The controversial decision to add an admission fee at the Indianapolis Museum of Art raises several logistics questions, many of which have been raised by our readers. (You can catch up on the story here and here.) I gathered several questions, and IMA officials provided answers in the following Q&A:
IBJ: Will the addition of free/paid areas require additional security, ticket-checkers, and/or structural changes to the grounds?
IMA: Investments are being made in various campus enhancements, including new and enhanced landscaping, new walking paths at 38th Street and Michigan Road, and new signage, which will make it easier and safer for visitors to navigate the campus. We will also be increasing our customer service capabilities at the Efroymson Family Pavilion’s welcome desk.
IBJ: How will one go from 100 Acres to the main IMA grounds without venturing into pay areas?
IMA: Guests will access 100 Acres via 38th Street and park in the dedicated free parking located at the entrance to the Art and Nature Park. You can also access 100 Acres via the Canal Tow Path. Of course for members and individuals who have purchased a ticket they can access the Park from the upper-campus as well.
IBJ: Was the free evening each month selected deliberately to coincide with that of the Children’s Museum?
IMA: Thursday was selected as that is the only day we are open in the evening and we want to ensure that individuals that cannot visit during the work day have access to the IMA.
IBJ: What parts of the Museum will be paid/membership admission during the Penrod Art Fair?
IMA: We consider the Penrod Art Fair a very large special event and thus always have special logistics worked out for it with respect to parking, access, ticketing, etc.
IBJ: What are the projected number of attendees per month or year after the admission charge goes into effect?
IMA: It is our hope that we will expand our annual visitorship beyond the current 350,000 to 400,000 that we average at present, but the main goal is to grow our membership.
IBJ: How large of a tram are you talking about?
IMA: The eco-friendly tram is designed for giving guided tours in the botanical gardens. The front car seats 14 and is handicapped accessible. An additional 15-seat coach can be added for a total capacity of 29.
IBJ: Will non-members be charged for parking when visiting 100 Acres?
IMA: All visitors to 100 Acres will be able to park for free, regardless if they are a member or not.
IBJ: Will parking be shifted to a pay-or-show-validated-ticket/membership-as-you-exit? With the Brushstrokes/LOVE area still free along with Café and gift shop, where will membership/ticket checking take place?
IMA: Parking will be free for all visitors and no ticket or membership will need to shown. You could park and visits the free areas--Five Brushstrokes, LOVE, 100 Acres, IMA Cafe and the Museum Store--for no charge.
IBJ: Will previously admission-charged IMA programs such as Winter Nights movies etc. now be free to members? Will non-members be required to pay the admission charge to attend?
IMA: Winter Nights and Summer Nights will have a ticket charge, but those attending will not have to pay the $18 general admission on top of that charge. Members will continue to receive discounts, and new perks will be added, such as access to reserve tickets for sold out Summer Nights films.