Chisholm Trail Heritage Center is now a partner with the Museums for All program, providing reduced admission for low-income families.
Museums for All supports those receiving food assistance (SNAP) benefits when they visit the Chisholm Trail Heritage Center. Individuals only have to show their SNAP Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card and a valid photo identification card (such as a Driver’s License or state-issued ID).
“We’re excited about this new partnership, as we strive to increase our community outreach efforts,” said CTHC’s Interim Executive Director Leah Mulkey. “We will be offering a reduced admission fee of $2 per person, plus tax, for up to four people on one EBT card.” Regular admission is $6 plus tax per person.
“We had 15,862 visitors in 2018, with more than 10,000 of those being counted for attendance in our education field trip programs and other community outreach programs,” Mulkey said. Education totals for 2019 are 10,246, and as of Dec. 19, total visitor count is at 16,095, resulting in an increase overall.
“Schools that are Title I (free and reduced lunch program) already bring their students for free field trips. Many times though, the children go home and tell their parents or grandparents about the museum, but never have a chance to come back with their families.”
Oklahoma has more than 250 museums, but only six, including the Heritage Center, are now listed as Museums for All partners.
“We’re very excited to have the Chisholm Trail Heritage Center be involved with Museums for All. The Oklahoma Hall of Fame | Gaylord-Pickens Museum and the Edmond Historical Society are some other nearby participants in Museums for all,” said Brendan Cartwright, Association of Children’s Museums.
Museums for All has more than 400 institutions in 48 states participating in the initiative. This includes art museums, children’s museums, science centers, botanical gardens, zoos, history museums, and more. This is a signature access program of the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), administered by the Association of Children’s Museums (ACM) and designed to encourage people of all backgrounds to visit museums regularly and build lifelong museum-going habits.
“It is our hope that by partnering with Museums for All and offering reduced admission, those same families whose children attended with their class, will now have a chance to visit us and experience the history, exhibits, and art of the Chisholm Trail and Old West,” CTHC’s Communications & Exhibits Director Toni Hopper said.
“Making the Chisholm Trail Heritage Center affordable for every family in the Duncan community and the entire state of Oklahoma has been the Center’s goal from the very beginning. We are so happy to be a part of Museums for All,” said Vicki Davison, CTHC board member.
“This program allows people from other communities and states to visit any participating institution. When the Heritage Center opened in 1998, the vision was to serve as a tourist center, and international attraction, which it has accomplished,” Hopper said.
“But it also was designed to become a hub for the community and to reach children and families in rural areas. That happens, but for many children, the first and only time they get to visit is through their school field trips. Museums for All’s initiative is to raise public awareness within communities about inclusion. We’re really excited.”
Several community outreach programs have been added to the Heritage Center in the last four years, including Cowpokes & Brush Strokes each fall and winter months, and Free Art Monday in the summer months.
“We also partnered with Mark Twain Elementary for a family night, which was extremely successful,” Mulkey said. “These latest programs have shown us there is a definite need in our community and region. There is no limit on how many times visitors can attend using their EBT card.”
Chisholm Trail Heritage Center is open 7 days a week, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Saturday; 1-5 p.m. Sunday. It is an official “Best Heritage Attraction,” an Oklahoma Outstanding Attraction, a National Day of the Cowboy ‘Cowboy Keeper” and a 2019 Top Western Museum – True West Magazine and Great Expectations Certified Model School. Chisholm Trail Heritage Center Association is a 501c3 non-profit. Located at 1000 Chisholm Trail Parkway in Duncan. For information, call 580-252-6692 or email email@example.com. Learn more at www.onthechisholmtrail.com.
About the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and 35,000 museums. Its mission is to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement. Grantmaking, policy development, and research help libraries and museums deliver services that make it possible for communities and individuals to thrive. To learn more, visit www.imls.gov and follow on Facebook and Twitter. About the Association of Children’s Museums (ACM) The Association of Children’s Museums (ACM) champions children’s museums worldwide. ACM leverages the collective knowledge of children’s museums through convening, sharing, and dissemination. Learn more at www.childrensmuseums.org.