EDINBURG – As part of a national effort by the American Alliance of Museums the Museum of South Texas History invited congressional and local lawmakers to visit the facility.

Executive Director Shan Rankin said she and her staff came to the agreement to also extend the invitation to local elected officials.

“The idea for us is to introduce them to the museum and what it is that we do,” she said. “It's an opportunity for us to thank them and have them see what they are doing with the dollars they support us at the museum.”

Funding from the museum comes from federal, state and local governments. About 29 percent comes from charitable giving.

Currently the museum is using a federal program for historic tax credits for the renovation of the jail. Rankin said the state also has a similar program and between the two governments the museum receives about $800,000.

Other funding comes from the Institute of Museum Library Services, Texas Preservation Trust Fund/Texas Historical Commission and the Texas Commission of the Arts.

Hidalgo County, the City of Edinburg, City of McAllen and some local school districts contribute as well.

Congressman Vicente Gonzalez (D-15) was on hand for the special tour that included the archive, the main hall and the jail.

Gonzalez said his office is always looking to find grants and any money for museums and educational programs. Since he has been in office there has been about $115 million in federal resources to district 15.

“If there is any resources available to museums such as this you can guarantee I'll be fighting for it,” he said.