Dear SAA Member:
As many of you are aware, the Illinois State Museum, which includes the Dickson Mounds Archaeological Site, is scheduled to close September 30. The museum will lay off all but three employees, and there will be no access to any of its collections. SAA has been working with preservationists and museum groups to oppose the closure, and we would like to update you on our efforts. On July 9, SAA submitted written testimony opposing the closure to the Illinois Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability. You can read our testimony here. We shared that testimony on both the SAA Facebook page (see the post here) and Twitter account (see the tweet here). Prior to submitting our testimony, we alerted membership to the potential closure via a Facebook post that outlined where to find news and how to add your voice to the opposition. To add your support, please “like” the Save the Illinois State Museum Facebook page and sign the MoveOn petition. The old adage stills holds true: there is strength in numbers. SAA members based in Illinois received an update from Government Affairs encouraging them to write to Governor Rauner to oppose the closing and providing a sample letter for their use. In addition, I wrote a Letter to the Editor opposing the closure that appeared in the Chicago Tribune, Illinois’ top daily newspaper, on September 8. We will continue to work with our Illinois membership and cultural resources partners until all avenues have been exhausted. We are also continuing to track Illinois State Bill 0317, which would prevent Governor Rauner from closing the museum and its satellite sites. Look for more updates as events unfold.
Diane Gifford-Gonzalez President