During the pandemic, museums across the country have been attempting to figure out, in fits and spurts, how to welcome patrons back within their walls in a safe manner. After being closed for several months, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York reopened last August at 25% capacity, and most if not all venues have employees stationed at the front door in order to conduct temperature checks. However, there’s been an open question about how to incentivize audiences who may be fearful to return to museums again, and the Everson Museum of Art in Syracuse has come up with a solution: if you have proof you’ve been fully vaccinated against contracting COVID-19, admission is free.
Other museums, like the American Museum of Natural History, have wisely begun using their premises as vaccination sites. Cannily, this both casts museums in a good light as health-conscious institutions, and serves as a reminder to the general public about how much they may have been missing these kinds of spaces, even without fully realizing it.
However, what the Everson Museum of Art is doing is slightly different. “We want to encourage people to get out there, get vaccinated, get those shots in your arms and come out and enjoy art,” Elizabeth Dunbar, the director and CEO of the Everson Museum, said in a statement. “So anything we can do to promote public wellness and health and a healthy dose of art to go along with it.”
The free admission programming will be in place at the Everson Museum until the end of May, and the museum is also rolling out new programming in order to encourage audiences to attend. While larger institutions like the Met or the Whitney Museum of American Art might consider such temporary deals to be beneath them, they really shouldn’t, because cutting art lovers a break during a difficult year is always a good look.