The Smithsonian Museums have always been an iconic beacon of culture, history, and preservation that drew in tourists by the millions into the District but soon enough they will have to start shutting down many of the galleries that brought in so many visitors into the city. According to a testimony from Smithsonian Secretary Wayne Clough, the Smithsonian Institution in D.C. will have to reduce the number of gallery attendants that patrol and guard many of the exhibits in their museums due to across-the-board budget cuts Congress has enacted.
Many federal agencies and government organizations have been feeling the pinch from the notorious sequester that has had the D.C. region embroiled in speculation and fear of budget cuts and furloughs. These fiscal cut backs are a result of a grid-locked Congress and the Executive Branch being unable to come to an agreement on a finalized budget a few months ago, with many of these deep reductions originally designed to be more of a fear tactic to reach a consensus on the budget than an actual method of reducing the deficit. Unfortunately for museum lovers, the Smithsonian was not immune to these cuts and is reported to receive a cut of at least $41 million from their budget. The Smithsonian is also rumored to likely postpone and cancel several exhibits they planned for 2014 and 2015.
The National Archives are also receiving a hefty budget cut from Congress which is estimated to be nearly $20 million and will apparently reduce their operating hours.
As for the various Smithsonian museums around D.C., WTOP reports that gallery closures can be expected as soon as May 1st.
So I suppose if there are a few Smithsonian exhibits you really wanted to check out or explore but never had an opportunity to do so, it probably behooves you to start taking actions to cross that off your D.C. bucket list sooner than later.
[image via smithsonianstudenttravel]