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SF’s Free “Museums For All” Program Now Permanent Year Round

SF offers free or reduced admission year-round to 20+ museums for residents who receive public benefits
By - posted 6/8/2021 No Comment

Just announced, the San Francisco Museums for All program will now provide free or reduced admission year-round to more than 20 museums and cultural institutions for residents who receive public benefits, including Medi-Cal and CalFresh.

Previously the program was only for the summer months, but now is a permanent program.

This expansion aims to support San Francisco’s reopening and recovery, and follows the program’s initial launch in summer 2019 when more than 25,000 free admissions were redeemed by San Franciscans visiting local museums and cultural institutions.

To build on the success of the initial summer program, San Francisco Museums for All will now be permanent and offer free year-round admission to one in four San Franciscans who receive Medi-Cal or CalFresh benefits.

The expansion of the Museums for All program advances a key priority of the City’s Economic Recovery Task Force by serving San Francisco’s most vulnerable residents and ensuring all San Franciscans can access and enjoy the City’s unique cultural assets. Admission fees at many institutions can range from $20 to $150 for a family of four to visit, which often creates a barrier for people to access the cultural and educational benefits that these institutions offer. Families with low incomes often do not go to museums because of prohibitively expensive ticket prices.

How Many Free Tickets Can I Get?
San Franciscans who receive Medi-Cal or CalFresh can now receive four free or reduced-price tickets per visit to the City’s most exciting art and nature exhibits.

Over the past year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many museums and cultural institutions either closed completely or pivoted to virtual programming. As San Francisco reopens and recovers, the San Francisco Museums for All Program will help support and bring people back to the City’s museums and cultural institutions. A survey of museums and cultural institutions that participate in the national Museums for All program demonstrated that making museum admission free improved attendance numbers and diversified museum attendance.

The San Francisco Museums for All program was created and administered in collaboration with Treasurer José Cisneros’s Financial Justice Project. The Financial Justice Project works to ensure that lower-income residents receive discounts on fines and fees that place a disproportionate burden on low-income families.

The San Francisco Human Services Agency (HSA) coordinates the San Francisco Museums for All program. San Francisco residents who currently receive public benefits from HSA can receive free admission at participating museums for up to four individuals when they present their Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card or Medi-Cal card and proof of San Francisco residency.

“Museums For All”

Participating cultural institutions
All provide free admission for those who receive Medi-Cal or CalFresh unless otherwise noted.

Asian Art Museum
Cable Car Museum
California Academy of Sciences – offers reduced $3 admission (not free admission).
Cartoon Art Museum
Children’s Creativity Museum
Chinese Culture Center of San Francisco
Chinese Historical Society of America
Conservatory of Flowers
The Contemporary Jewish Museum
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 Recreation and Park Departments’ Japanese Tea Garden
San Francisco Railway Museum
Yerba Buena Center for the Arts

Updated information on reopening policies and making online reservations, if needed, can be found at sfmuseumsforall.org, by calling 311, or by emailing sfmuseumsforall@sfgov.org.

How to get your free or discounted admission:

  • Show your EBT or Medi-Cal card AND a proof of San Francisco residency (a driver’s license, letter addressed to you, or a utility bill) at the ticket window.
  • Each SF MFA admission can include up to three family or friends at the same discount.
  • Check each listing for visiting hours and ticketing details. Online reservations or visits by appointment only may apply.

Read more at Office of the Mayor

Related Story: Free Museum Days for 200,000 SF Residents This Summer – 6/24/2020