PhxArt Open for Kids

Investing in arts and culture in the Valley

Photos courtesy of Phoenix Art Museum

 In the last two years, an average of more than 25,000 children have visited the Phoenix Art Museum each year, and the Museum says that with an ongoing expansion of school field trip programs, that number is anticipated to exceed more than 35,000 children in the 2018–19 school year. According to a 2010 Arizona Arts Education Census, funding for arts materials and education in Arizona is approximately $0.005 per student (one-half cent) per day, and organizations like Phoenix Art Museum play a vital role in the community by providing a range of resources to aid both arts and general education educators, including free, on-site professional development programs for teachers.

And now, the Museum is offering free admission to children under the age of 18 visiting the Museum through September 30, thanks to a grant from the Steele Foundation. The generous gift provides vital funds and resources that enables the Museum to remove economic barriers that may prohibit Arizona families from accessing arts and cultural experiences. The program, which began in July and is known as PhxArt Open for Kids, presented by the Steele Foundation, provides free youth admission during normal admission hours, as well as free admission during voluntary-donation times to special-engagement exhibitions, which normally include a $5 ticket charge.

“We are incredibly grateful to the Steele Foundation for its profound generosity. In many ways, this is a gift from the Steele Foundation not just to Phoenix Art Museum, but to the children and teens of our shared community,” said Amada Cruz, the Sybil Harrington director and CEO of Phoenix Art Museum. “When community organizations make investments like this in arts and cultural institutions, they make it possible for us to reach so many more Arizonans and increase our impact on the lives of everyone in the Valley and beyond. The Steele Foundation is a model of that kind of visionary spirit.”

The Steele Foundation, founded in 1980, is a nonprofit, charitable foundation that is dedicated to serving causes that benefit the well-being of Arizona and its diverse residents, with a special focus on children and families.

“We are thrilled to be partnering with the Phoenix Art Museum to ensure that all young people have access to the largest art museum in the southwest,” says Marianne Cracchiolo Mago, president for the Steele Foundation. “Adding vibrancy to the lives of children through access to the arts is a priority for the Steele Foundation — as it has been for the Phoenix Art Museum. We know that through access to cultural opportunities and the arts we can help foster a sense of community pride, educate and continue to ensure Arizona is a great place to be a kid.”

For more information, call 602.257.1880 or visit

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