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Museums are big business in Illinois

Illinois museums generate $2 billion in economic impact

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[March 31, 2012]  SPRINGFIELD -- Illinois museums employ more than 6,420 Illinoisans, spend more than $576 million on goods and services, and serve more than 21 million visitors each year, including 3.4 million school children and 119,500 teachers. This results in an overall economic impact to the state of about $2 billion annually, according to the findings of the 2012 Illinois Association of Museums' Illinois Museums' Economic Impact Statement, released during the annual IAM Museum Day on March 22 in Springfield.

"Museums are a significant pull to international and out-of-state visitors and to the many Illinoisans who frequent them," said Donna Sack, IAM executive director. "From the Museums in the Park in Chicago to the Lincoln sites to the wealth of cultural and historical resources throughout the state, museums offer something that resonates. In addition to the cultural, architectural and historic resources, we also have fabulous zoos, planetariums and botanic gardens that spark the scientist in all of us and of course, children's museums that help develop inquiry skills and creativity."

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn proclaimed March 22 as Illinois Museums Day and in that proclamation encouraged "all citizens to visit museums in their community and recognize the importance of supporting, preserving and enjoying these valuable resources." More than 75 museum professionals, board members and volunteers gathered at the Illinois State Museum in Springfield for Museum Day 2012. The day provided an opportunity for museum leaders from across the state to discuss issues affecting their organizations and to advocate on behalf of museums with members of the Illinois General Assembly.

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Museum Day also saw the release of $15 million in Public Museum Capital Grants by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. IDNR Director Marc Miller said he was "especially pleased to be able to release this second phase of dollars at a time when an infusion of capital dollars will help to improve museums statewide." The first phase was released in 2010.

[Text from Illinois Association of Museums news release received from the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency]


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