The Whitney Museum of American Art will offer free admission and special programming for visitors every Friday evening from 5–10 pm and on the second Sunday of every month beginning in 2024.
The new programs—called Free Friday Nights and Second Sundays—will kick off on January 12, 2024, and mark a significant expansion of the Whitney’s already robust suite of free and discounted offerings. Offering free admission and special programming, the initiatives aim to reduce barriers to the Whitney and offer audiences unique, fun, and welcoming entry points. The programs all support the Museum in furthering its mission of celebrating contemporary American art and artists.
Free Friday Nights are made possible by three-year gifts from Whitney Trustee Jen Rubio and Stewart Butterfield, and Whitney Trustee Paul Arnhold and Wes Gordon.
Second Sundays are made possible by a three-year grant from the Art Bridges Foundation’s Access for All program, which supports increased access to museums across the country and fosters engagement with local communities by reducing common barriers to access.
“I’m thrilled that the Whitney is announcing its broadest and most generous free admission program in decades,” Scott Rothkopf, the Alice Pratt Brown Director at the Whitney, said. “We know that pricing can be a barrier to access and that our previous reduced admissions programs have not only been fully booked, but have been enjoyed by younger, less affluent, and more diverse audiences. I’m incredibly grateful to our sponsors, Whitney Trustees Jen Rubio and Paul Arnhold, and the Art Bridges Foundation and Alice Walton. They understand deeply how connecting new audiences with art and ideas is meaningful to our whole society. I could think of no better way to inaugurate my tenure as Director than to share our vital and relevant program even more broadly.”
Free Friday Nights, launching on January 12, will offer free admission to the Museum from 5–10 PM every Friday. The evenings will offer special programs and music, with food and drinks available at the Museum’s new restaurant, Frenchette Bakery at the Whitney. The Whitney will be an ideal destination for happy hours and date nights and will play a larger role in the evening energy of the Meatpacking District.
Second Sundays, launching on January 14, will offer free all-day admission to visitors and special programming for families and beyond. Every second Sunday of the month, visitors can enjoy all-ages art-making activities, tours, classes, and other special events tied to the exhibitions on view at the Whitney or to significant community events, like Earth Day and Pride Month.
The inaugural installment will take place on Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend and will focus on celebrating Black artists whose work is represented in the Whitney’s collections and in current exhibitions, including Henry Taylor: B Side.
Other exhibitions on view during the January launch of both programs include Fragments of a Faith Forgotten: The Art of Harry Smith, Inheritance, Ruth Asawa Through Line, and Natalie Ball: bilwi naats Ga’niipci. The Museum’s permanent collection exhibitions, featuring artists such as Edward Hopper, Kara Walker, Georgia O’Keeffe, Kevin Beasley, Faith Ringgold, Lee Krasner, Jasper Johns, Alexander Calder, Jacob Lawrence, Carrie Mae Weems, Andrea Carlson, and Clarissa Tossin, will also be on view.
More details on upcoming Free Friday Nights and Second Sundays programs will be available at whitney.org/free-days-and-nights.
While admission is free for these programs, tickets are still required, as capacity is limited. Advanced tickets are strongly encouraged; tickets will go on sale in early January.
Guests planning to visit the Museum during Free Friday Nights or Second Sundays can enjoy sweet and savory treats baked-on-premises at the Museum’s newly opened ground-floor restaurant Frenchette Bakery at the Whitney, which features the new commission New Poetry by artist Rashid Johnson.
The Free Friday Nights and Second Sundays programs expand the Whitney’s full suite of free and discounted offerings in place to ensure the Museum is welcoming to all visitors. Always-on offerings include:
- Free admission for kids and teens 18 and under
- Free admission for active military and veterans
- Free admission for SNAP/EBT cardholders
- Free admission for IDNYC cardholders on select dates
- Discounted admission for students
- Discounted admission for seniors
- Discounted admission for visitors with disabilities
- Free admission for all to the Whitney’s Lobby Gallery
- Free admission and discounts for Members