What if you can't "Pay to Play"? - Boston Children's Museum

Art – pay to play.  It shouldn’t be that way. Why would we want to limit our voices, our images and our hard work to only those who have expendable cash? We create to make a difference, we create to be heard, we create because we care. We create to share and connect. This is why we applaud the Boston’s Children Museum for offering deeply discounted admission to families with EBT cards.

A family of four can attend the Boston Children’s Museum for $2 per person when they show their EBT card. EBT cards are offered by the Massachusetts Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA) and provide families in need with basic services. One out of every eight people receives services from the DTA. One out of eight people cannot pay full price to benefit from our arts.

The brilliance of the Children’s Museum’s discount means that the arts can reach a disadvantaged population. Finally, children and families with EBT cards don’t have to visit during off hours or receive a lesser product. The program’s results are incredibly positive. Since BMC introduced the program almost 1200 visitors have used their EBT cards for the discount. This includes families that wouldn’t have gone without it.

We have an opportunity to enact change through purposeful generosity. If more arts organizations offer discounted admission and access to EBT cardholders, we can alter the image that artistic and cultural experiences are only for the wealthy.

A good idea is powerful when it becomes part of a movement. We encourage every arts organization to consider following the BMC’s example and offer this opportunity to those who need it. EBT cards demonstrate a need, validate a desire, and can hopefully help guide disadvantaged families through their transition.

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