FREE ADMISSION TO WADSWORTH FOR HARTFORD RESIDENTS
Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art to Offer
Free Admission to Hartford Residents
Hartford, Conn. (Aug. 23, 2016) -In an unprecedented move, the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art will offer free admission to all Hartford city residents, effective immediately.
Through this new initiative-called Wadsworth Welcome-Hartford residents are encouraged to enjoy the experience of art in the company of friends and family without the barrier of paid admission. Currently, regular admission to the museum is $15 for adults and free to those under the age of 18.
"The Wadsworth Atheneum was founded as a place for bringing art and people together in the center of downtown Hartford," said Thomas J. Loughman, Director and CEO. "As stewards of a dynamic and significant collection of global cultural property, we strive to connect everyone with exceptional art experiences. With this initiative, we are shifting the dialogue and stating loud and clear: the Wadsworth is Connecticut's flagship visual arts organization, and it belongs to you."
Museum leadership considered ways to connect with its most immediate neighbors more effectively. With this program, the Wadsworth Atheneum is building upon its already successful, multi-year Community Engagement Initiative, begun in 2009, but at radical scale-expanding the opportunities for free admission from once a month to every day the museum is open. The museum intends for Wadsworth Welcome to restate its relationship with city residents specifically and in bold terms. The program will run through June 2017, at which point it will be evaluated.
The move comes as the iQuilt vision for a revitalized downtown is becoming visible, and amid the fundamental reinvigoration of the Hartford cultural landscape marked by the construction of the UCONN Hartford campus and the recent renovation of the museum itself. Engaging civic leadership, foremost with the City of Hartford, is vital to this project:
"The Wadsworth Atheneum is a truly world class art museum, and I'm so proud of this partnership with Aetna to open to the museum's doors for free to Hartford residents," said Mayor Luke Bronin. "This is exactly the kind of partnership we want to promote-a partnership between a pillar of our corporate community and an incredible Hartford cultural institution to ensure that every resident of Hartford is able to share in the cultural richness of our city."
Through a generous contribution from its long-time corporate supporter Aetna, lead funder of Second Saturdays for Families, the Wadsworth Atheneum will be spreading news of this initiative to city residents through a comprehensive marketing campaign.
"The Wadsworth has been a cornerstone of our community for nearly 175 years, and to see the museum evolve under new leadership is truly inspiring," said Mark T. Bertolini, Chairman and CEO at Aetna. "Expanding free admission will bring cultural enrichment to even more Hartford residents."
Loughman will join Mayor Bronin at the following events to share news of the free access program with Hartford residents:
Hartford Public Schools Convocation; Monday, Aug. 29, 8-10 a.m.; Bulkeley H.S.
First Day of School Bus Tour; Tuesday, Aug. 30, 7:30-11:30 a.m.; 960 Main St.
Wadsworth Welcome Cards
Residents who wish to register for the program will receive a Wadsworth Welcome card. To obtain a Wadsworth Welcome card, residents must show one form of identification and proof of residency. Registration may be done in person at the museum starting Wednesday, Aug. 24.
Opportunities for Free Museum Admission for Non-Residents
While Wadsworth Welcome is open to those with proof of residence in the City of Hartford, there are a number of programs for non-residents to enjoy similar benefits. A list of free admission opportunities can be found at thewadsworth.org/visit. Among them are:
Happy Hour, with free admission for all from 4 - 5 p.m. every day the museum is open;
Second Saturdays family programming, with free admission for all from 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. on the second Saturday of each month;
Active-duty military and their immediate family members are admitted free at all times;
Bank of America Museums on Us, with free admission the first weekend of every month to Bank of America credit and debit cardholders; and
Free admission at all times for those under the age of 18.
Additionally, ARTpasses-which can be used for free admission for two adults anytime-are available for check out from more than 200 Connecticut public libraries.
Questions regarding general museum information, including free admission opportunities, can be directed to (860) 278-2670 during museum hours.
About the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art
Founded in 1842, the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art is the oldest continuously operating public art museum in the United States. The museum's nearly 50,000 works of art span 5,000 years, from Greek and Roman antiquities to the first museum collection of American contemporary art. The Wadsworth Atheneum's five connected buildings-representing architectural styles from Gothic Revival to modern International Style-are located at 600 Main Street in Hartford, Conn. Hours: Wednesday - Friday: 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday: 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Admission: $5 - 15; discounts for members, students and seniors. Free for Hartford residents with ID. Free "happy hour" admission for all visitors 4 - 5 p.m. Public phone: (860) 278-2670; website: thewadsworth.org.
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