March 15, 2023


Registration for our annual statewide museum conference, Strong Museums for a Strong Pennsylvania, is now open!


The PA Museums Annual Conference offers museum professionals an interactive forum for the exchange of ideas, professional networking and discussion of trends in the museum field. The event is an excellent opportunity for professionals to reconnect and recharge as well as learn from colleagues.


PA Museums’ annual meeting will be held in Hershey, and our attendees will enjoy the sweet offerings of Chocolatetown. Our conference attendees will connect and learn as we join together for special events showcasing our member museums, educational sessions, tours, and speakers. We will also celebrate the winners of our annual Special Achievement Awards and have many opportunities to meet colleagues. We look forward to seeing you there!


Check out our preliminary program and register here.


On March 7 Governor Shapiro presented his first budget as governor. The presentation was more upbeat than we’ve seen in many years, and it was longer than most since it was a way to kick off his first term and communicate the priorities of the new administration. Governor Shapiro called on the legislature to work together with the administration to accomplish goals, and his polished delivery of the budget address included a reveal of his ambitious and competitive plans.

Ticking in at over $44.4 billion, the Executive Budget is an ambitious plan. Lawmakers reacted accordingly with both praise and criticism. The Executive Budget is only the beginning of the budget process in Pennsylvania; this is not the final budget. Any of the four caucuses could introduce budget bills that differ from the Executive Budget, and those bills and negotiations will be on our watchlist.

How did museums, history and culture fare in the Executive Budget?

The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission's (PHMC) budget for its own operations and programs increased to maintain its staffing levels and open the new State Archives this year. The appropriation for the Cultural and Historical Support grants is in the budget at $2 million.

The Pennsylvania Council on the Arts' (PCA) organizational budget also saw and increase, and there is an additional $1 million for the Grants to the Arts in the budget. The PCA's grant programs support around 20 art museums through operating grants as well as some funding to museums for arts programming.

The Department of Community and Economic Development's (DCED) budget includes a line item, Marketing for Accredited Zoos, with $1 million in the spending plan. That is what was in the final budget last year. This number has gone up and down between Executive Budgets and Enacted Budgets between $500,000 and $1 million in previous budget seasons.

The DCED's COVID-19 ARPA PA Arts and Culture Recovery Program made an appearance in the budget because that $15 million in federal funding has not been spent yet. The application period for this program ended on February 28, and the Commonwealth Financing Authority is still expected to approve those grants at its July 18 board meeting according to staff at the DCED.

America250PA, the organization planning activities for the U.S.A.’s birthday in 2026 has a line item in the DCED's budget for the first time with an investment of $250,000.

All told, the Executive Budget's funding for Arts and Culture is not robust and fails to include the sector in the administration's ambitions. The Office of the Budget published budget documents with long term numbers, and on page 440 of this document reveals no plans to increase the PHMC Cultural and Historical Support grants line item through the end of the Governor's first term. Lawmakers in the PA House and Senate remain crucial to our efforts to see any increased funding.


The Senate Appropriations Committee has established its schedule of budget hearings. The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC) is not scheduled for a hearing. That is not out of the ordinary since most agencies are invited to a hearing every other year. The Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) is scheduled for a hearing on April 11 at 9:30 a.m. The Office of the Budget has a helpful document outlining the budget process that you can see here.

During budget week there was also an announcement of committee assignments for Democrats serving in the PA House.


Today, March 15, at 5 pm (ET)


Archaeology, Heritage, and the Power of Place for Lenape Tribal Nations

This panel discussion highlights tribal relationships to Lenapehoking, the ancestral and spiritual homeland of Lenni-Lenape and Delaware peoples of the Delaware Valley. Archaeologists and tribal cultural specialists bring the site-specific landscapes and histories to life, illuminating once-vibrant places that remain important to tribal Nations today. Penn Museum curator Lucy Fowler Williams moderates the discussion.

Panelists include:

Jeremy Johnson

(Delaware), Director of Cultural Education, Delaware Tribe of Indians, OK

Gregory D. Lattanzi

Curator and State Archaeologist, New Jersey State Museum

Katelyn Lucas

Tribal Historic Preservation Officer for Delaware Nation

Doug Miller

Historic Site Director, Pennsbury Manor Historic Site

Daniel StrongWalker Thomas

Hereditary Chief, Delaware Nation Lenni Lenape

There is a livestream available with a link to register for the free event.

March 29, 1 p.m.

Newsletters: Multichannel Impact Reporting for the Modern Era

Join Chad Barger for a free workshop focused on reporting impact to our donors via newsletters. Register here.


Pennlive reported on Governor Shapiro's budget presentation and PA Museums contributed to its look at museum funding.

The Washington Post covered high profile visitors at Adams County Historical Society's new Gettysburg Beyond the Battle Museum.

CBS Philadelphia interviewed Derrick Pitts, Chief Astronomer and Planetarium Director at the Franklin Institute, about his passion for making science accessible.

ABC27 teased Charter Day at the State Museum in Harrisburg, and PennLive listed events at all of PHMC's sites and museums.

Travel and Leisure Magazine explored Historic Bethlehem's part in a UNESCO nomination as a World Heritage Site.

The Patch delved into Mid-Century to Manga: Modern Japanese Print In America, a new exhibition at the James A. Michener Museum.

Triblive was on hand for the Sewickley Valley Historical Society's 50th anniversary event.

CBS Pittsburgh talked with Leslie Przybylek, Senior Curator at the Senator John Heinz History Center, about women from Western PA who made history.

WHYY reviewed new exhibitions at Philadelphia's Museum for Art in Wood.

The Pittsburgh City Paper unpacked Andy Warhol's Social Network on view at the Andy Warhol Museum.


The National Canal Museum in Easton is looking for a Museum Operations Manager. If your organization has a job to post with PA Museums, please review our guidelines and contact us. You can also complete and submit your job posting on our new, easy-to-use form.

For the first time in a good long while PA Museums is mailing membership renewals. Please help keep PA Museums going strong!


PA Museums has posted videos of our recent program with Pennsbury Manor, Introduction to Accessibility Excellence webinar, and an episode of People of PA Museums with Jason Illari and Matthew Wedd (Conocheague Institute) on our youtube channel.


Hyperallergic published I Was a Museum's Black Lives Matter Hire.

The PA Tourism Office shared results from a recent survey, and the results showed history's high standing as an attraction. It's so good we uploaded the slide show to our website.

The American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) published results of an inventory of history organizations in 2022.

New discoveries are on the rise - some the result of climate change with retreating glaciers and stronger storms, but sometimes you just find something good behind a door or in a basement.

Colleen Dilenschneider published a look at museums and trust, visitor perceptions at cultural organizations, for Know Your Own Bone.

Join or renew your membership with PA Museums
Please support PA Museums with a donation today!
Facebook  Twitter