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Smithsonian requests $957m budget from US Congress

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Smithsonian Institute National Air and Space Museum.

The Smithsonian Institute has requested a $957m budget for 2018-19 from the US Congress, an increase of $100m from its 2017 appropriation.

The majority of the increase will be added to the facilities capital of the Smithsonian and used to fund the $127m renovation of the National Air and Space Museum, scheduled to begin this summer.

In total, $220m of the budget request would go to facilities capital with $10m for roof repairs at the Hazy Center, $19m for infrastructure work at the National Zoo, $6m for the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum in New York, and $4m for completion of the National Museum of American History west wing renovation. An additional $17m will be used for facilities planning and design.

The other $738m of the budget would be allocated to salaries and expenses, including $3.5m for increases in rents, utilities and communications. A further $5m would be used for stabilising the condition of buildings and replacing security equipment.

Approximately 70% of the funding the Smithsonian receives comes from the US government. This covers the cost of basic operations including admin and support services, collection conservation, building maintenance and basic research and education programmes.

The other 30% of funding comes from donations. Earlier this month, the Smithsonian concluded the largest-ever fundraising campaign by a cultural institution, raising $1.88bn – $380m more than its goal of $1.5bn.

Image: c. Eric Long, Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum.

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