Offering a ‘Museum for All’: Red Hill makes facility more accessible

Published 10:29 am Friday, December 15, 2023

Red Hill is making the history of Patrick Henry more accessible to low-income families through its new Museums for All project. A joint effort with multiple other museums, the program allows anyone in the community and visitors to the area to receive discounted entry if they receive federal SNAP benefits.

Red Hill announced its participation in Museums for All in a statement that said this signature access program was developed by the Institute of Museum and Library Services and is administered by the Association of Children’s Museums. The program encourages people of all backgrounds to visit museums regularly and build lifelong museum-going habits.

Patrons can simply show their SNAP benefits card and receive entry to Red Hill for just $2 per person for up to four people in their group.

So how does this work?

“Museums for All works by having visitors display their Electronic Benefits Transfer card,” Red Hill Director of Historic Preservation and Collections Cody Youngblood said. “Although EBT cards can be used as payment in places like grocery stores, it is not used for payment with this program. It is shown simply to identify the visitors as qualifying for Museums for All.”

Youngblood said they will still collect payment using traditional methods, including cash, credit card and checks.

There are more than a thousand museums nationwide that offer similar discounted access through Museums for All.

The program was founded in 2014 as a collaborative effort between the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the Association of Children’s Museums, inspired by previous city- and county-based programs, according to IMLS Deputy Director Laura Huerta Migus.

“The program enables those who receive food assistance benefits like SNAP to visit museums for three dollars or less for the beneficiary and up to three guests,” Migus said. “Currently, there are more than 1,200 museums participating in the program. They can be found across all 50 US states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.”

Some rules for Red Hill

The Museums for All discount only applies to general admission, Youngblood explained. Tickets for special events carry the regular cost.

The Museums for All guidelines at Red Hill state that up to four individuals can receive the reduced entry fee with the presentation of one EBT card, he said. The individuals should all be part of the same group. 

Youngblood said EBT cards from any state are accepted at Red Hill. Additional information on planning a visit to Patrick Henry’s home can be found in the “Plan Your Visit” section of its website.

“IMLS is proud to welcome Patrick Henry’s Red Hill to the Museums for All program,” Migus said. “By becoming a Museums for All participant, Red Hill is strengthening its commitment to engaging all members of the community with compelling stories of our national history.”

The Museums for All discounts are available during normal operating hours, Youngblood said. 

“The idea is to make Red Hill accessible for low-income families on their own time, whenever they’re able to come,” he said. “It gives them the ability to choose what time works best for a visit, rather than having to schedule around certain dates or times that may be inconvenient or crowded.”

Museums for All is part of Patrick Henry’s Red Hill’s broad commitment to seek, include, and welcome all audiences, officials said in the news release announcing the new program. The discount program helps expand access to museums and also raise public awareness about how museums in the U.S. are reaching their entire communities. 

Other museums included

In addition to Red Hill, anyone receiving SNAP benefits can locate other participating locations on the Museums for All website at museums4all.org for a list of all current program participants, Migus said.

“The website also hosts a ‘Find a Museum’ tool. By entering their zip code or city, anyone looking to visit a program participant can find one nearby,” she said. “In addition to Red Hill, your readers may be interested in visiting Amazement Square, James Monroe’s Highland, or Monticello, all of which are program participants located within 50 miles of Farmville.”

As the leading source of federal funding for museums and libraries, Migus said IMLS is dedicated to the promotion of inclusive engagement across diverse audiences. 

“Through Museums for All and other initiatives, IMLS supports museums, libraries, and archives in fostering connections within the community to enhance dialogues surrounding inclusion and address barriers to resources and services,” she added.

Red Hill is located at 1250 Red Hill Road in Brookneal. For additional information, call 434-376-2044 or visit the website at redhill.org.