Thursday, June 09, 2016

The Georgia Museum of Art and Museums for All

On April 14, 2016, the Georgia Museum of Art at the University of Georgia became the first museum in the state to commit officially to serving low-income families through the Museums for All program. Organized by the Association of Children’s Museums and the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), Museums for All encourages families of all backgrounds to visit museums regularly and build lifelong museum habits. A study featured in the New York Times concluded that “visiting an art museum exposes students to a diversity of ideas that challenge them with different perspectives on the human condition.” The study showed that students who visited Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art on school tours “demonstrated stronger critical thinking skills, displayed higher levels of social tolerance, exhibited greater historical empathy and developed a taste for art museums and cultural institutions.” In addition, “most of the benefits … observed are significantly larger for minority students, low-income students and students from rural schools.”

Young visitors examine a rare Japanese
three-paneled screen at the Georgia Museum of Art.
With Museums for All, museums with an admission charge offer reduced or free admission to visitors who present an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card. The Georgia Museum of Art is pleased to join this group of institutions. As part of the state’s flagship land-grant university, the museum has a strong commitment to service and outreach and already offers free admission to all visitors, thereby removing the need to present a card or an ID. About 15 percent of families living in Athens-Clarke County have incomes below the poverty line. By participating in Museums for All, the museum hopes to make low-income visitors aware of this fact and further broaden and diversify its audience.

“I’m pleased to welcome the Georgia Museum of Art into the family of Museums for All participants,” said IMLS director Dr. Kathryn K. Matthew. “As the first museum in Georgia to sign on to the program, the Georgia Museum of Art is leading by example. Through its community outreach and Museums for All participation, the museum will establish its credentials as a true community cornerstone that is accessible to all.”

A full list of participating institutions is available at

For museum hours, location and directions, visit our website.

Hillary Brown
Director of Communications

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