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Examples of Free Admission to Museums,

Examples of Free Admission to Museums,

A quick sort through Google:

13 March 2010

Elaine Heumann Gurian

Having written an article entitled “Free at Last” advocating for free admission as a way to ensure broader community usage of museums, I am often asked for examples of museums with free admission.  I have collected some listed below for those who need examples if contemplating starting such a program.

Jeanie Stahl of White Oak is especially interested in creating new financial model that includes free admission and has written on the subject.  She is well aware that some government or private funding will have to underwrite the loss of admissions income.  We should all be joining her and playing with ideas for replacement funds so that museums can return once again to being a free amenity just as libraries are.  We still have not made the persuasive case to entice government funding on the scale that the Labor government of the UK accepted.

A listing of free admission in Chicago by the Naperville Library makes it possible for visitors to select obscure and not so obscure museums that are free all the time and not only on free days. 

Similarly here is a list of New York City Museums that are always free and the free days of other museums.  Admittedly a visitor intent of using these lists has to be organized, know how to use a search engine and have access to a computer. We in the museum business could also make lists widely available to our communities if we so chose. 

The following are similar lists I have found on a half-hour tour of my browser:



So it goes on.  

A short survey of the web indicates that web pages for tourists like to indicate where free admission might be located while use of local free admission is available for the more sophisticated and organized user. 

The point I am trying to make is that free admission also encourages use for the less organized and drop in visitor but that assumption is not widely shared by my quick perusal of the search engine under “Museum Free Admission”. 

I will continue to advocate for this in order to build broader and more diversified museum use.