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Museum Free 4 All returns April 21

On Sunday, April 21, the four major downtown museums will open their doors free of admission.
Underwriting support from:

/Holly Bechiri

The Grand Rapids Art Museum (GRAM), Grand Rapids Children's Museum, Grand Rapids Public Museum and Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum has collaborated to provide a day of free admission to all four museums. 

This year, presenting sponsor Amway will also be placing volunteers at each of the four museums downtown, distributing a "passport" at any of the museums or at the Amway tent at the GRAM's outdoor Wege Plaza. Each museum will have a stamp or sticker for guests to add to their passport, which then can be shown at the tent to win prizes.

The tent will also have family-friendly activities, including Zumba dance breaks.

Free trolleys will be running from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m that Sunday, stopping near each museum.

"When we did this last year, we had an enormous turnout, and I know the other museums had the same thing" says Bob Dean, Grand Rapids Children's Museum. "As people were coming in, I would ask them if they had ever been to our museum before, and about 60 percent said no, they had not- so this is a chance for people to experience us and experience the other museums that haven't been able to."

The Grand Rapids Public Museum will provide free general admission. The Titanic exhibit will be an additional charge on this day. Included in the general admission includes the Great Lakes shipwrecks, Thank God for Michigan: Stories from the Civil War and the Streets of Grand Rapids exhibit.

The Gerald R. Ford Museum will be closing the "Read my Pins" exhibit on April 21, so a final chance to see the exhibit will be available on that day, as well as special exhibits celebrating the centennial of Ford's birth.

"We had so much fun participating in the program last year," says Dana Fritz-Hanson, director of the GRAM. "My philosophy is no one has a monopoly on meaning- take a look; find your own meaning. No one has a monopoly on how to think about art, so I say own your art experience. Own your experience of every museum, because learning is so important and it can be the springboard." 

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