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Cultural Collections

U-M Museum of Art offers free membership

By Dave Lawrence

Students browse the European gallery at the U-M Museum of Art; Photo by Jakob Skogheim.

ANN ARBOR—The University of Michigan Museum of Art is now making museum membership free.

UMMA Free Membership will transform the way the Museum connects with its nearly 250,000 annual visitors by extending its free admission philosophy to free membership.

Previously, UMMA membership was available through a minimum $50 donation ($15 for U-M students). Starting Jan. 30, UMMA membership will be available to everyone, anywhere. Thanks to a grant from the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, UMMA aims to promote its free membership program widely to encourage engagement with both novice and experienced UMMA visitors.

“UMMA hopes to upend the notion that to be a stakeholder in the museum’s future, you have to be a major donor,” said Carrie Throm, UMMA’s deputy director of development and external relations. “UMMA belongs to the citizens of Michigan, the university, and—now, truly—everyone.”

UMMA Free Members will receive information on upcoming exhibitions, educational programs, and cultural events through the museum’s magazine, calendar and email newsletter, as well as members-only invitations to special events and happenings.

UMMA Free Membership includes:

  • Subscription to UMMA’s triannual magazine and bimonthly calendar
  • 20 percent discount in the Museum Store
  • Free reciprocal admission at participating college and university art museums

Admission to the museum remains free and open to all during gallery hours.

Financial support from the museum’s stakeholders is still crucial for UMMA’s exhibitions, as well as community and educational programs that engage more than 35,000 people each year. Donors who give $100 or more to the museum annually will receive free reciprocal admission at 853 North American and 12 Michigan museums.

“UMMA is excited to offer free membership to everyone,” said Kathryn Huss, UMMA’s interim director. “Our goal is to promote the discovery, contemplation and enjoyment of art, and to be accessible to everyone. We welcome more people to join us in that mission.”

Those looking to join the museum’s free membership program may do so online or onsite at the Museum Store.


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