The Taft of Museum of Art is making admission free on Mondays thanks to a $600,000 grant from a national foundation focused on making museums more accessible to everyone.
Art Bridges Foundation selected the Taft Museum to be part of its Access for All pilot program. The three-year, $30 million initiative will provide financial support and to a group of United States museums. The program covers the costs of admission, programming, marketing, outreach and what are described as “additional efforts to reduce barriers to access.”
As a result of the grant, the Taft Museum is making admission free on Mondays and also extending hours from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Beyond free admission, the Access for All initiative focuses on creating interdisciplinary and audience-building programming on the admission-free days.
Free Mondays at the museum begin this coming Monday, Oct. 16, in tandem with the Taft’s new special exhibition, “Sporting Fashion: Outdoor Girls 1800–1960.” The exhibit opens Saturday, Oct. 14.
The Taft Museum was already free on Sundays.
“Art Bridges’ support sets the stage for the Taft Museum of Art’s increased efforts to expand accessibility and inclusion,” Rebekah Beaulieu, the museum’s president and CEO.
Art Bridges is the vision of arts patron Alice Walton, of the WalMart family. Since 2017, Art Bridges has been creating and supporting programs that expand access to American art in all regions across the nation.
In announcing the new grant, the Taft Museum also noted its participation in the Art Bridges-funded Collaboration for Ongoing Visitor Studies evaluation program. The program includes $5,000 to support the museum as it works to better understand its visitor demographics and overall guest experience.
The COVES award offers several tools and resources, such as visitor exit survey instruments, data collector stipends, iPads to administer the survey and training over the course of the next year.
“We are honored to be among the ranks of the nation’s most esteemed and innovative institutions seeking to make museums a place where you can see yourself and be yourself,” Beaulieu added.
Beginning Oct. 16, operating hours for the Taft Museum will be Wednesday through Monday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays and Mondays are free, but general admission rules apply the rest of the week.