CAM was founded in 1979 by museum leaders interested in advocating for the California museum field – a theme that continues to this day. We have an active advocacy program that monitors legislation, keeps our members and constituents informed, and supports strategic initiatives that benefit the museum field.

Our Government Relations Committee monitors legislation and appropriations, takes positions on key bills, attends hearings, and meets with elected officials to voice our support or opposition. We also periodically issue policy statements to California legislators to inform them of the vital role museums play in California communities.
For nearly two decades, we have organized advocacy events or programs, depending on the needs and circumstances of the year. In 2019, 2020, and 2023, CAM was a partner of the Arts, Culture, and Creativity Advocacy Day organized by Californians for the Arts. In 2022, CAM hosted a lunch break gathering inside the galleries at the California Museum in Sacramento in recognition of "Museum Day in California" attended by many elected officials and staff.

We often partner with state agencies and national associations to achieve shared goals. The Superintendent's Award for Excellence in Museum Education is co-sponsored with the California Department of Education. For over a decade, CAM has been a partner and supporter of the American Alliance of Museums' Museums Advocacy Day in Washington, D.C. 

Interested in learning more about our advocacy work? Download our Guiding Principles for Advocacy and Legislative Involvement Framework.