The Smithsonian Closures
Through Art Market & You, Art From Us provides you with Analysis, Opinion and Factual Reports regarding the current on-goings of the Global Art Market. In this article, we look the Smithsonian Closures.
On December 22, 2018, the American government announced a partial shutdown. President Donald Trump demanded $5 million to built his infamous wall on the US-Mexican borders. American politicians have been unable to come up with a reasonable financial solution with the President, resulting in a somewhat chaotic meltdown of power.
Not long after, the ripple effect of this chat between lawmakers reached the government-funded art and cultural institutions in America, and not even the mightiest of the mighty were spared.
With a plug in their funding towards the end of 2018, the Smithsonian had officially declared that they will not be able to function past the first day of the new year. Once unutilised funds from previous years ran dry, 19 of the Smithsonian museums and institutions are closed, including the National Air and Space Museum, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, and the National Zoo in Washington (tragically, the beloved Panda-cam is now offline), the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum and the National Museum of the American Indian.
Down Fell the Dominos
Resulting from the closures, artist exhibitions have abruptly come to a halt. Perhaps more importantly, museum authorities are laying off employees en masse due to lack of funds to pay salaries, thus resulting in higher levels of unemployment.
Other government bodies affected by the shutdown include the National Park Services, who have suspended all their non-emergency services, the National Science Foundation, the National Arboretum and the National Archives.
A Tourist’s Ray of Hope
While its utterly disappointing that the beloved Panda-cam at the National Zoo is longer live, there are a few places around DC that are still open. You may want to visit the US Botanic Garden and spend some time with nature. If not, be an opportunist and grab a discounted meal or drink. Several local restaurants are trying to keep tourism alive by offering discounted meals.
The Capitol Building is functional and the Archives of American Art are open too!
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