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Community

Low-Income Access Program For Some Santa Barbara County Museums

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Courtesy of Santa Barbara Zoo
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Taking your family to a Museum or a zoo can be a rewarding but expensive day out. Now, 18 Santa Barbara County Museums have announced an access program for low-income families.

The 18 museums across Santa Barbara County – which include Santa Barbara Zoo, the MOXI and Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History and Sea Center – have joined Museums For All – an access program aimed to encourage people of all backgrounds to visit museums regularly and build lifelong museum-going habits.

The program supports those receiving food assistance (CalFresh/SNAP) benefits by offering admission to these 18 Santa Barbara County museums for a minimal fee of $0-3 per person, up to four people, with the presentation of a CalFresh (SNAP Electronic Benefits Transfer – EBT) card.

Similar free and reduced admission is available to eligible members of the public at more than 700 museums across the country.

Museums for All is part of these Santa Barbara County museums’ broad commitment to seek, include, and welcome all audiences says Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History President & CEO Luke Swetland.

“This collaboration activates the transformative power of the county’s museums and cultural institutions to sustain our residents’ most important human impulses and needs – to open our eyes, to delight our senses, to feed our minds, and to raise up our spirits," says Swetland.

"For those among us who are most economically challenged, these needs are acute and urgent, though too often ignored or sidelined. The Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History is proud and humble to be a part of this effort to raise all of us up together.”

Robin Gose, President and CEO of MOXI, The Wolf Museum of Exploration + Innovation sees the program as a key part of museums’ accessibility and inclusion efforts.

“We all want our museums and institutions to be inclusive and to be places where all in our community feel welcome," says Gose.

"We know there are certain people who, for a variety of reasons, don’t choose to visit museums. This county-wide embrace of the Museums for All program is an important step in removing a barrier to attendance.

"We hope that by offering free or reduced admission, we are eliminating financial reasons for not visiting. For MOXI, it is especially important to offer equitable access to families with children because every child deserves the same opportunities to learn and thrive by having fun learning experiences outside the home or classroom,” she said.

Stacey Otte-Demangate, Executive Director of Wildling Museum of Art & Nature added, “We are proud to join the other museums in our county to ensure that there is no barrier for our community to enjoy the diverse programs and exhibitions we each offer.”

Participating Santa Barbara County museums are: