Elected officials and representatives of Los Angeles-area museums on Aug. 9 called attention to the need for safeguarding vital cultural assets in response to increasingly frequent climate-related disasters.
State Sen. Ben Allen and Assemblyman Richard Bloom (both D-Santa Monica), joined Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva (D-Fullerton) and Los Angeles City Councilwoman Nithya Raman, 4th District, at the La Brea Tar Pits and Museum to support more state funding for museums to help them adapt to climate-related threats. They lawmakers specifically called for $125 million to be allocated for the California Cultural and Historical Endowment.
“We risk losing artistic treasures and historical artifacts as the threat of rising seas, climbing temperatures, and drought-fueled wildfires ravage the state,” said Allen, chairman of the Joint Committee on the Arts and the Senate Environmental Quality Committee. “We should direct some of the state’s $3.7 billion investments in climate resiliency to protecting California’s cultural and historic resources while helping them increase their efforts educating the public about climate change.”
“The climate crisis is a teaching opportunity for museums that deserves our attention. Museums also will play a central role when it comes to preserving and protecting the deterioration of California’s cultural and historic resources,” Bloom added. “I’m glad to see museums, so many of which are in my district, seeking badly-needed funding for these mitigations and other climate-related projects.”
Many of California’s archives, galleries, historical societies, libraries, museums and tribal nations lack disaster response plans and long-term protection strategies for their collections, proponents of the effort to better safeguard museums, the state officials said. Museum research labs, exhibitions and programs play a crucial role in educating the public about the environment, including steps that can be taken to reduce negative influences on the people and climate system, the officials added.
Dr. Lori Bettison-Varga, president of the Los Angeles County Natural History Museum Foundation and director of the Natural History Museums of Los Angeles County, joined other museum representatives in conveying the challenges museums face.
“The iconic and historic La Brea Tar Pits are located in the middle of Los Angeles, one of the largest metropolises in the world. We have an extraordinary opportunity to educate vast numbers of visitors that an urgent and immediate response to address climate change is necessary for the survival of our planet’s biodiversity, including ourselves,” Bettison-Varga said. “This funding is important to support museums, like ours, in their efforts to educate our communities through exhibitions, public programs and research about the impacts of climate change, as well as to become community-centric locations”
The California Legislature will reconvene on Aug. 16 and will begin determining budget allocations for climate, fire and drought funding.
This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.