Do you remember your first time at The Nat? We do! It was full of wonder and discoveries that made us more curious about the world around us. Every day, someone experiences the Museum for the first time—seeing immersive exhibitions like Coast to Cactus in Southern California or interacting with our educators in Unshelved: Cool Stuff from Storage. Visitors leave the Museum with a better understanding of the uniqueness of our region and, we hope, a stronger desire to protect it.
That first Museum experience can ignite an appreciation for nature, it can spark the curiosity of a budding naturalist, or it can even inspire environmental advocacy in our region. Every year, we provide opportunities to more than 70,000 members of our community to experience The Nat through programs designed to offer low to no-cost Museum access to all.
One of these programs is Museums for All, which provides free general admission to individuals and families with the presentation of an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), or Women, Infants & Children (WIC) card. Currently, more than 10 museums in San Diego, including The Nat, have made a commitment to seek, include, and welcome all.
Programs like this create the opportunity for San Diego residents to experience what The Nat has to offer—engaging exhibitions and educational programs driven by our regional, ongoing scientific research.
In this first year of the program, Museums for All has been well received by the community. The number of people visiting through it has doubled in six months, and in the course of the year, we’re hoping to reach 2,500 people. That means 2,500 people in our community, who may not have had an opportunity to visit the Museum are now able to build a love of museums and learning, while learning about the local environment in a new way.
In addition to Museums for All, The Nat continues its longtime Museum Access Fund for Title I schools in San Diego. We also offer a camp scholarship (or “campership”) program, and ASD Mornings that aim to make the Museum experience more accessible to individuals with an autism spectrum disorder. We continue to offer free admission year round through the Resident Free Tuesday program, during the annual December Nights festival, and during the San Diego Museum Council’s Kids Free October program. Last but not least, we provide free nature hikes to school children through our Outdoor Access Fund. All in all, we welcome more than 70,000 people per year into The Nat through these important programs.
Community access programs like these are integral to our efforts to share our collections, our knowledge, and our advocacy with all members of our region. In this way, we make the Museum a bigger and better part of our community.
Posted by The Nat.
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