San Francisco this week launched the citywide Museums for All program — which provides free and reduced admissions for low-income residents to 21 museums in an effort to support the city’s reopening and recovery.
After a successful initial launch in summer 2019, the program returns for a permanent run, building on a commitment from Mayor London Breed to offer equitable access to arts, cultural, and educational opportunities for all, including families.
“All San Franciscans, regardless of their income, deserve the opportunity to experience the joy and inspiration, and community that our incredible arts and cultural institutions have to offer,” Breed said in a statement. “As our city recovers and reopens, a permanent San Francisco Museums for All program will give families an opportunity to engage in safe, healthy, and enriching activities at a time when they need it most.”
Under the program, residents currently receiving public benefits through the city’s Human Services Agency can receive free or reduced admission for up to four people at participating museums. To participate, residents simply have to show their Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card or Medi-Cal card and proof of San Francisco residency.
The permanent program will give some 225,000 San Franciscans unprecedented access to the city’s premiere cultural institutions, including the de Young museum, Legion of Honor museum, Asian Art Museum, California Academy of Sciences, Exploratorium, Conservatory of Flowers, and the Contemporary Jewish Museum, among many others.
City officials estimate a typical museum trip for a family of four in San Francisco can range anywhere from $20 to $150, often creating a barrier for low-income families.
The Museums for All program was created through San Francisco Treasurer Jose Cisneros’ Financial Justice Project, which works to ensure that the city’s low-income residents can receive discounts on disproportionately high fines and fees.
“No one should be excluded from our world class museums because of the size of their wallet,” Cisneros said. “A truly inclusive city is one where all residents have the opportunity to experience the wonder and excitement of our museums and cultural institutions.”
A complete list of all participating museums and more information about the program can be found online.