In a letter to Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney, FY18 President Jonna Gerken offered organizational endorsement for SWE to support H.R. 19: Smithsonian Women’s History Museum Act. H.R. 19 has bi-partisan support and is co-led by Congresswoman Maloney (D-NY) and Congressman Ed Royce (R-CA).
As stated by the official record for the proposed legislation:
“This bill establishes a comprehensive women’s history museum within the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC, to provide for: (1) the collection, study, and establishment of programs related to women’s contributions that have influenced the direction of the United States; (2) collaboration with other Smithsonian museums and facilities, outside museums, and educational institutions; and (3) the creation of exhibitions and programs that recognize diverse perspectives on women’s history and contributions.
The bill establishes a council within the Smithsonian Institution to: (1) make recommendations to the Smithsonian’s Board of Regents for the construction of the museum; (2) advise and assist the board on the administration and preservation of the museum; (3) recommend annual operating budgets for the museum; and (4) report annually to the board on the acquisition, disposition, and display of objects related to women’s art, history, and culture.
The council shall have sole authority to: (1) acquire artifacts for the museum’s collections, (2) dispose of any part of the collections but only if funds generated are used for additions to the collections, (3) specify criteria for the use of the museum’s collections and resources, and (4) preserve and maintain the collections
SWE believes the establishment of such an institution would greatly benefit the American people while also properly recognizing the various ways women have shaped and built the framework of the United States.