New York City public library cardholders now have free access to 33 of the city’s cultural institutions.
For many, visiting New York City’s major museums can be prohibitively pricey—the Guggenheim Museum, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Whitney Museum of American Art, for instance, all charge $25 for full admission. But now, 33 of the city’s marquee cultural institutions (including the aforementioned three) are free for anyone equipped with a library card from the New York Public Library, the Brooklyn Public Library, or the Queens Library, which partnered on the project. Officially dubbed Culture Pass, the program allows card-carrying library members to reserve passes for up to four people.
The ambitious program does come with some caveats. For instance, culture vultures can only reserve day passes to each participating institution once per year, and can have no more than two reservations at any one time. Passes are made available two months ahead of time to be reserved online through the Culture Pass website.
“As the most democratic institutions in our society, the library’s core mission is to provide resources for learning, culture, and creativity to people of all ages and backgrounds—in essence to provide access to the world’s collective knowledge,” Linda E. Johnson, the president and CEO of Brooklyn Public Library, said in a statement. “Culture Pass will help build awareness, expand audiences, and provide access for library patrons to New York’s world-class museums and cultural institutions.”
The initiative was partly informed by the city’s new cultural plan, CreateNYC, which called for making the arts more accessible to citizens in historically underserved communities.