Why Advocacy for Museum Stores Is Important

October 22, 2018

By Stuart Hata

noun: advocacy
public support for or recommendation of a particular cause or policy.
“their advocacy of museum stores”

synonyms: support for, backing of, promotion of, championing of; argument for, push for; informal: boosterism of “his advocacy of nonprofit retail”

The word “advocacy,” a noun defined as “public support for or recommendation of a particular cause or policy,” has become an important part of the Museum Store Association’s vocabulary and strategies for the past two years. With last year’s inaugural launch and the upcoming celebration of our second worldwide Museum Store Sunday happening in on Nov. 25, our plan is made real: “to communicate to the world the value and importance of nonprofit retail with its curated products and unique experiences.” This key advocacy initiative embraced by MSA continues to expand and grow in importance and value.



Recently, the American Alliance of Museums (AAM) featured Museum Store Sunday as the lead article in its bimonthly e-newsletter, AVISO. This invaluable support and assistance from AAM demonstrates that MSA’s advocacy initiative, and museum stores in general, are being embraced and recognized by the greater museum industry. The integral and multifaceted work we do on behalf of our institutions — from earning income and extending mission-related programs to visitor engagement and educational outreach — are achieving greater recognition and respect within our industry and among our colleagues. Our advocacy efforts are working and growing exponentially, and we are being acknowledged as essential partners in the overall success of museums.

And for the general public, Museum Store Sunday is our global call to action directly to consumers to shop with purpose, shop conscientiously and support museum stores and our institutions around the world. By offering communities the opportunity to “Be a Patron” and engage with and support their local museums during the busy holiday season, Museum Store Sunday encourages the public — and especially culturally minded shoppers — to make thoughtful purchases and to rely on museum stores as retail destinations throughout the year. What better lasting “win-win-win-win-win” for everyone — our stores, our institutions, our patrons, our communities and our world. Here’s to Museum Store Sunday and beyond!

stuart-hata-headshotA veteran museum store retailer for 29 years, Stuart Hata is the director of retail operations for the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, the de Young and Legion of Honor. He currently serves as the chair of MSA’s Marketing & Communications Committee; is a member of the MSA Finance and Advocacy Committees; and is a past president of the MSA Board of Directors. 

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