It's a great time to be a young Chicagoan who loves art. This morning, the Museum of Contemporary Art announced that beginning June 1, it will give free admission to any guest that is 18 or younger. This comes on the heels of the Art Institute's announcement late last year that it would begin offering free admission to all city residents 17 and under.
The move is a result of a generous gift to the MCA from Liz and Eric Lefkofsky, which will underwrite the free admission program for the next five years and mark the museum's upcoming 50th anniversary celebration. MCA Director of Education Heidi Reitmaier noted that the plan to offer free admission was inspired by suggestions from participants in the museum's teen program "who championed the museum to consider eliminating admission for youth."
The introduction of free admission for teens will coincide with the completion of the MCA's $16 million renovation, which will add a new restaurant helmed by local chef Jason Hammel (Lula Cafe) and redesigned education and engagement spaces located on the museum's second and third floors. One of the central goals of the renovation is to attract new audiences to the MCA, an ambition that the free admission program should bolster.
Of course, the MCA's existing free museum days will be unaffected by the new initiative, offering free admission to Illinois residents of all ages on Tuesdays. If you haven't checked out the “Merce Cunningham: Common Time” exhibit yet, what are you waiting for?
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