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Illinois Public Museum Grants Program

The Public Museum Capital Grants Program is designed to help public museums in Illinois expand and upgrade facilities and create new exhibitions.

  Program Summary FY99 through FY04   

FY99 - FY04
In recognition of the contributions that museums make to education, tourism, and economic development, legislation was enacted in the spring of 1998 to help public museums improve facilities and develop new exhibits as well as expand educational programming and partnerships between museums and schools. Funding was appropriated beginning in FY 99 for two programs; the capital grant program and the operating grant program.

Public Museum Capital Grant Program
From FY 99 - FY 02, $10M was appropriated annually from the Capital Development Bond Fund (CDBF) for the Capital Grant Program. In FY 03, $36M was appropriated – $18 M from the CDBF and $18 M from the Build Illinois Bond Fund. The FY04 funding level is $9M. Over $76M in grant funds have been awarded to 94 museums throughout Illinois to develop new and updated exhibits, expand facilities, renovate and restore buildings, and make infrastructure improvements. Museums are better able to serve their audiences and attract new visitors as a result of the capital improvements made to museums through this program.

Public Museum Operating Grants Program
The operating grants program was designed to improve and enhance the capacity of museums to more effectively use their resources to supplement the learning process of Illinois school children and other citizens. From FY 99 - FY 02, $5 M GRF was appropriated annually for the operating grant program.  In FY 02, in response to the state’s fiscal difficulties, the Governor reduced the appropriation to $4M; no funding was appropriated for the operating grants program in FY 03.  In April 2002, a report was published documenting the results of the first three years of the grants program – more than 16,500 K-12 schools were served; educational programming was provided for more than 2.2M children; and training was provided for over 33,300 K-12 teachers. 125 museums have received operating grants. No funding was appropriated in FY04, FY05, or FY06 for the Public Museum Operating Grants Program.
Illinois is home to some of the finest museums in the world.
Illinois benefits greatly from the statewide economic, educational, and cultural impact of these museums.
Illinois museums offer vital resources to school districts throughout the state and contribute to the vitality of the communities in which they are located.
The Illinois Public Museum Grants Program has funded many types of museums including: aerospace museums, aquariums, arboreta, botanical gardens, children’s museums, historic house museums, living history centers, natural history museums, science centers, and zoos. This program has had very widespread support from museums, legislators, schools,and community leaders

Administrative Rules
In spring, 2002, substantive changes were made to the enabling legislation. In order to proceed with the FY03 program, emergency administrative rules were adopted to conform to the changes. The emergency rules expired in January 2003. Formal rules were adopted by the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (JCAR), effective January 26, 2004.


Public Museum Grants Information
Statutory Information
Administrative Rule
Eligibility Information
Application Form and Guidlines - FY2014
Program Summary FY99 through FY04
Staff Directory
Previous Grant Awards
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Last updated 2012-03-21, 16:00 by eks