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News Briefs: High Museum reduces admission fee, Carlos Museum and Georgia Public Library partner up and more

Image courtesy the High Museum of Art.
Image courtesy the High Museum of Art.

The High Museum of Art has announced a reduced admission price of $14.50 across the board, with admission for children 5 and under remaining free. “Art museums exist to make the world a better place via engagement with complex visual culture,” says Director Rand Suffolk. “The more individuals who come through our doors, the greater our chances of delivering on that mission.  Consequently, we’re committed to the broadest possible public participation.”

Prior to this change, which will go into effect October 1, the High’s admission was $19.50 for adults, $16.50 for students and seniors, and $12 for children ages 6-17. According to a study conducted by the Association of Art Museum Directors in 2014, the average amount of money spent per art museum visit is $8, with an average of 279,351 visitors annually. However, the money accrued from admission, parking, refreshments and gift purchases merely account for 27 percent of the 220 surveyed museums’ annual budgets, with the majority of their budgets coming from funding from private donations, endowment returns and government funding.

This change in admission, then, is geared specifically to garner more interest and attendance from Atlantans who previously could not afford admission costs. “By reducing admission, we take an important step towards making those experiences accessible to an even broader public,” says the High’s board chairman, Charles Abney. “We hope this change will inspire new visitors to try the High for the first time and friends of the High to come back time and again.” He went on to add that he hopes this change in prize presents an increase in museum memberships as well.  ArtsATL will share a larger story about this change in pricing in the forthcoming weeks.

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building-photoThe Michael C. Carlos Museum and Georgia Public Library Service have announced that the Museum will be providing every public library in Georgia with a pass valid for up to six free admissions — $48 dollars of potential savings per family. The passes will be available beginning October 1 across more than 400 participating libraries. The museums partnership with Georgia Public Library Service will also include programs at several Georgia Public Libraries and an eight-panel touring photographic exhibition, titled “Discover the Stories of Civilization.”

“The Carlos Museum has a longstanding commitment to literacy,” said Elizabeth Hornor, the museum’s Marguerite Colville Ingram Director of Education. “In addition to our dedication to the visual arts, our literacy efforts range from the exhibition of Shakespeare’s First Folio to programs like Artful Stories, our Carlos Reads book clubs for teens and adults, and other programs relating to Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson book series. We seamlessly mesh the studies of art and literature to offer an exploration of the stories of civilization.” 

This announcement comes on the eve of the museum’s exhibition showcasing Shakespeare’s First Folio, which opens in November. “What could be more exciting for Georgia readers than to see one of the most famous books in the world?” asked State Librarian Julie Walker. 

the-underground-railroad-by-colson-whiteheadAuthor Colson Whitehead was greeted by a full crowd at the Carter Center this past Wednesday. Whitehead, whose most recent book, The Underground Railroad (Doubleday, 320p), has been greeted to critical acclaim, debuted on The New York Times Bestsellers list and has been endorsed not just by Oprah, but by President Barack Obama.

The Pulitzer-nominated author led with a reading from the book, the story of a 19th-century Georgia slave, Cora, who has been abandoned by her mother and eventually plans an escape herself. Whitehead’s reading was focused on the period leading to Cora’s escape — a brutal beating of a fellow slave at a birthday celebration for the plantation’s oldest slave, Jockey. Later, in conversation with moderator, poet friend and fellow Harvard graduate Kevin Young, Whitehead remarked, “There’s always a new reckoning for how terrible slavery was. To pay tribute to them I wanted to depict a realistic plantation.” He went on to add, in reference to the book’s more fantastical, magical-realistic portions that follow. “For the rest, I decided not to stick to the facts, but instead to stick to the Truth.”

The conversation between the colleagues was heartfelt and sentimental, taking a deeper dive into The Underground Railroad specifically, and delving more deeply into Whitehead’s previous works. “Your work has this signature noir realism with elements of the fantastic interjected into it,” complimented Young.

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