Mayor London Breed Launches Second Summer of San Francisco Museums For All
Initiative to include free online and digital resources through “Museums from Home” in addition to free or reduced admission to local museums and cultural institutions for San Francisco residents who receive public benefits
San Francisco, CA — Mayor London N. Breed today announced the second summer of the San Francisco Museums For All initiative, which will build upon last year’s program to provide free or reduced admissions to local museums and cultural institutions for low-income San Franciscans who receive public benefits, including Medi-Cal and CalFresh.
The City’s reopening plan and timeline was updated on Monday, June 22 to allow for indoor museum programming to begin as early as June 29. As some indoor museums reopen with modifications, the San Francisco Museums For All program will work with museum partners to provide free or reduced admission to museums and cultural institutions for San Franciscans that receive public benefits through the summer.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many local museums and cultural institutions have shifted to online or digital programming. As such, the program is also being updated to include
“San Francisco Museums From Home,” a catalog of resources that provide free online access for members of the public to exhibits, activities, and interactive programs at over a dozen local museums and cultural institutions.
“As San Francisco works to safely reopen and help people get back to work, I am excited that many of our local museums will continue to open their doors to all San Franciscans, regardless of their income, so everyone has the opportunity to access our City’s world-class arts and cultural institutions,” said Mayor Breed. “As families continue to take precautions to prevent the spread of coronavirus, expanding this initiative to include free online programming will help connect even more families and children to the arts.”
Nearly one in four San Franciscans receive public benefits from the San Francisco Human Services Agency (HSA). With thousands more San Franciscans applying for public benefits through HSA in the time since Mayor Breed declared a local emergency due to coronavirus, and nearly one in five San Franciscans experiencing unemployment, the number of families eligible for San Francisco Museums For All is expected to increase dramatically.
Admission fees at many museums and cultural institutions can range from $20 to $150 for a family of four to visit, creating a barrier for many people to access the cultural and educational benefits that these institutions offer. The San Francisco Museums For All program aims to break down that barrier to open doors of opportunity for families, especially low-income families, to experience arts and cultural education programming.
In its first summer, more than 25,000 San Franciscans participated in Museums For All program, visiting museums and cultural institutions including SF MoMA, the California Academy of Sciences, the de Young Museum, and nearly a dozen others. A full list of last year’s participating museums and cultural institutions is below. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, while indoor museum programs are able to reopen as soon as June 29, residents are strongly encouraged to visit the museums’ websites or contact museums directly for more details on each institution’s reopening plan.
“We are joined in a common experience as residents of a great city when we visit San Francisco’s history and science and art museums,” said Trent Rhorer, Executive Director of the San Francisco Human Services Agency. “I’m proud that at this moment, when so many are experiencing setbacks, the city’s cultural institutions are sustaining their commitment to a common goal of inclusion.”
The San Francisco Museums For All program was created in collaboration with Treasurer José Cisneros’s Financial Justice Project, which works to ensure that lower-income residents receive discounts on fines and fees that place a disproportionate burden on low-income families, and to streamline eligibility processes for these discounts. It was also created in collaboration with San Francisco Grants for the Arts and the San Francisco Arts Commission.
“No one should be excluded from the rich cultural life our city because of the size of their wallet,” said Treasurer Jose Cisneros. “San Francisco Museums For All ensures our cultural institutions are open and accessible to everyone.”
“I greatly appreciate the museums joining us in this effort,” said Matthew Goudeau, Director of Grants for the Arts. “It’s been a challenging time for most of these institutions, yet they have stepped up in significant ways to partner with the City to expand access to their spaces, whether in-person or virtual. Together, we will continue to remove barriers that prevent all people, regardless of income, from enjoying the best of San Francisco’s cultural offerings.”
“The Arts Commission is excited to support San Francisco Museums For All in its second year, ensuring all San Franciscans have access to diverse cultural experiences, and the transformative power of art,” said Rebekah Krell, Acting Director of Cultural Affairs for the San Francisco Arts Commission.
When museums that participate in San Francisco Museums For All reopen, residents who currently receive Medi-Cal or CalFresh benefits from HSA can receive free or reduced admission at participating museums for up to four individuals when they present their Electronic Benefits Transfer or Medi-Cal card and proof of San Francisco residency.
Participating cultural institutions include:
- Asian Art Museum
- Cable Car Museum
- California Academy of Sciences
- Cartoon Art Museum
- Children's Creativity Museum
- Chinese Culture Center of
- Chinese Historical Society of America
- Conservatory of Flowers
- de Young Museum
- GLBT Historical Society Museum
- Legion of Honor Museum
- Museum of Craft and Design
- Museum of the African Diaspora
- Randall Museum
- San Francisco Botanical Garden
- San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA)
- San Francisco Railway Museum
- SF Recreation & Parks Japanese Tea Garden
- The Contemporary Jewish Museum
- The Presidio
- Yerba Buena Center for the Arts