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May 17, 1999


SPRINGFIELD -- Governor George H. Ryan has proclaimed May 18, 1999 as Illinois Museum Day to recognize museums for their role in enhancing education, promoting cultural development and enriching the quality of life for Illinois citizens.

"Museums are great places for people of all ages to learn about the past, examine the present and look to the future," Ryan said. "We are fortunate in Illinois to have museums with international reputations, attracting visitors from throughout the world."

The Governor said museums preserve, study and interpret important artifacts; provide special programs, exhibits and activities; and enhance the public's knowledge of history, anthropology, the arts, science, archeology and industry while providing important tourism and economic development opportunities throughout the state.

State government support for local museums in Fiscal Year 1999 included $10 million for the Public Museum Capital Grants Program, providing funding for expanded facilities and new exhibits, and $5 million in museum operating grants to enhance educational opportunities for students and communities. The grants are administered by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

Illinois Museum Day is being observed in conjunction with the celebration of International Museum Day, created by the International Committee on Museums, which selected "Pleasures of Discovery" as its 1999 theme, highlighting the idea of enjoyment of museums.

Fifty Illinois museums are collaborating on a Museum Day event at the State Capitol Rotunda on May 18 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. featuring museum displays and exhibits, interactive activities and costumed interpreters. The event is sponsored by the Museums in the Park and the Illinois Association of Museums.


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