I'm just catching up on a study released a couple of month back by the American Association of Museums. Overall, the study found that attendance at museums increased over the past few years. But it also notes the following:
One effect of the weak economy in 2009 was an increase in the number of museums that charge a general admission fee: 65.7% versus 59% in 2008 (according to AAM’s Museum Financial Information survey). Indeed, 14.2% of museums in the current survey reported an increase or implementation of general admission fees in 2009.
Museums that charge a general admission fee were less likely to experience increased attendance in 2009 than museums that did not charge a fee.
The median price for an adult admission was $7.00, unchanged since 2008 (and still cheaper than the average movie ticket).
To increase their accessibility, many of the museums that charged admission in 2009 also added free days (28.7%) or offered new discounts to local residents (17.5%).
Can I just say ahem, median price for admission $7???? This seems unheard of in Toronto, and increasingly against the grain in the rest of Canada. Even the National Gallery in Ottawa, which generally has more progressive access/possibly more federal funding than other major Canadian galleries, charges $9 a pop for the permanent collection.
Also, worth noting for our Toronto-area museums (ROM and Ontario Science Centre, I'm looking at you... as well as the Gardiner) many museums that charged admission in 2009 added free days or offered discounts to local residents. Would love to see this in Toronto, where we have the fee hike trend down pat. Dare to dream!
Image from Concert Commission
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
Posted by Leah Sandals at 8:14 PM