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City Announces Free or Reduced Admission Fees to ABQ BioPark and Museums for SNAP Beneficiaries

3 month pilot will launch making cultural facilities accessible to Albuquerque families.

September 12, 2022 - The City of Albuquerque's Department of Arts & Culture has announced reduced admission fees to the ABQ BioPark and free admission to the Albuquerque Museum and Anderson Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum for those enrolled in the state's Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). The move makes the three venues more accessible to New Mexicans experiencing financial barriers and is a step in making Albuquerque a more equitable and inclusive place to live and raise a family. 

"We recognize that admission fees to the BioPark, Albuquerque Museum, and Balloon Museum create a barrier for some families," said Mayor Tim Keller. "We want all visitors to feel welcome in our public spaces and engage in our cultural spaces regardless of their background."

Beginning September 12, those with a valid EBT (electronic benefits transfer) card and matching personal identification can purchase up to six tickets to each the BioPark, Albuquerque Museum, and Balloon Museum. BioPark tickets are $3 for adults and $1 for children (3-12) and seniors 65+. Children younger than 3 are free. Admission is free at both museums. EBT cards are used for identification purposes only. Tickets can be paid for with cash or credit/debit cards at the venue box offices. 

The Department of Arts & Culture will evaluate the ticketing process for three months before sending its recommendations for permanent consideration to City Council. City Councilor Klarissa Peña has been a vocal advocate for equity and inclusion at the BioPark and requested options for implementing reduced admission fees. 

"We've had several initiatives in recent years to increase accessibility at our BioPark and museums, especially for students in Title I schools," said Councilor Peña. "More than 500,000 New Mexicans receiving SNAP benefits will now be able to enjoy our beloved venues with less financial burden than ever before." 

According to the state's Human Services Department, SNAP serves more than 539,758 individuals in New Mexico each month, providing food assistance benefits to safeguard the well-being of low-income, financially eligible households.

A video message on the program from Mayor Keller and Councilor Peña is available here.