy.org.
The network is designed to serve as the
central location for advocacy where those who care about supporting
our nation's investment in education, research, preservation
and public programs in the humanities can get information
and undertake action.
Finally, in order
to advance the grassroots lobbying effort, interested historians,
archivists and others interested will be advancing the humanities
through visits to Capitol Hill during "Humanities Advocacy
Advocacy Team - Action Alert
Contact Congress: Help support FY 2006 IMLS Funding
Message from AAM
President and CEO, Edward H. Able, Jr.
February 7 - The
release of the President's budget initiates AAM's year-long
effort to secure appropriations for IMLS and other federal
agencies that support the museum community. More funding for
these programs means more money available to museums. Not
unlike courting major donors, you need to work with your representatives
in Congress to secure their support for these federal programs.
As a field we need to be strong advocates and let Congress
know how funding museums through IMLS and other federal programs
can transform our communities and the lives of the people
we serve. I know you can make a difference.
What does the release
of the President's budget mean for museums?
is the key message from the FY 2006 Federal budget the President
sent Congress. Among the primary federal programs that support
museums, the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS)
was the only agency whose proposed budget includes an increase
over its FY 2005 appropriations. The FY 2006 request for IMLS
museum services is $38.915 million which is a $4.19 million
increase over FY 2005. First time funding is requested for
a separate IMLS program authorized in the African American
History and Culture Act at $2 million. A budget chart on AAM's
Web site outlines the funding levels requested for IMLS, National
Endowments for the Arts and Humanities, National Science Foundation
(and Informal Science Education), and the U.S. Department
This budget lays
out the President's funding priorities and, more importantly,
is the starting point for the Administration's negotiations
with Congress. It may sound like Washington "inside-the-beltway"
rhetoric, but members of Congress, agency officials and lobbyists
alike are anticipating an extremely tight budget year in response
to the growing federal deficit and continued funding needs
This year it will
be crucial that museum advocates begin contacting their elected
officials (especially appropriators) early in the process
and do so often throughout the year to help ensure that funding
supporting museum programs remain a high priority despite
competing budget pressures. This is your chance to educate
policymakers on this part of the budget.
Make your voice
heard on museum funding right away.
Thank the White
House. Even level funding is generous in this budget cycle.
Let the White House know that you appreciate continued support
for museums in a tight budget year.
Do your homework.
Get to know a little about your elected officials and what
he or she cares about. Visit the How to Get Involved in Advocacy
section of the AAM website to connect to your elected officials.
Make connections between the public services your museum provides
and the issues that are top priorities for your elected official,
such as education, technology or economic development. You
will make an impression on your elected officials by demonstrating
that you are knowledgeable about their key priorities and
those issues affecting your community. Take the step of making
key connections for them between their issues and your museum!
your elected officials throughout the year. A five minute
meeting or phone call once per year does not an advocate make.
Effective advocates build meaningful relationships with their
elected officials by staying in touch with them and their
staff throughout the year - both in the district office and
in Washington, DC.
Join Museum Advocacy
Team®, a network of museum professionals that educate
policymakers and advocate for federal policies favorable to
museums. MAT members receive alerts about national legislation
and regulation affecting museum operations and are among the
first to learn about and act upon breaking news items. As
a MAT member, you can use your leadership to express your
views and make museum related policy better. To be added or
removed from Museum Advocacy Team ® , please contact AAM
Government & Public Affairs at (202) 289-9125 or by e-mail
at: mailtMAT@aam-us.org .
Museums Advised to Check Bible-Era Relics By KARIN LAUB :
Associated Press Writer
Dec 30, 2004
JERUSALEM -- Experts
advised world museums to re-examine their Bible-era relics
after Israel indicted four collectors and dealers on charges
of forging items thought to be some of the most important
artifacts discovered in recent decades.
issued Wednesday labeled many such "finds" as fakes,
including two that had been presented as the biggest biblical
discoveries in the Holy Land -- the purported burial box of
Jesus' brother James and a stone tablet with written instructions
by King Yoash on maintenance work at the ancient Jewish Temple.
Shuka Dorfman, head
of the Israel Antiquities Authority, said the scope of the
fraud appears to go far beyond what has been uncovered so
far. The forgery ring has been operating for more than 20
only the tip of the iceberg. This spans the globe. It generated
millions of dollars," Dorfman said. The forgers "were
trying to change history."
