Can This Nifty ‘I Love Museums’ Campaign Save UK Museums from Hard Times?
Only if politicians listen.
Museums in the UK are facing hard times. Government imposed budget cuts have already led to cutbacks on programming and the outsourcing of services to contractors, which resulted in strikes that closed some UK museums for days.
Besides striking, what else can museums do to counter the government’s planned budget cuts of up to 40 percent on arts funding? The National Museum Directors’ Council came up with one delightful and simple way of reminding politicians that people really like and benefit from going to museums. Or, dare we say, people even love museums?
With a campaign called I Love Museums, the council is asking the public to show how much museums matter to them. “We need you to stand up and say ‘I Love museums’!” they say on the website. Supporters can sign a petition online, stating why they love museums. For those ready to declare their support more publicly, there’s the hashtag #ILoveMuseums, and the Twitter and Instagram handle @ILoveMusuems.
Thousands have already downloaded the so-called “heart speech bubble” from the website, and posted their snapshots holding their individual messages on social media. “I Love Museums because they are an important part of our local community & heritage,” posted David Evennett, MP for Bexleyheath and Crayford. The council also enlisted artist Patrick Brill, better known as Bob and Roberta Smith, to pledge his support, and pen an article on why he loves museums.
But it’s not only the public that’s being called on—museums are encouraged to join the movement, too. The website supplies print material for museums and ballot cards and boxes for collecting visitors’ support cards. Let’s hope that the message reaches the politicians.
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