May 24, 2018
Mayor Michael B. Hancock and Denver Human Services (DHS) today welcomed the Denver Zoo and History Colorado Center into the city’s $1 Museum and Cultural Center Admission Program. The DHS program gives families and individuals who participate in the SNAP (Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program) food benefits program access to four local cultural institutions: Children’s Museum of Denver at Marsico Campus, the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, History Colorado Center, and the Denver Zoo. SNAP participants receive general admission to all four facilities for $1 for themselves and up to nine additional people by simply showing their EBT card at the ticket window.
“Our experiences with culture – with art, history, invention and nature – shape us as human beings and enhance our ability to grow a diverse and wonderful community,” Mayor Hancock said. “Denver has a thriving community because we have these cultural experiences, and this discount admission program removes barriers to access for many of our neighbors, providing ALL children and parents opportunities to explore, learn and grow together.”
Cultural centers and museums provide access to learning and culture, and build cultural understanding for visitors and communities. DHS initiated the program in 2015 with the Children’s Museum. To date, roughly 100,000 people have utilized the discount admission program, with the Children’s Museum alone seeing some 76,000 of those visitors in the past three and a half years.
“When we launched in 2015, we hoped to open our doors to all families, regardless of their financial barriers. We have far exceeded our goals on the success of this program – not only with how many people we are serving, but now with the addition of these great culturals by our side, we can continue to make a difference, together,” said Mike Yankovich, president and CEO of the Children’s Museum.
The Denver Museum of Nature & Science announced a nine-month pilot of the program in May of 2017 and chose to extend the program indefinitely in early 2018. As of April 31, 2018, roughly 23,000 people have accessed the Museum through the program.
“The Museum is always looking for ways to serve our community. We are excited to work with the DHS and some of our cultural peers to help remove cost as a barrier through the SNAP discount program,” said George Sparks, president and CEO of the Denver Museum of Nature & Science.
With the addition of the Zoo and History Colorado Center, those numbers will only increase as more people become aware of the program.
“Increasing accessibility and affordability—especially for those that need it the most—is among Denver Zoo’s top priorities,” said Denny O’Malley, interim CEO of Denver Zoo. “We know this program will allow us reach new audiences who were unable to attend due to financial barriers, and help us advance the Zoo’s mission of securing a better world for animals through human understanding as more people pass through our gates.”
"We are eager to join our cultural partners and the City of Denver in these efforts," said Steve Turner, executive director of History Colorado. "We recognize that this program will help us create a better future and inspire wonder in our past."
While the program was initiated by Denver Human Services, all four cultural institutions accepts visitors with EBT cards from all 64 Colorado counties and several accept EBT cards from anywhere in the U.S.