Five Local Museums Collaborate to Bring Access Program to Low-Income Families

Summit County welcomes national Museums for All initiative to promote access and opportunity

Beginning July 1, five Summit County museums and attractions will open their doors at a substantially discounted admission price of $1 to $3 to any guest who presents their U.S. government-issued Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card upon arrival.

Participating venues include Akron Art Museum, Akron Children’s Museum, Akron Zoo, Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens and Summit County Historical Society. By partnering together, these local organizations hope to reach an underserved audience and grant greater access to their uniquely different locations and experiences.

“Arts and culture are an integral part of a child’s education, imagination, and growth.  I am delighted to live in and serve a community whose partners recognize this and forge pathways to open up these experiences, making them affordable to so many more families. I am so grateful to Stan Hywet Hall and Garden, The Akron Children’s Museum, Akron Art Museum, Summit County Historical Society and the Akron Zoo for leading the way on this valuable initiative.” – County Executive Ilene Shapiro, County of Summit

If you have questions or want to learn more about food assistance and the EBT program, please visit

Here are the prices you can expect:
     •  Akron Art Museum: $3.00 (18 years of age or older; up to four adults  per EBT card) / Children under 17 years are always free (Everyone is free every Thursday)
     •  Akron Children’s Museum: $1.00 (up to 4 guests per EBT Card)
     •  Akron Zoo: $3.00 (up to 4 guests per card; kids or adults)
     •  Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens: $3.00
     •  Summit County Historical Society: $1.00
     •  Hower House Museum: $2.00 (up to 4 guests per card) / Children under 18 are free


For more information about the participating museums and attractions:

Akron Art Museum
Featuring modern and contemporary art, the museum’s nationally recognized collection spans three centuries and symbolizes the museum’s dual role as preserver of the past and herald of the future.
One South High Street, Akron Ohio 44308 • 330-376-9185 •

Akron Children’s Museum
Its mission is to be a gathering place for children and families, where play inspires exploration, discovery, and problem solving while connecting families, individuals and organizations in our community.
216 S. Main Street, Akron, Ohio 44308 • 330-396-6103 •

Akron Zoo
The Zoo connects your life to wildlife while inspiring lifelong learning and conservation action for the preservation of endangered wildlife and wild places.
505 Euclid Avenue, Akron Ohio 44307 • 330-375-2550 •

Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens
Its mission is to preserve and share our historic estate and serve as a resource for educational, cultural and recreational enrichment.
714 N. Portage Path, Akron, Ohio 44303 • 330-836-5533 • 

Summit County Historical Society
Its mission is to preserve and interpret the history of Summit County and Akron, and to educate regional communities about the people and events that have shaped our rich history.
550 Copley Road, Akron Ohio 44320 • 330-535-1120 •

Hower House Museum at The University of Akron
Built in 1871 by Akron Industrialist John Henry Hower and his wife Susan Youngker Hower, this historic home is filled with unique treasures and furnishings collected by the Hower Family during their travels around the world.
60 Fir Hill, Akron Ohio 44325 • 330-972-6909 •

Known nationally as Museums for All, this program adopted by the participating Summit County museums and attractions, was launched in 2014 by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMSL) in partnership with the Association of Children’s Museums. The effort was designed to encourage those who may have the interest but not the means to make museums a part of their everyday lives. It was later expanded to include museums in every category, and to date, it has facilitated more than one million visits across the country.

“Increasing public access is a strategic goal of IMLS, so it’s inspiring to see these five museums stand together in their commitment to provide Akron residents with equitable access for all,” said Paula Gangopadhyay, Deputy Director for the IMLS Office of Museum Services.

Stan Hywet President & Executive Director Sean Joyce, who championed the local program, explained, “We valued the idea of a collaboration among peer organizations. Individually, we may be addressing the need in various ways, but together, we can increase our collective reach and impact as a coalition that speaks with one voice.”

“I am so grateful to the leadership of these organizations for moving this opportunity forward,” says Nicole Mullet, Executive Director of ArtsNow, a local nonprofit that works to strengthen the arts and culture sector in Summit County. “In Summit County, we believe arts and culture are for everyone. This collaborative initiative, utilizing a successful national program, allows our partners to deliver on their respective missions while cultivating the awareness and diversity that is critical to everyone’s work and the health of our community.”

Local leaders are also encouraged and excited about the initiative and are sharing messages of support.

“As a school district that has long been supportive of the arts, we couldn’t be more enthusiastic about Museums for All. Our families will certainly be enriched by this generous program,” says David W. James, Superintendent of Akron Public Schools.

Commenting on the new partnership, Summit County Executive Eileen Shapiro expressed her support, as well, saying, “Arts and culture should not be a luxury; they are an integral part of a child’s education, imagination, and growth. I am delighted to live in and serve a community whose partners recognize this and forge pathways that will open up these experiences, making them affordable to so many more families. Thank you, Akron Children’s Museum, Akron Zoo, Akron Art Museum, Summit County Historical Society and Stan Hywet for championing Museums for All right here in Summit County.”