PA's museums become latest victim of the budget knife

    By: Scott Detrow

    Museums throughout Pennsylvania claim they’re another victim of proposed budget cuts. Governor Rendell wants to eliminate a $3.8 million grant program, and scale back support for museums throughout the state.

    By: Scott Detrow

    Museums throughout Pennsylvania claim they’re another victim of proposed budget cuts. Governor Rendell wants to eliminate a $3.8 million grant program, and scale back support for museums throughout the state.

    Rendell’s budget zeros out line items for museum assistance grants and historical education and museum assistance.

    Deborah Filipi is the executive director of the Pennsylvania Federation of Museums, which represents 450 operations throughout the commonwealth.  She says more than 200 museums rely on that funding, and will have to respond to cuts by scaling back services.

    Filipi: “Instead of being open five days a week, they may be open four days a week or less. Also, cutting out programming and that is any kind of public programming, which includes education, particularly for children. Quite a few museums have mentioned that they’re going to have to cut school programs, particularly school programs that the museum has to subsidize.”

    In addition to the elimination of assistance grants, Rendell’s budget reduces support for several larger museums, including Philadelphia’s Franklin Institute, Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Science Center and the Whitaker Center for Science and the Arts in Harrisburg.

    Rendell has maintained he needs to make hard choices to balance the budget in a bad economic climate.

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