From value memberships to free days, museum offers more ways than ever for the community to visit
San Francisco (August 23, 2017)—As part of the California Academy of Sciences’ commitment to accessibility and inclusion, the museum is proud to introduce several new free and reduced admission programs as part of the Academy for All initiative. Welcoming over 1.5 million visitors each year to its Golden Gate Park facility, the Academy is expanding its suite of community access programs so that all Bay Area residents have access to a world-class museum experience.
“We believe that everyone should have equal and open access to science and the wonders of the natural world, and as a leading science museum in the heart of San Francisco, opening our doors wide to the entire community is an essential part of our mission,” says Dr. Jonathan Foley, the Academy’s executive director. “We’re proud to offer free and reduced admission opportunities for all of our Bay Area neighbors, and we look forward to continuing to expand these programs in the future.”
This summer, the Academy became an official partner in the Museums for All program, a cooperative initiative between the Association of Children’s Museums and Institute of Museum and Library Services that encourages families of all backgrounds to visit museums regularly and build lifelong museum habits. As part of this program, visitors with a current EBT (Electronic Benefit Transfer) or WIC card can simply present it at the ticket window upon arrival to receive $3 general admission per person for up to four people per visit.
Earlier this month, the Academy introduced a new Community Value membership level, providing a lower-cost family membership option for two adults and their children or grandchildren from Sunday-Friday during non-holiday and non-peak periods. Designed with San Francisco families and Golden Gate Park neighbors in mind, this new value membership level is ideal for residents interested in experiencing the museum during quieter periods while still receiving full member benefits that include free visits on over 230 days a year, discounts on shopping and dining, members-only previews and programs, and exclusive museum hours twice a week. In addition to this new value membership option, the Academy also offers flexible monthly payment plans for all membership levels.
Through the Academy for All initiative, the museum currently welcomes more than 330,000 visitors annually through free and reduced admission programs, with the intention of growing that reach through these new offerings. In addition, the Academy continues to offer free admission through Neighborhood Free Weekends, offering residents of each San Francisco zip code a free 3-day weekend twice a year, and Free Sundays several times a year open to the general public, including international visitors.
The Academy also offers free admission tickets to low-income families through Community Access Ticket Services (CATS), a partnership with social service agencies in the Bay Area, ensuring qualified low-income families can attend the Academy at any time. The museum is proud to donate the largest number of free tickets to CATS out of any cultural organization, contributing 9,000 tickets annually that can be used any day of the year. Through the Discover & Go Library Program, the museum provides passes to moderate- to low-income neighborhood libraries, including San Francisco, Richmond, Alameda, Contra Costa, Berkeley, Oakland, as well as over 40 local library systems.
In addition to wide-reaching community programs, the Academy provides free field trips for San Francisco school groups and offers a deeply discounted rate for school groups from other parts of the state. Through the generous support of The Arthur and Toni Rembe Rock Enhanced Museum Visits Program, all 4th- and 5th- grade students in San Francisco receive free transportation, admission, free family passes, and free educational programs and materials. The Academy also hosts quarterly free Family Nights for all 4th- and 5th- grade families in San Francisco.
To learn more and to see a full list of free and reduced admission opportunities and access programs offered by the Academy, please visit: http://www.calacademy.org/free-reduced-admission