The Whitney to Expand Free Admission Offerings in 2024

The Whitney to Expand Free Admission Offerings in 2024
Photo courtesy of the Whitney Museum of American Art

The Whitney to Expand Free Admission Offerings in 2024

Starting in January, families can celebrate contemporary American art more easily than ever, thanks to a major free admission initiative from the Whitney Museum of American Art. 

The new programs, Free Friday Nights and Second Sundays, will offer free admission and special programming for visitors every Friday evening from 5 to 10 pm and on the second Sunday of every month, starting Jan. 12, 2024. 

Parents, make the Whitney your new go-to for date nights, happy hours and parents’ nights out: Free Friday Nights, running every Friday starting Jan. 12, will offer music, special programs and food and drinks from Frechette Bakery at the Whitney, the museum’s new restaurant. 

And the Whitney will be the place to be for families on the second Sunday  of every month starting on Jan. 14. On Second Sundays, families and visitors of all ages can enjoy art-making activities, tours, classes and other special events related to exhibitions on view.

Be sure to drop in for Second Sundays linked to significant community events, like Earth Day or Pride Month. 

The first iteration of Free Friday Nights and Second Sundays will take place on Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend with a focus on celebrating Black artists, whose work can be seen in the Whitney’s collection and in current exhibitions like “Henry Tayor: B Side.”

Other exhibitions on view that weekend will include “Ruth Asawa Through Line,” “Inheritance,” and permanent installations with works from artists like Edward Hopper, Georgia O’Keeffe and more. 

While admission to these events are free, capacity is limited and tickets are required. Advanced tickets are strongly encouraged, so be sure to grab yours when they go on sale in early January!

These new initiatives signal an expansion to the Whitney’s already-robust free and discounted admission offerings that are always available, including: 

  • Free admission for kids and teens 18 and under
  • Free admission for active military and veterans
  • Free admission for SNAP/EBT cardholders
  • Free admission for IDNYC cardholders on select dates
  • Discounted admission for students 
  • Discounted admission for seniors
  • Discounted admission for visitors with disabilities

The goal of these free admission initiatives is to remove barriers to entry and open doors for new visitors who might not have attended the Whitney otherwise

“We know that pricing can be a barrier to access and that our previous reduced admissions programs have not only been fully booked but have been enjoyed by younger, less affluent, and more diverse audiences,” Scott Rothkoph, the Alice Pratt Brown Director at the Whitney, said in a press release. 

Free Friday Nights are made possible by three-year gifts from Whitney Trustee Jen Rubio and Stewart Butterfield, and Whitney Trustee Paul Arnhold and Wes Gordon.

Arnhold says Free Friday Nights support the Whitney’s mission of inspiring people from different backgrounds to engage with art, “ask important questions, share diverse perspectives and open doors of thought and creativity.”

“Free Friday Nights will encourage more people to have these experiences, and that is a wonderful and important thing,” Arnhold said in a press release. 

Second Sundays are made possible by a three-year grant from the Art Bridges Foundation’s Access for All program, which supports increased access to museums across the country and fosters engagement with local communities by reducing common barriers to access.

Alice Walton, founder and board chair of Art Bridges Foundation, says the Whitney’s commitment to free admission aligns well with the foundation’s Access for All Program. 

“By reducing barriers to access, we aim to empower our museum partners across the country to deepen connections with their local communities and pave the way for all to experience the transformative power of American art.”

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