The High Museum of Art announced Wednesday it will reduce ticket prices to $14.50 for all guests 6 years old and older, which is a substantial savings on the previous ticket price of $19.50 for adults.
The new ticket pricing takes effect Oct. 1.
Director Rand Suffolk said the change is an attempt to make the museum more inclusive, amid worries that ticket costs were keeping visitors away.
“We were concerned about the fact that admission prices were increasingly an obstacle to access, and that’s not good,” Suffolk said. “We need to have the broadest possible reach.”
The change in the pricing structure came after what Suffolk called a “deep dive” into market research, including a look at what other art museums around the country charge.
In an effort to balance the need for revenue with a responsibility to the community, the museum searched for that “sweet spot that would provide funds to keep the place operating, and deliver our mission,” Suffolk said.
Under the old price structure, seniors and students paid $16.50 and children ages 6-17 paid $12; children 5 and under were free.
The new pricing means children 6-17 will pay $2.50 more, but adults will pay $5 less and seniors and students will see a savings of $2. Children 5 and under still will be admitted free.
The museum also looked at the admission prices for other attractions in the city, and the new adult ticket price will be less than that charged at the World of Coca-Cola Museum, National Center for Civil and Human Rights, Zoo Atlanta, Atlanta History Center and the Georgia Aquarium.
Ticket revenue provides about 6 percent of the museum’s $20 million yearly budget.
Suffolk said the museum hopes to counterbalance any reduced adult ticket revenue with greater volume and an increase in steady customers. “We want to have a great shot at making people fall in love with the museum and hopefully become members.”
The High Museum is the leading art museum in the Southeast, with 15,000 works of art. Among the upcoming traveling shows planned is “Cross Country: The Power of Place in American Art, 1915-1950,” arriving next spring, with works by Georgia O’Keeffe, Grant Wood, Andrew Wyeth and Ansel Adams.
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