January 10, 2024

The San Diego Museum of Art Introduces Free Admission to all Visitors on the Second Thursday of Each Month

Access for All grant aids efforts in reducing barriers to Museum visits, including select free admission days, added community events and accessibility offerings

San Diego Museum of Art facade

San Diego, CA. (January 2024) – New in 2024, The San Diego Museum of Art (SDMA) is offering free general admission to all on the second Thursday of each month and extending free general admission daily to active and veteran military service members with a valid military ID, plus one guest, and all students with student ID. These admission updates are a result of the Museum being awarded an Access for All grant funded by the Art Bridges Foundation, a national arts nonprofit founded by philanthropist Alice Walton. Through the grant, SDMA will receive $1.6 million over three years and is committed to offering free general admission to all visitors on a monthly basis and extending more access opportunities to the community.

In addition to general admission, Access for All at the Museum also features tailored programming for the community on select Saturdays and Access for All Thursdays, including:

  • Community Art Workshops, which are open to all members of the community (no reservations required) 
  • Storytelling for all ages and Books and Art activities in the SDMA library
  • Free guided tours (available in English and Spanish) sharing collection highlights on view throughout the Museum
  • Free accessibility tours for groups with special needs (reservation required)
  • In-gallery digital interactives to enhance guests’ experiences with the art on view

“We are proud to open our doors to more audiences and enhance our Museum offerings, so all members of the San Diego community and beyond can experience the Museum without barriers,” said Roxana Velásquez, Maruja Baldwin Executive Director and CEO at The San Diego Museum of Art. “It is an honor to be recognized through the Access for All grant from the Art Bridges Foundation alongside many other historic institutions, and we look forward to expanding our audience and bringing in new communities as a result of the grant.”

Access for All is a $40 million nationwide initiative from Art Bridges Foundation aimed at closing access and opportunity gaps that prevent communities from experiencing art. This $40 million in funding to 64 art museums and cultural institutions nationwide aims to increase access to art across the country and foster engagement with local communities by covering the costs of free admission days and expanded free hours, as well as programming, outreach, and community partnerships that will eliminate many common barriers to access.

The Art Bridges Access for All initiative represents a sweeping effort to get people back to museums after COVID-19 brought declines in revenue, staffing, and attendance. With many museums seeing just 71 percent of their pre-pandemic attendance, the new initiative aims to restore pre-pandemic levels—and open opportunities for all people to enjoy art by reducing barriers to access and strengthening community relationships. 

For more information on The San Diego Museum of Art and to purchase tickets, visit www.SDMArt.org.


About The San Diego Museum of Art

Providing a rich and diverse cultural experience, The San Diego Museum of Art houses some of the world’s finest art. Located in the heart of Balboa Park, the Museum’s internationally renowned collection of more than 32,000 works—dating from 3000 BC to present day—includes Spanish and Italian old masters, the Edwin Binney 3rd Collection of South Asian paintings, East Asian art, art from the Americas, Modern and Contemporary art, and the Museum of Photographic Arts at The San Diego Museum of Art (MOPA@SDMA). The Museum regularly features major exhibitions of art from around the world, as well as extensive cultural and community engagement programs for all ages. The San Diego Museum of Art hosts experiences that invite visitors to explore art through music, dance, film, food, and so much more. At The San Diego Museum of Art, exhibition text is always in English and Spanish.

The San Diego Museum of Art is located at 1450 El Prado in Balboa Park, San Diego, CA, 92101. General Information, (619) 232-7931, Group Sales: (619) 696-1935

Website: http://www.SDMArt.org

X: @SDMA, Instagram: @SanDiegoMuseumofArt Facebook: @TheSanDiegoMuseumofArt

About Art Bridges Foundation

Art Bridges Foundation is the vision of philanthropist and arts patron Alice Walton. The mission of Art Bridges is to expand access to American art in all regions across the United States. Since 2017, Art Bridges has been creating and supporting programs that bring outstanding works of American art out of storage and into communities. Art Bridges partners with a growing network of over 220 museums of all sizes and locations on nearly 700 projects across the nation, impacting over 4.1 million people, to provide financial and strategic support for exhibition development, loans from the Art Bridges Collection, and programs designed to educate, inspire, and deepen engagement with local audiences. The Art Bridges Collection represents an expanding vision of American art from the 19th century to present day and encompasses multiple media and voices. For more information, visit artbridgesfoundation.org.