ART, Attractions, DESTINATIONS, DFW Metroplex, Museums, Road Trips, TRAVEL

DMA, The Beauty of Belonging

My favorite DMA photo
My favorite DMA photo


A short while back, I received an email from the Dallas Museum of Art, announcing the exciting news that there would no longer be a charge for general admission. Well, maybe it wasn’t exciting for me.  As a member of many years, I’d gotten used to free admission – but perhaps it’s news to you.  I’m glad our city has rolled out the welcome mat for visitors in this way, but if you live here I have a suggestion for you – it’s time to start thinking about the benefits of membership.

More to Membership than Free Admission

Free admission for members was a loss leader for the museum.  They’ll actually save money by letting everyone in, because maintaining the entry level memberships cost them more money than they made.  However, there’s more to membership than free admission and to prove it to you, the museum now has a free membership.  Yep, that’s right.  Free membership.  It’s kind of like a loyalty card at the local grocery store or a frequent flyer club.  The more you use your museum, the more benefits you get.

A museum is only a well-decorated empty space unless somebody’s there and if no one cares, the museum will not continue exist.  That’s how the whole membership thing got started in the first place.  Back in 1979 Mom bought a membership so we wouldn’t have to stand in line to see the Pompeii exhibit out at Fair Park.  She has continued to have a membership over the years and the museum’s investment in her has paid off in spades.  That’s how they got me.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a major financial benefactor to the DMA or anything like that, but I do support my museum.  Nowadays, I belong at a level that does provide revenue, but there was a time when I spent more time at the museum than I did at my own home.  If they’d had to pay me money for all I did, I’d be rich, but the cool thing is, no matter how much I gave to the museum, I kept getting more back.

It’s the beginning of a New Year.  I think all those resolutions that you usually make are just fine.  Lose weight, get healthy, read more, watch less TV, whatever.  But why not have fun while you get a little culture in 2013.  Hang out at a Late Night event.  Listen to a favorite author talk about their book at Arts & Letters Live.  Tap your toe to jazz some Thursday Night Live.

And that’s just the beginning.  There are lectures, tours, classes and more and more and more.  There’s just no reason not to get to your museum and take advantage of the FREE admission and FREE memberships.  Who knows, you may even get hooked like me and fork over real cash so you can be a Partner.

2 thoughts on “DMA, The Beauty of Belonging”

  1. Jane – What a terrific post. In these days of declining disposable income for almost all financial groups, you make a great argument for continuing to support museums. Museums and public libraries are at the top of our list every year. I’d never have thought about just how important financial support was to museums until the early 1980s and a the City of Monterey, CA picked up a showing of my husband’s blown glass. Later a Carmel, CA museum picked up a showing of his one-of-a-kind jewelry designs and the rest is more or less history. The clients arrived and we had no idea this is how his business would start. Those first clients are still with him today. We also strongly believe in public libraries and especially in rural areas where they no longer get federal support due to declining population. For the price of one special coffee house drink, we can place a new book in a rural library each day! Keep up your great post.


    1. In my opinion, my museum membership is one of the most valuable things I have. I actually met my husband at the DMA, but even if I hadn’t, it would still be one of my favorite places to go. Dallas came along a little bit too late to afford the Old Masters, but the collection is diverse, entertaining and meaningful. I’m blown away by all the things there are to do there, many of which have nothing at all to do with what’s on the walls and a lion’s share of which are completely free. I think it’s important to have a charitable heart and support food banks and other organizations which meet the physical needs of the poor, but I think it’s also important to support museums, libraries, operas, symphonies and other arts organizations. Man does not live on bread alone.


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