Newfields to raise general admission price to $20

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Newfields exterior
Newfields, 4000 N. Michigan Road, will raise its admission price this summer. (IBJ photo/Eric Learned)

Beginning July 1, Newfields art museum and gardens will raise the price of general admission from $18 to $20 for adult non-members.

The increase announced Monday represents the first change in the fee since Newfields ended its free general admission policy in 2015.

A new senior rate for visitors 55 and older will be set at $18. The fee for visitors ages 6 to 17 will be $13, and admission will continue to be free for ages 5 and younger. Newfields also will continue its “Access Pass” program in which families can purchase general admission tickets for two adults and pay $2 for each child 6 to 17.

Jerry Wise, interim president and chief financial officer at Newfields, said the price increase will help meet increased costs and wages.

“Newfields is an important asset to the Indianapolis community and our mission to enrich lives through exceptional experiences with art and nature is more important than ever before,” Wise said in a statement. “This new pricing will allow Newfields to continue investing in our employees and our community, while growing our offerings of exhibitions and events.”

Newfields is part of EmployIndy’s Good Wages Initiative, which calls for a minimum hourly wage of $18 for all full-time employees by 2024.

On May 17, Newfields announced the hiring of Colette Pierce Burnette, president of Huston-Tillotson University in Austin, Texas, as the organization’s new president and CEO. Burnette will begin working in that role on Aug. 1.

Community programs that provide discounts or free access to Newfields include:

  • Free neighborhood memberships for residents of the Crown Hill Neighborhood Association, Riverside Civic League and Mapleton-Fall Creek Neighborhood Association;
  • Free admission on the first Thursday of each month if tickets are reserved in advance;
  • Free admission on designated “community days,” including Juneteenth on June 19;
  • Free admission for Marion County K-12 students who visit as part of a school assignment;
  • Free annual memberships for students attending Butler University, Christian Theological Seminary, IUPUI, Ivy Tech Marion Campus, Marian University, Martin University and University of Indianapolis;
  • Free admission for current active-duty military personnel and their immediate family.

On July 3, Newfields’ digital galleries known as the Lume will be home to a new exhibition titled “Monet & Friends Alive.” The exhibition follows an immersive Van Gogh presentation that attracted a record-setting 235,000 attendees at Newfields and the Indianapolis Museum of Art.

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15 thoughts on “Newfields to raise general admission price to $20

  1. Unbelievable, $17 seemed a high admission cost now their raising to $20. Very disappointing.It’s not worth that to get into the grounds.

    1. Wait until you go to the other lesser museums in town!

      $18 for eiteljorg
      $22 for state museum
      $25 for childrens museum

  2. …and I can’t even ride my bike around the grounds without paying the admission fee.

    They lost me when they came up with the cutesy name– “Newfields.”

    1. To be clear, the land was called Oldfields…. naming the expanded grounds after its original name is…. “cutesy” now?

  3. This is in line with admission to world class museums around the world. If other museums are cheaper, often they have a government subsidy. Plus Newfields has some pretty terrific gardens, which many more urban museums lack. If you don’t appreciate the quality of the museum Indy has, then you are missing out. A museum membership are pretty cost effective since between the rotating special exhibits and the changing seasonal scenery in the garden, it is worth visiting multiple times in a year.

    On top of that, the Virginia Fairbanks Art and Nature Park, which is part of Newfields is still free.

  4. I see the goal posts moved on minimum wage. $15/hr used to be the magic number, now it’s $18. Why don’t we just make it $50 and everyone will be rich with no adverse consequences whatsoever. Problem solved!

    1. +1, but don’t increase the cost on anything else to make up for the $50 an hour wages, LOL

    2. Did you get confused and anger post on the wrong article?

      Alas, todays minimum wage is equivalent to 15% of what it was in the 50s….. but who’s counting

    3. @James, I don’t get confused. The article states the museum is part of a group calling for an $18 minimum wage

    4. @chuck that was just the writer of the article making a meaningless correlation…. has nothing to do with ticket prices…

  5. $20 for an occasional visit is not too much to ask. How much does one spend for mediocre food or a cocktail . . . if both are consumed, it is likely more than $20. This is Indianapolis, not New York, Chicago, or Los Angeles — certainly not a major metropolitan area attracting droves of [paying] tourists providing significant income to the local economy.

    And, frankly, how many employed at Newfields earn the equivalent of $50 per hour. And for those that do can someone provide the justification as to why this amount is or is not appropriate.

  6. How was the IMA free to visit between 1941-2015 (besides 2006 when it charged $7 admission)?

    I understand Newfields needs to earn money, but it would be interesting to see the average daily attendance through the years. I wonder how many potential visitors do not go because of the high ticket prices and/or because they’re not aware of the free days. Obviously, money is more important to the current leadership.

    1. The endowment lost 45%+ of its value in that time…. It was robbing peter to pay paul via the endowment

  7. Colts tickets too pricey? Pacers tickets too pricey? Concern tickets too pricey? Theatre? Music?

    How many do not attend these events because of ticket prices? Or, does one select which [too] expensive events to visit?