Wednesday nights just got a little better, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art is the reason. On Feb. 13, the museum extended its hours to 8:45 p.m. and implemented its first “Pay What You Wish Wednesday Nights” program. On an average day at the museum, admission tickets cost $20 each. With a student id, the price drops to $14. However, after struggling students factor in the cost of their transportation, they have to ask themselves if a trip to the museum is really worth it. Luckily, with this “Pay What You Wish” program, affordable fun can be had by all.
I visited the museum last Wednesday during the second week of the “Pay What You Wish” program. Although I wished to pay zero dollars, I figured that such behavior would be frowned upon. I consulted the woman working at the front desk, and she informed me that, on average, the guests had been giving $5 each. I decided to give $7, which is half of the regular price for student admission. I must candidly admit, however, that I could have given $1 without consequence. Try it out, and see how cheap your trip to the museum can be!
In addition to the regular exhibits, which include European Decorative Art, East Asian Art, and Indian & Himalayan Art, Wednesday’s visitors had access to programs unique to the “Pay What You Wish” program. An hour-long yoga session began at 6 p.m. on the scenic Great Stair Hall Balcony. Two separate collection tours, “Fine Arts and Domestic Interiors of Europe,” and “Introduction to the Collection,” also lasted one hour. Additionally, local artists hosted a two-hour sketching session in the galleries, and an expert hosted an hour-long discussion entitled “Love and Longing in Indian Painting.” These events and activities were interspersed throughout the night so guests could enjoy more than one. “It was impossible to get bored at the museum tonight. I will definitely be returning for future Wednesday nights,” noted West Chester University sophomore, Liz Bereznak.
The “Pay What You Wish” program’s generous offerings, coupled with the affordable cost of entry, attracted a variety of people to the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Students, senior citizens, families, couples, and everyone in between seemed to have showed up for a night of excitement. Even the program’s TV broadcast sponsor, NBC 10, was on hand to record the mania.
This upcoming Wednesday, the 27th will feature a screening of “AmÃ©lie,” a book discussion and signing of “Joseph Cornell’s Manual of Marvels,” a spoken word performance in celebration of Black History Month, and several other options that are sure to please a variety of people. For more information, be sure to check out www.philamuseum.org/wednesdaynights.
Molly Herbison is a second-year student majoring in English and minoring in Spanish. She can be reached at MH757997@wcupa.edu.