Culture at no cost: DMA goes free
Published: Tuesday, November 27, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, November 27, 2012 23:11
As if the Dallas Museum of Art needed more reasons to be visted, the regional culture powerhouse has announced that it is doing away with admission for the first time since 2001.
Not only will general admission be free of charge, but the musuem also revelead a revamped membership program, coined “DMA Friends & Partners” that will cost nothing to its participants and will focus on building long-term relationships with its patrons.
Current memberships range from $75 - $15,000.
The changes will take place on Jan. 21, 2013.
“The focus of the DMA’s visitor philosophy is to increase access and participation. The value of growing a passionate and involved constituency exceeds that of the return on general admissions, and our goal is to expand and diversify our audiences, thereby enhancing our ability to serve as a significant and vital local resource,” the museum’s director Maxwell Anderson said.
As evidenced by its name, the DMA’s new membership program will be split in two — friends and partners.
The “friends” aspect is as unsuspecting as it sounds; anyone who wishes to join will be considered a member. The participant can take advantage of membership exclusives and incentives for participation.
The program’s second half, the “partners” aspect, is the more financially motivated arm of the program.
The DMA Partners program will seek the supports of individuals, corporations and fondations desiring to be a part of the DMA.
The starting cost to be a DMA Partner will be $100 per year.
“Through a return to free general admission and the new Friends & Partners program, we can open the doors of the Museum and show appreciation to our visitors for the many ways their participation matters to the DMA,” Anderson said.
“We believe that by increasing access to the Museum and by finding new ways to say ‘thank you,’ we can fundamentally change the role museums play in a global society.”
One of the many tools the DMA will use to implement the new system will come from an upgraded software that will encourage participation both on-site and online.
The opt-in system will track participation, allowing visitors to chart their own activities and enable the DMA to better understand patterns of visitor engagement and the long-term success of Museum programs.
“New technologies and online participation are already an integral part of many visitors’ daily lives,” Rob Stein, the DMA’s Deputy Director, said.
“As part of our new approach to visitor engagement, we want to provide our audiences with enhanced ways to feel connected to the Museum and to share their opinions with us and each other. In doing so, we hope to build a virtual community that is as strong as our physical one.”
The DMA is one of the nation’s largest museums to offer free admission. In terms of regional offerings, the DMA is in a class of its own.
While general admission may be free, the museum will still charge a fee for special exhibition and certain events.
For more information on the new program, visit the museum’s newly designed website at www.dallasmuseumofart.org.