Starting in February, all Boston Public School students and their families can enjoy free access to several arts and culture institutions around the Greater Boston area.
Boston Mayor Michelle Wu, who announced the effort in her state of the city address earlier this month, said she hopes this is only the first phase.
"We want to have a lot of data collection to make sure that we can, hopefully, knock on wood, expand the program properly, or understand how to make it better in every way," she said on GBH's The Culture Show on Thursday. "And so we want to know who's taking part."
On the first and second Sundays of every month through August, BPS students can show their school IDs to obtain free admission. Alternatively, families can show a code they receive via email the school week before the eligible Sunday. Participating institutions are: Boston Children's Museum, Franklin Park Zoo, Institute of Contemporary Art, Museum of Fine Arts, Museum of Science and the New England Aquarium.
During her appearance on The Culture Show, Wu recalled how her mother routinely took her to the Art Institute of Chicago's free admission days. She said those moments of joy and feelings of belonging really mattered to them.
"She had been able to do that as a new immigrant, without any resources, because that institution or that city — or whoever it was who made that possible — opened the doors," Wu said.
Launching the free admission pilot program here in Boston took a while, she noted, but the participating institutions were committed to making it happen.
"Ultimately, they took a leap of faith in our collaboration but, most importantly, in the young people of Boston — that they were worth figuring out how we could do this together," she said.
Wu said the pilot is being funded with federal pandemic recovery money as well as corporate and philanthropic donors.
Listen to the full interview above for more information, and listen to The Culture Show on GBH every weekday from 2-3 p.m., as well as wherever you get your podcasts.