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Dramatic Increase in the Use of Carnegie Museums' $1 Access EBT Card Admission Program
Holidays in the Hall of Architecture. Photo: Josh Franzos.

PITTSBURGH, PA.- Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural History report a dramatic increase in usage of the ACCESS EBT card admission program since its inception three years ago. Carnegie Museums’ $1 ACCESS EBT card admission program allows individuals on government assistance—including foster children and their caregivers, and low-income, elderly, or disabled people—to come to the museum for a radically reduced price.

In 2007, before the program was widely marketed, only 171 visitors participated in the program. But participation has steadily risen, and it is estimated that 11,000 people in 2010 will benefit from the ACCESS discount. The success attests to the fact that, when price is not a barrier, people of all income levels and abilities frequent art and science museums.

“The Carnegie Museums $1 ACCESS EBT card admissions program is exceptionally easy to use. All visitors have to do is show up, present their ACCESS EBT card, and pay just $1 to visit. The program is special in that it eliminates price as a barrier year-round and allows people to visit at their convenience, not just on one or two free days a year, when the museum is packed and the experience is not always ideal,” said Lynn Zelevansky, The Henry J. Heinz II Director of Carnegie Museum of Art.

Carnegie Museum of Art shares a building and its admission price with Carnegie Museum of Natural History. Samuel Taylor, director of Carnegie Museum of Natural History, is also enthusiastic about the ACCESS EBT card admissions program. “Art and science are intimately connected disciplines. The ACCESS $1 admission program helps us fulfill our mission of inspiring a love of science learning by making sure that people of all ages, income levels and abilities can access our museum regardless of their ability to pay,” said Taylor.

What is the Carnegie Museums $1 ACCESS EBT card admissions program?
Visitors who present an ACCESS EBT card at an admission desk may purchase $1 admission per person for up to four people. There is no limit to the number of times this benefit may be used per ACCESS EBT card holder. The museums honor EBT cards from any state. Full-priced admission to Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural History is $15 for adults, $12 for seniors, and $11 for children. According to on-site surveys of ACCESS EBT card users, 84 percent visited with their children.

What is the ACCESS EBT card?
By 2002, Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) cards had replaced welfare checks, food stamps, and medical assistance checks nationwide as the delivery mechanism for cash, food, and medical assistance benefits. EBT cards are discreet, resembling ATM or credit cards. Pennsylvania calls its EBT card the ACCESS card. The ACCESS EBT card is provided to individuals who meet state and federal guidelines for income or disability: a family of four in Pennsylvania must gross less than $2,300 a month in order to qualify. More than 175,000 people in Allegheny County, where Carnegie Museum of Art is located, are currently served by the card.

Carnegie Museums | Samuel Taylor | ACCESS EBT card |

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