by Kathy Kelsey Foley, director
I made a quick trip to the Land of Lincoln last week. Not Springfield, Illinois (a favorite destination of mine; the Illinois State Museum and Lincoln Presidential Museum are not to be missed!) . . . Washington, D.C., also a great destination that’s home to some of our nation’s superb and dynamic museums.
The reason for my visit was to participate in the American Alliance of Museums’ fifth annual Museums Advocacy Day program and Hill visits.
I’ve been a Museums Advocacy Day stalwart since its inception. I’m passionate about museums and their important roles in communities large and small throughout the country. I believe it is incumbent upon those of us who champion museums to share that message with clarity on Capitol Hill.
In the small and coincidental world of things, Abraham Lincoln was a recurring theme of my visit to Washington.
It began with Daniel Day Lewis’ Oscar for his extraordinary portrayal of the sixteenth president, included dinner at a delightful farm-to-table American tapas restaurant called “Lincoln,” and was capped off by a visit from “President Lincoln” at a breakfast to ignite the spirits of the 300+ museum advocates before our day filled with meetings and impassioned pleas.
Our three-person Wisconsin delegation – Madison Children’s Museum director Ruth Shelly, Milwaukee County Historical Society director Scott Stroh, and I – visited Wisconsin’s eight congressional offices and both senate offices.
I was especially proud to have a few minutes with seventh congressional district representative Sean Duffy. Congressman Duffy has been a willing listener on the subject of museums. I look forward to welcoming his family to the Woodson Art Museum soon.
Ruth, Scott, and I maintained a rapid-fire pace through the morning and early afternoon. In a cab headed for Reagan National Airport – I had to be back in Wausau for an early-morning Wednesday meeting – as we crossed the Potomac River into Virginia, I caught a glimpse of the Lincoln Memorial . . . an inspiring end to a productive day.
With the memory of the massive seated Lincoln serving as a wrap-up to my visit, my triple-score experience feels much more like a Grand Slam.