Writing at the intersection of motherhood, feminism and my Latinidad

16 June 2010

Why don't Chicago museums love Chicago kids?

I'm pretty sure I've noticed this before, but it wasn't until a co-worker sent me a list of free days of Chicago museums that it dawned on me again. There are not many free days for Chicago Public School kids. The last day for CPS is not until this Friday, June 18th.

  • The Adler Planetarium doesn't have one free day between June 21st and September 6th. In fact they have a free day on the FIRST DAY for CPS. There is a free week two weeks before CPS lets out for the summer.
  • The Field Museum has three free days during the CPS summer break. It also has three free days in June before CPS kids are off for the summer.
  • The Museum of Science and Industry has one free day during CPS summer break. There is a free week two weeks before CPS lets out for the summer.
  • The Shedd Aquarium has ZERO free days during CPS summer break. There is a free week the last week CPS is in session (this week!).
I think that most of us would consider these four museums the four of the big five or major museums in Chicago. The fifth is the Art Institute which has free evenings every Thursday from 5 pm - 8 pm.

So why? Why would four of our biggest museums shut their doors to Chicago Public School kids? Their parents (myself included) pay taxes to support these institutions. Considering the budget cuts in CPS and the lack of field trips to these institutions, I would like to think that these museums would all be accessible to CPS kids during the summer time. In fact, I believe there should be CPS free days. Bring in your report card to prove you go to a CPS school and get in free.

That seems fair, right? 

Until that time, take a look at the list of museums for the smaller ones who remember that they belong to a community.

2 comments:

The Museum of Science and Industry is committed to Chicago kids. In the hopes that kids and their parents can explore the wonders of science together, MSI gives every CPS student in attendance on the first day of school a free family pass to the Museum good for up to three adult, senior or child general admission tickets, and this is valid throughout the school year. The Museum has offered this incentive for the past three years and is the only CPS partner to offer an incentive to every child who attends on the first day. In addition to 52 free days that are scattered throughout the year, all Illinois students come free on organized field trips. We hope to see you at MSI soon.

Thanks MSI!

Yes, as a CPS parent, we received the coupon. The post was questioning the lack of free days for families during the summer.