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Issue: IMLS Office of Museum Services Funding


IMLS is the primary federal agency responsible for helping museums connect people to information and ideas. Its Office of Museum Services (OMS) awards grants to museums to support educating students, preserving and digitizing collections, and engaging communities. Grants are awarded in every state, but current funding has allowed the agency to fund only a small fraction of the highly rated grant applications it receives. Congress has regularly reauthorized IMLS with broad bipartisan support, most recently in 2018. OMS has set a strong record of congressional support during the appropriations submission process in each of the last seven years, with 178 Representatives and 41 Senators signing the FY 2020 appropriations letters on its behalf. IMLS received $252 million in FY 2020 appropriations, of which $38.5 million went to OMS.

  • We urge Congress to provide $42.7 million in FY 2021 for OMS, the amount approved by the U.S. House of Representatives last year.

Download the PDF of the full IMLS Office of Museum Services Funding Issue Brief

COVID-19 & IMLS Funding

Supporting Letters and Testimony


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