Mayor Bill de Blasio announced yesterday that holders of New York City’s newly-launched municipal identity card will be granted a year’s worth of privileges at 33 participating cultural institutions, including some of the city’s premier museums. The benefits program, which was first floated as a possibility by cultural affairs commissioner Tom Finkelpearl in July, will launch with the card itself in January 2015. According to a document detailing the benefits offered by each institution posted online by the mayor’s office, the perks extended to cardholders have an aggregate value of $2,100.
The cards are meant to provide undocumented New Yorkers with a form of government-issued identification, and the supplementary access to cultural institutions “opens the door for hundreds of thousands of more New Yorkers to our City’s premier assets in culture, science and entertainment,” de Blasio said. Participating institutions come from the city’s Cultural Institutions Group (CIG) comprising non-profit private organizations operating on City-owned property, and range from the American Natural History Museum to the Bronx Zoo and the Brooklyn Botanic Garden.
But in some participating institutions with pay-as-you-will policies, like the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the offer of free admission might seem less valuable — though in the case of the Met the offering to cardholders also includes a discount on audio guides and “special offers on select ticketed programs.” Regardless of perceived value, adoption of the card by a broader cross-section of New York City residents is necessary to the program’s success, as Tom Finkelpearl recently told Artnet News’s Ben Sutton: “[T]his is really so that you’re going to want to go out and get the ID card. The card doesn’t work if it’s just a card for undocumented residents. The municipal ID is good for all New Yorkers … ”
The 33 participating institutions are below:
1. Bronx County Historical Society
2. Bronx Museum of the Arts
3. New York Botanical Garden
4. Wave Hill
5. Wildlife Conservation Society (includes Bronx Zoo, New York Aquarium, Central Park Zoo, Queens Zoo, and Prospect Park Zoo)
6. Brooklyn Academy of Music
7. Brooklyn Botanic Garden
8. Brooklyn Children’s Museum
9. Brooklyn Museum
10. American Museum of Natural History
11. Carnegie Hall
12. New York City Ballet
13. El Museo del Barrio
14. Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Inc.
15. Metropolitan Museum of Art
16. Museum of Jewish Heritage
17. Museum of the City of New York
18. New York City Center
19. Public Theater/New York Shakespeare Festival
20. Studio Museum in Harlem
21. Flushing Town Hall
22. Jamaica Center for Arts & Learning
23. Museum of the Moving Image
24. New York Hall of Science
25. MoMA PS1
26. Queens Botanical Garden
27. Queens Museum
28. Queens Theatre
29. Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden
30. Staten Island Children’s Museum
31. Staten Island Historical Society
32. Staten Island Museum
33. Staten Island Zoological Society
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