Arts Desk

Shutdown: Private Art Museums Offering Deals to Government Employees

Sandwiches and salads bought at the Phillips Collection this weekend include a free Arnold Palmer.

The Twittersphere is buzzing today with "shutdown specials" offered by shops, restaurants, and even food trucks to government employees who find themselves locked out of their workplaces and without a paycheck come midnight when the continuing resolution funding the federal budget expires. Arts Desk made inquiries with many of the privately operated museums around town. With museums like the National Gallery of Art and the many branches of the Smithsonian due to close in a few hours, other museums have the opportunity to pick up the foot traffic that would otherwise fill up the National Mall. And now that tens of thousands of civil servants might have some unexpected free time, some nonfederal cultural institutions are offering discounts.

Corcoran Gallery: As reported yesterday, the Corcoran Gallery will be increasing its docent-led tours with an expected uptick in museum admissions caused by Smithsonian and NGA closures. The Corcoran will also waive its $10 admission fee for government employees presenting their identification badges, an offer that extends to both federal workers and the roughly 14,000 District of Columbia employees affected by the shutdown, museum spokeswoman Melanie Kimmelman confirmed this afternoon. Additionally, the Corcoran Café will be offering complimentary coffee and pastries to all visitors.

Kreeger Museum: Spokeswoman Molly Huh told Arts Desk this afternoon that the Palisades museum will offer government employees the student and senior rate of $7 instead of the normal $10 admission fee for the duration of the shutdown. The deal comes on the same day the Kreeger opens its new exhibit of 108 works by the pop artist Tom Wesselman.

Phillips Collection: The Dupont Circle modern art collection announced earlier today weekend specials for federal employees and sidetracked tourists. Admission for all visitors will remain at $12 for the first person in a group, though additional group members will only be charged half. Federal employees with their work identifications will receive a 10 percent discount at the gift shop. The Phillips is also offering a third special at its café. Buy a sandwich or salad, receive a free iced tea or Arnold Palmer. We're not sure how they settled on that promotion, but it does explain Arnie's portrait at the top of this post.

Arena Stage: The Southwest Waterfront theater just announced a deep discount for government workers on tickets to the ongoing production of Edward Albee's At Home at the Zoo. Government employees can buy $20 tickets using the code "SHUTDOWN" for the show running through April 24 in Arena Stage's Kogod Cradle.

The Textile Museum and National Museum of Women in the Arts told Arts Desk their hours and admission prices remain unchanged. Museums around Penn Quarter—the Newseum, the International Spy Museum, and Madame Tussaud's—reported the same.

Image courtesy of Flickr user cliff1066 using a Creative Commons 2.0 Generic License.

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