New York City residents, surrounded by landmark institutions of art and culture, are often left forgotten by the city’s most celebrated institutions in the place they call home — relegated to the sidelines by museums with skyrocketing admission fees. Recent efforts to widen the restrictive boundaries between economic status and cultural access have made great strides with the help of New York City’s public library system and the launch of Culture Pass NYC, a new initiative to grant library card holders free access to 33 participating museums across NYC. The program launched today in conjunction with the Brooklyn Public Library, Queens Library, and New York Public Library.
Culture Pass NYC allows people over 13 years of age who live, work, study, or own real estate in New York to participate by procuring a NYPL card, which requires a form of identification that has to includes the users full name and address (such as pay stubs or utility bills, while students between the ages of 13 and 16 only need to provide a school photo ID, report card, or working papers.
Each cardholder is eligible for one pass per cultural institution annually and allowed to reserve two impending visits at any given time. Reservations can be made through culturepass.nyc using an existing library card number and PIN. Certain museums require advance booking, while others may be available immediately. Hyperallergic attempted to book a reservation today but was unable to make a reservation due to greater than expected traffic on the site.
For ticketed entry, mobile and printed options are available. Queens Library branches host all-access printing free of charge, while Culture Pass NYC advertises that library staff at NYPL and Brooklyn branches will release free printing for culture passes upon request.
The program differentiates itself from programs like IDNYC, which offers free yearlong memberships (which often provide reduced admission and expanded access) to cultural institutions, while Culture Pass allows for free one-time admission for the Pass-holder and up to four guests.
As of 2014, the NYC Metropolitan Area is estimated to have the highest population of undocumented immigrants in any metropolitan region across the United States. Amidst qualms surrounding IDNYC and its potential to be utilized for anti-immigration data-mongering, the Culture Pass provides an alternative means of museum access without these same fears of governmental surveillance, a flexibility that IDNYC does not currently grant. Culture Pass offers informational materials on the program in Spanish, Mandarin, Russian, and Arabic through their website. IDNYC is available to homeless NYC residents, which is not possible under existing NYPL card restrictions.
The program is expected to offer 58,000 passes annually, valued at an estimated $2 million. The Culture Pass Program is privately funded by The New York Community Trust, Charles H. Revson Foundation, and Stavros Niarchos Foundation along with the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. The program is funded through the next three years, with hopes of expanding into a permanent fixture of NYC culture, giving underserved New Yorkers access to the resources that surround them that may feel out of reach or intimidating for many residents due to economic or immigration status, ethnicity, and language barriers.
The following institutions are currently participating in Culture Pass NYC.
- Brooklyn Botanic Garden
- Brooklyn Children’s Museum
- Brooklyn Historical Society
- Brooklyn Museum
- New York Transit Museum
- Children’s Museum of the Arts
- Children’s Museum of Manhattan
- Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
- The Drawing Center
- The Frick Collection
- International Center of Photography
- Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum
- The Jewish Museum
- The Metropolitan Museum of Art
- The Morgan Library & Museum
- Museum of the City of New York
- Museum of Chinese in America
- Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust
- Museum of Modern Art
- Rubin Museum of Art
- Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian
- Society of Illustrators
- Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
- Sugar Hill Children’s Museum of Art and Storytelling
- Whitney Museum of American Art
- Louis Armstrong House
- Noguchi Museum
- Queens Historical Society
- Queens Museum
- Historic Richmond Town
- Jacques Marchais Museum of Tibetan Art
- Wave Hill
MTV’s The Exhibit Is Back With an Inflatable Dolphin
Episode four, in which artists tackled themes of justice and injustice, was the most lifeless of the reality TV show so far.
Florida Principal Ousted Over “Pornographic” Michelangelo Sculpture
Parents complained that the famous sculpture was shown to their sixth graders.
The Milton Resnick and Pat Passlof Foundation Presents The Feminine in Abstract Painting
Curated by Jennifer Samet and Andrea Belag, this group exhibition in NYC explores the feminine through aesthetics, as opposed to identity or gender.
Tickets to Sold-Out Vermeer Show Are Going for Hundreds
The online resale market for the Rijksmuseum’s smash exhibition is booming, with tickets selling on eBay for over $2K.
NYU Steinhardt Opens 2023 MFA Thesis Exhibitions
Taking place at 80WSE Gallery in New York’s Greenwich Village, Part I is on view from late March through April while Part II opens in May.
Miniature Worlds: Joseph Cornell, Ray Johnson, Yayoi Kusama
Through small-scale works, this exhibition at the Katonah Museum of Art in New York examines Cornell’s prominent role in the lives and careers of Johnson and Kusama.
Three Looted Antiquities at the Met Repatriated to Turkey
Nine other repatriated works were seized from Met Trustee Shelby White, whose collection was subject to a criminal investigation.
This week, the world’s lightest paint, Pakistan’s feminist movement, World Puppy Day, and were some of Vermeer’s paintings created by his daughter?
The Wider World and Scrimshaw
On March 28, join the New Bedford Whaling Museum online and in-person for a symposium on global carving traditions from across the Pacific Rim.
Who Will Decide on the Future of a Miami Native Burial Ground?
Native activists say sacred remains and objects dug up from a Brickell construction site should remain there, but mega-developer Jorge Pérez is pushing back.
How Can a Curator Approach South Asian Futurisms?
How do I acknowledge my shortcomings while reckoning with obscured histories and the exclusion of subaltern narratives in the fine art landscape? A working checklist for curators.
MCA Chicago Presents On Stage: Frictions
Will Rawls, Shamel Pitts | TRIBE, and Barak adé Soleil explore Blackness, queerness, movement, and dance in performances at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago.
The Complicated Legacy of Camilo Egas
The Ecuadorian painter, a leading figure of Latin America’s Indigenismo art movement, has been both praised and scorned for his representation of Indigenous peoples.
Tom Jones Zeroes in on Ho-Chunk Visibility
“I think about the young kids, the teenagers, and I think being able to see yourself represented in art is so powerful,” says the artist.