The International Council of Museums National Committee of the United States (ICOM-US) made the following statement in response to the release of the proposed federal budget, which calls for the elimination of the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH):
ICOM-US is alarmed by this preliminary budget released by the Trump Administration March 16, 2017 that will eliminate these museum related programs. ICOM-US will continue to support the programs of the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Endowment for the Arts, and other museum related programs that help drive the mission of ICOM-US. ICOM-US and its members are leaders in creating a world in which natural and cultural resources and heritage are universally understood, valued, and protected.
As it states in the ICOM code of ethics
, “Museums preserve, interpret and promote the natural and cultural inheritance of humanity. Governing bodies and those concerned with the strategic direction and oversight of museums have a primary responsibility to protect and promote this heritage as well as the human, physical and financial resources made available for that purpose”. Additionally , the recent UNESCO Recommendation
s also states “The protection and promotion of cultural and natural diversity are major challenges of the twenty-first century. In this respect, museums and collections constitute primary means by which tangible and intangible testimonies of nature and human cultures are safeguarded”. These programs that are targeted for eliminated are our support systems set in place to safeguard these beliefs for the American museum community and our colleagues worldwide.
ICOM-US will continue to support IMLS, NEA and NEH through advocacy work and programming, as well as continue to serve US museums and US museum professionals as a primary resource for information and education on international issues. We ask that our membership and all fellow US museum colleagues continue to support these important programs which strengthen the core of our diversity and opportunities for all Americans.