Today the Denver Art Museum announced that it will no longer charge admission to its collection galleries for visitors 18 years old and under, joining a number of museums that in recent years have eliminated fees for various segments of their audiences. The museum currently charges $5 for youth who are 6 to 18 ($3 for Colorado residents), while children 5 and younger are free. The new program, called Free for Kids, will be in effect for the next five years, and is funded by a gift from Scott Reiman, the Reiman Foundation, and Kaiser Permanente Colorado. (Some special exhibitions will still require paying, but the maximum ticket price for the youth will be $5.)
Looking at a few peer institutions, the Museum of Modern Art in New York is free for those 16 and younger, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art is free for those under 18, the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis is free for visitors under 18, and the Museum of Fine Arts Houston is free for those 12 and under and $7.50 for children between 13 and 18. The DAM noted in its announcement that the Brooklyn Museum eliminated youth admission fees last fall, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art plans to be free for everyone 18 and under when it reopens after extensive renovations in 2016.
Now if only a few more museums would eliminate tickets altogether. While the collections at museums like the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, the Cleveland Museum of Art, and the Dallas Museum of Art are free to the public, that is still far from the norm in the United States. An adult ticket for the Museum of Modern Art today is $25.