GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The Urban Institute of Contemporary Arts wants to ease the financial burden for the hundreds of thousands of Michigan families receiving state assistance.
It will now cost EBT recipients $1 to enjoy a visit to the UICA in downtown Grand Rapids.
The UICA is among the most recent organizations to join Museums For All, a national movement to give museum access to more families from all backgrounds.
EBT users can now go to the UICA admission counter and show their WIC or Bridge card, similar to the way members show their passes, and up to four people can get in with the discounted admission price.
Miranda Krajniak told 24 Hour News 8 that when she and her team at the UICA began searching for a program to better serve all portions of the West Michigan community, they were particular about finding the one that was best for the UICA. Museums For All was the right fit.
“We thought a lot about how we go about not stigmatizing people who have financial struggles,” Krajniak said.
While some programs offer a day of discounted admission fees to certain groups, the national Museums For All initiative gets families from all backgrounds to enjoy visits to museums regularly.
“To kind of create a day for access almost sets that person aside as a person who needs a special day for access. I really don’t think our circumstances define us,” Krajniak said.
Joe Jones, the president and CEO of the Grand Rapids Urban League, is on board with the new program. As a city commissioner, Jones sees moves like this benefiting Grand Rapids.
“The arts, to this day, still play a critical role in the development of young people as well as adults,” Jones said. “Far too often, I think, we take it for granted.”
Krajniak said people who previously couldn’t afford to visit places like UICA before may now reap advantages like sharpened creativity, problem-solving and critical thinking skills.
The Grand Rapids Children’s Museum is also a participant in the Museums For All program. UICA officials said they have talked with the children’s museum about its experience and were told it has been all positive.