In an unprecedented move, our friends and grantees at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art will offer free admission to all Hartford residents effective immediately. “The Atheneum belongs to you,” said Thomas J. Loughman, Director and CEO of the Wadsworth at Tuesday’s press conference. As the largest public art museum in Connecticut, and the oldest in the country, the Wadsworth holds a legacy of firsts: from being the first museum in the U.S. to purchase works by Caravaggio and Salvador Dali to spearheading a collection of contemporary American art. The move comes as museum leadership noticed an increase in visitors, especially Hartford residents, on Second Saturdays for Families when admission is free. “The Wadsworth Atheneum was founded as a place for bringing art and people together in the center of downtown Hartford,” said Loughman.
Not only will free admission potentially help revitalize downtown Hartford and encourage more participation in the arts, but increased visits to the museum come with a host of health benefits, too. Several studies show that visiting museums can boost your mood, reduce stress, loneliness and anxiety, and improve overall well-being. In other words, museums can make us all happier, healthier people.
Starting today, Hartford residents can register for the Wadsworth Welcome Card (all you need is proof of residency and one form of identification) for free admission with up to 4 guests valid through June 2017, at which point the program will be evaluated.
Not a Hartford resident? You can still enjoy free admission on Second Saturdays every month, and during “happy hour” from 4-5 p.m. every day that museum is open. And Let’s GO Arts members can get 2-for-1 admission with their LGA card.
Join the United Arts Campaign to help us continue supporting local arts and cultural organizations like the Wadsworth Atheneum!