Kentucky Museum News
Free Admission increases Museum attendance by 45% in 1 year
- Tiffany Isselhardt
- Monday, January 13th, 2020
The Kentucky Museum has finished its first full year of free admission, as of January 1, 2020.
The result? During 2019, the Museum experienced a 45% increase in overall visitation.
Free admission is supported by a grant from the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation of Logan County. The grant replaces revenue typically generated by admission fees, which helps support the Museum’s exhibits, programs, and operational needs. Begun in January 2019, the three-year project will ascertain whether free admission is beneficial for – and desired by – the South Central Kentucky community.
“Nearly 30% of our region’s residents are classified as low-income,” said Tiffany Isselhardt, the museum’s Development and Marketing Manager. “This makes free admission to an arts and cultural museum incredibly valuable. It enables those who previously could not afford to visit with the opportunity to reap many benefits. As studies have shown, visiting museums helps build a sense of community, increases the chances that students will finish school and become confident citizens, benefits our economy, and – as we recently found out – might even help you live longer.”
Those benefits are especially important for low-income individuals and families. While the Museum’s previous $20 family admission fee was modest, it still presented the choice: enjoy the museum, or buy dinner? “That’s a big decision for struggling families,” says Isselhardt. “So our goal is to eliminate having to choose – and making our region’s art, history, and culture available for everyone to experience.”
The Kentucky Museum is thrilled to enter its second year of free admission, and hopes the future will bring a community commitment to keeping the museum free in perpetuity.
Want to support their work?
Become a Friend of the Museum at http://alumni.wku.edu/kymuseummem or call Tiffany Isselhardt, Development and Marketing Manager, at 270-745-3369.
Museum Hours: Tuesday – Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Location: 1444 Kentucky Street, Bowling Green, KY
Admission: Free; Groups of 10+ must register in advance
More Information: https://www.wku.edu/kentuckymuseum/
About Kentucky Museum
Since 1939, the Kentucky Museum has been a place for “Kentuckians to know Kentucky.” Today, the Museum enhances the academic mission of WKU and provides quality educational and cultural experiences for our campus and community. Using our premier cultural collections, we provide a gathering place for our campus and community to come to know and celebrate who they are as individuals and Kentuckians in the 21st century. Our programs include exhibits, camps and workshops, field trips, class visits, close study of collections, and as host to numerous public events.