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BALTIMORE, November 21, 2019 — The cost of museum admission can be a barrier for many low-income families, but Museums for All, an initiative of the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), allows individuals and families who receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits to visit participating museums for free or reduced-price admission (admission is capped at $3). Museum visitors must simply present their Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card and photo ID upon entry, with up to four people allowed per EBT card.
Museums for All can broaden a museum’s visitor base by addressing the financial barriers that prevent many low-income people from visiting museums in their communities. Any type of museum can participate — art, history, natural history, children’s museums, science centers, planetariums, nature centers, historic houses/sites, zoos, aquariums, arboretums, and more.
“SNAP provides much-needed nutrition assistance to approximately 610,000 low-income Marylanders,” said Michael J. Wilson, director, Maryland Hunger Solutions. “With Museums for All, SNAP can also help Maryland families participate in more of the arts and cultural experiences that their community has to offer. It’s a program that offers education, art appreciation, and social interaction. Symbolically, it’s about ‘bread and roses’ in a very local way.”
“IMLS is very pleased to continue supporting the Museums for All initiative. It is heartening to witness the enthusiasm of so many participating museums in Maryland and know that they view the issues of inclusion and accessibility as a priority,” said Paula Gangopadhyay, deputy director of museums, IMLS. “Local collaboration and networks within museums and their partners are essential for the overall success of Museums for All.”
Since its launch in 2014, Museums for All has served more than 2.1 million visitors nationwide at more than 435 museums. Currently, there are 16 participating museums across Maryland, including
- American Visionary Art Museum;
- Annmarie Sculpture Garden & Arts Center;
- B&O Railroad Museum;
- Baltimore Museum of Industry;
- Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum;
- Chesapeake Children’s Museum;
- Greenbelt Museum;
- Hammond-Harwood House;
- Historic St. Mary’s City;
- Jewish Museum of Maryland;
- Miller House Museum;
- Patuxent River Naval Air Museum;
- Piney Point Lighthouse Museum;
- Sandy Spring Museum;
- Clement’s Island Museum; and
- Star-Spangled Banner Flag House.
“Genius and talent are equally sprinkled among all our human family. What a privilege to join forces with Museums for All to help better feed both body and soul. The American Visionary Art Museum sets out a visual feast of wonders created by self-taught visionaries, many of whom have known hunger in their own lives,” said Rebecca Hoffberger, founder and director of the American Visionary Art Museum. “It’s an honor to offer a warm welcome to every “Museums for All” family. As SNAP helps nourish bodies, we aim to feed the spirit and stoke imaginations.”
Maryland Hunger Solutions, an initiative of the Food Research & Action Center, works to end hunger and improve the nutrition, health, and well-being of children and families in Maryland.