The probe began
after the Yoash tablet was offered for sale to the Israel
Museum for $4.5 million two years ago. Scholars said the forgers
were exploiting the deep emotional need of Jews and Christians
to find physical evidence to reinforce their beliefs.
The indictment listed
124 witnesses, including antiquities collectors, archaeologists,
officials from Sotheby's auction house in Israel and representatives
of the British Museum and the Brooklyn Museum.
not discredit the profession. It discredits unscrupulous dealers
and collectors," said Eric Myers, an archaeology professor
at Duke University in North Carolina.
The forgers would
often use authentic but relatively mundane artifacts, such
as a plain burial box, decanter or shard, and boost their
value enormously by adding inscriptions, Dorfman said. Once
the words were engraved, the forgers would try to recreate
patina, or ancient grime, to cover the carvings, the indictment
The four men indicted
were Tel Aviv collector Oded Golan, owner of the James ossuary
and the Yoash tablet; Robert Deutsch, an inscriptions expert
who teaches at Haifa University; collector Shlomo Cohen, and
antiquities dealer Faiz al-Amaleh. The four are free on bail,
A fifth person was
indicted, but his name was not released because he is not
in the country. Additional indictments were to be issued in
coming days, said Shaul Naim, the chief investigator of the
Golan said in a
statement Wednesday "there is not one grain of truth
in the fantastic allegations related to me." He said
the investigation was aimed at "destroying collecting
and trade in antiquities in Israel."
the indictment as "ridiculous."
editor of the Washington-based Biblical Archaeology Review,
said in a telephone interview: "Either this is going
to be proven a horrific scandal or the greatest embarrassment
to the Israel Antiquities Authority."
the existence of the James ossuary at a November 2002 news
Uzi Dahari, a top
official in the Israel Antiquities Authority, said in a recent
lecture that some of the forgeries were done by an Egyptian
artisan who has worked in Israel for the past 15 years. His
habit of bragging about his exploits in a Tel Aviv pub brought
him to the attention of police, Dahari said.
Naim said many more
fakes are apparently in the possession of collectors and museums
Shimon Gibson, an
Israeli archaeologist, said museums should review items of
questionable origin. "Now it looks like we are going
to have to go backward and double-check all our facts to make
sure that what we thought was real really is," he said.
Last week, the Israel
Museum said one of its most prized possessions, an ivory pomegranate
scholars long believed served as the tip of a scepter for
Jewish Temple priests, was also a fake.
The indictment listed
the pomegranate as one of the items forged by the ring, but
no charges were brought in this case because the statute of
limitations expired. The pomegranate was bought by the Israel
Museum in the late 1980s from an nonymous collector for $550,000.
In a statement,
the Israel Museum expressed support for efforts to "end
such criminal activities," adding that its investigation
of the authenticity of the pomegranate was its own.
trained a spotlight on the sometimes murky antiquities trade
in the Holy Land.
"It's a free-for-all
market ... and there is no control over something that doesn't
come from a proper excavation, photographed and documented,"
Board of Directors
Approves First Code of Ethics For the American Association
(December 15, 2004) - At its November meeting, the Board of
Directors of the American Association of Museums (AAM) approved
a new Code of Ethics for the American Association of Museums.
As a nonprofit organization dedicated to the public good,
this document assures that AAM is accountable to the public,
transparent in its operations, responsible in its stewardship
of resources, and committed to excellence.
The new code offers
guidelines on fiscal responsibility, conflict of interest,
and personal and professional conduct, among other topics.
It applies to AAM’s elected board of directors; its
full-time, part-time, and contract staff; and all AAM volunteers,
including the elected members of Standing Professional Committees
and Professional Interest Committees, AAM/ICOM Board, Accreditation
Commission, peer reviewers, National Program Committee, interns,
and any individual appointed to serve on an AAM committee,
task force, or working group on behalf of the museum community.
The Code of Ethics
was prepared by a team of board and staff members and received
wide review among AAM staff and volunteers.
The AAM Accreditation
Commission has expected museums seeking accreditation to have
an institutional code of ethics since 1997. In light of the
increased scrutiny the nonprofit community has come under
in recent months, AAM urges all museums to have institutional
codes of ethics.
The Code of Ethics
can be found under “About AAM” on the AAM website
( http://www.aam-us.org ).
2004 Recipients from the MPMA Region click here
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