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Fresno Art Museum image via Gemini2525 on Wikipedia

published on August 11, 2021 - 2:08 PM
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The Fresno Art Museum is set to reopen its doors to the public Saturday for the first time since the pandemic began.

It will also offer free admission through a partnership with Bank of America. It is available to Bank of America customers.

The museum is opening for the first time after 16 months when California businesses were shuttered due to Covid-19. The partnership is offered to select museums and Fresno Art Museum has worked with Bank of America for the past three years. 

Michele Pracy, executive director of the museum, said Bank of America offers Fresno Art Museum $5,000 per year to supplement the free admissions.

“People do take advantage of it, they do enjoy the museum,” Pracy said. 

Bank of America is partnering with Fresno Art Museum with its Museums on Us program, which will offer free admission to cardholders every weekend starting Aug. 14 through the end of 2021. Some galleries remain closed due to renovation, but are expected to open soon. 

“We love the Museums on Us program because it brings new people into our people that we would not otherwise reach,” said Pracy. 

Bank of America believes in the power of the arts and its unique ability to connect people and communities and help local economies thrive, said Bank of America in a statement. The program aims to provide its customers with free access to diverse cultural and artistic experiences across the country. The program offers free admission to art museums, children’s history museums, aquariums, botanical gardens, zoos and science centers. 

Museums on Us normally operates free admission for one weekend per month, but Pracy arranged to allow cardholders admission every weekend through Dec. 31.

Pracy said she’s also looking forward to working with Fresno Unified School District in person, as it brings its third graders on a field trip as part of their art curriculum. During the pandemic in the online setting, the museum taught virtual classes. 

Restrictions in California’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy, the business capacity guidelines, barred museums from opening their doors, although that blueprint was removed in May. 

During the pandemic, many people kept their memberships, if not upgrading them, bringing in secure revenue for the museum while it was shuttered. The museum was open last weekend for members as an appreciation for them. 

The museum will have new exhibitions, Pracy said. They are new to the public, although the museum has held them since last October. She said Fresno Art Museum switched out its exhibitions often in anticipation of turning on a dime to open last minute if restrictions changed. 

Pracy said they are also excited about opening an Andy Warhol exhibition in February 2022.

Masks are required for entry, regardless of vaccination status. 

The museum is located at 2233 N. First St. between Clinton and Yale avenues. Tickets for the general public are $10 per adult and $7 per child under 18. 

“We’re still adjusting constantly but determined to be effective no matter what,” Pracy said.

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