(WJET/WFXP/YourErie.com) — The Erie Art Museum will soon be offering free admission on certain days thanks to funding from a national arts nonprofit.

Art Bridges Foundation, the national arts nonprofit founded by philanthropist Alice Walton,
announced the launch of “Access for All,” providing $40 million in funding to 64 museums nationwide.

Museums participating in the Access for All initiative, including the Erie Art Museum, span 36 states and Puerto Rico.

The Erie Art Museum announced it will use the funding to allow free admission on the first Thursday of each month from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m., and on the third Saturday from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., beginning Jan. 1, 2024.

“Everyone, no matter where they live, deserves access to art. That’s why we started Art Bridges: to support museums in deepening their connections with local communities, and to pave the way for new audiences to experience the creativity and joy that comes with seeing art,” said Alice Walton, founder and board chair of Art Bridges. “Access for All is our biggest and most ambitious effort to date, dedicating $40 million toward bridging gaps between museums of all sizes and their communities in order to foster meaningful connections and expand arts access in every region, from Peoria to Puerto Rico.”

“For regional art museums like ours, this initiative amplifies the importance of creativity in our lives. It expands the cultural conversations within our community and who can participate in them.” said Laura Domencic executive director of the Erie Art Museum.

Among the 64 partners in a range of locations are Howard University Gallery of Arts (Washington, D.C.); Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico (San Juan, PR); Plains Art Museum (Fargo, ND); Portland Museum of Art (Portland, ME); San Diego Museum of Art (San Diego, CA); Whitney Museum of American Art (New York, NY); Wichita Art Museum (Wichita, KS); and Yellowstone Art Museum (Billings, MT).

The full list of participating museums can be found on the Art Bridges website.

The Erie Art Museum holds the region’s leading art collection with more than 8,000 objects spanning American ceramics, paintings, sculpture, and photography.

The Erie Art Museum is open every Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, 11–6 p.m., Saturday, 10 a.m.–5 p.m., and Sunday from 1–6 p.m.

For more info on upcoming programs, visit erieartmuseum.org or call 814-459-5477.