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August is Visit Virginia's Museums Month!

 

August is Visit Virginia's Museums month.  Congress is on recess, and the General Assembly members are long back in their home districts.  It is the perfect time to invite your representatives at the state and Federal level to come visit your museum.  Maybe you have an exhibition opening in August, and you could send an invite for that; or perhaps you run a wonderful summer camp, and you'd like a legislator to come view an activity during that camp.  There are many ways you can show off your museum, but you have to get your legislator there first.  VAM has already let them know to watch for your invitation, so the rest is up to you!

 

If you've never invited a legislator to your museum, make sure you follow all of these steps:

  1. After you send your invitation, follow up with the legislator's office to confirm it was received, and request an RSVP.  Be prepared to be flexible on date, as their calendars fill up fast.
  2. Once you do get a meeting confirmed, contact your board members and get some of them to come as well.
  3. Don't forget the press!  Whether you contact them ahead of time, and have them there, or take photos during the visit and send them to your local press, this is a great way to get more exposure for your site.
  4. Before the visit, confirm attendance again--legislator schedules shift constantly, so keep communicating with them.  It would be a nice touch to extend your invite to the legislator's staffers as well.

Looking for a Way to Word Your Invitation?

If you are short on inspiration,AAM has created an automated invite form that you can send directly to one or more of your Congressmen (this form is only for Federal level legislators).

Materials You Might Want to Share

If you need a bit more guidance on advocacy before your legislative visitor arrives, visit VAM's Tips for Advocacy page.

 

 

Follow Up After the Visit

What happens after the visit is as important as the visit itself.  Here are some steps to make sure you take.

  • Write a thank you note.  Get board members to write thank you notes.
  • Post photos on social media, and tag your legislator
  • If you promised to send any material to him or her after the meeting, make sure you do it.
  • Keep in contact with the legislator.  You now have a relationship, so keep inviting them to functions, and letting them know what is happening at your site.
  • Let VAM know you had a successful visit--we want to keep track of how many museums legislators visit this August, so be sure to fill out the very simple form below to let us know!

 

Reporting Form for Visits

 

 






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