Over the course of two posts late last week and today, I’ve used recent data from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art to posit this question: At what point should an art museum make general admission free to the public?
For example, LACMA derives about three percent of its revenue from…
While I appreciate seeing the admissions numbers of institutions, I don’t think you could convince a board to change to a free institution without revenue numbers. Are visitors more likely to buy things from the cafe/gift shop if they don’t have to pay for admission? Do they return more frequently? Do they donate more, if they make a donation at all? I think before you can decide one way or the other you have to do your best to answer all of these questions. Also, this applies to all museums and cultural institutions, not just art!