San Francisco’s Museums for All program returns this summer 

SAN FRANCISCO – On Friday, May 24, Mayor London N. Breed, Treasurer José Cisneros, and the San Francisco Human Services Agency together celebrated five years since the launch of San Francisco’s Museums for All program. Started in May 2019, the city’s Museums for All program began with the support of more than 15 museums and cultural institutions to provide free or significantly reduced admission to San Francisco residents who receive public benefits. To date, the program has expanded and there are currently 28 participating museum partners.

As the school season comes to a close, Museums for All is ramping up for another successful summer and with five new destinations for families to enjoy: The Walt Disney Family Museum, the Aquarium of the Bay, the American Bookbinders Museum, the Tenderloin Museum, and the Guardians of the City First Responders Museum. In fiscal year 2022-23, nearly 165,000 low-income San Francisco residents visited the city’s participating museum partners for free or received highly discounted entrance fees.

SF Museums for All enables San Francisco residents with CalFresh or Medi-Cal cards administered by SFHSA, to receive up to four free or $3 tickets to any participating museum per visit. Cardholders can easily visit museums by presenting their benefits card and proof of San Francisco residency upon their visit.

“San Francisco is home to some of the most renowned museums and cultural institutions in the world and we want to ensure entrance is low barrier so that our residents, including youth and families, have the same opportunities to enjoy the benefits of arts and education,” said Mayor Breed. “Last year, nearly 165,000 people participated in San Francisco’s Museums for All program, which tells us people are utilizing this benefit, but we want to see more. I want to thank each of the participating museums for their commitment in making these experiences available to all city residents.”

The program was created in collaboration with the San Francisco Human Services Agency (SFHSA) and the Treasurer’s Financial Justice Project, which works to reform and assess fines and fees that place a disproportionate burden on low-income residents. The Financial Justice Project released an impact report of the SF Museums for All Program in 2023.

San Francisco Museums for All builds on the national Museums for All initiative, which works with museums across the country to offer free or discounted admission fees to individuals and families that receive public benefits. The initiative, which several San Francisco museums participate in, has broadened visitor bases and expanded access to museums, engaged underserved communities, and raised public awareness.

“Museums for All opens up a wealth of cultural institutions to San Francisco residents who would otherwise be priced out of attendance,” said Treasurer Cisneros. “San Francisco has an incredible array of institutions, and we are so excited to see so many low-income families benefit from this program.”

Nearly one in four San Franciscans receive these benefits and can visit museums free of charge through this program. Tickets typically range from $20-$150 for a family of four, which can create a financial barrier for low-income families to experience the city’s world-class museums. Through SF Museums for All, people from all walks of life and across income levels can gain access to museums they would otherwise not have. SFHSA has been promoting this program to the city’s residents who receive public benefits and promoting participation among community organizations that serve qualifying households, including children, older adults, and people with disabilities.

“All San Franciscans should be able to enjoy the same access to rich cultural and artistic life experiences regardless of their income level,” said Trent Rhorer, executive director of the San Francisco Human Services Agency. “We are coming together to invite all households that receive public benefits to visit our world-class museums this summer so they too can experience the cultural abundance of our city.”

To participate, eligible families need to bring to participating museums:

  • An Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) or Medi-Cal card
  • Proof of San Francisco residency such as a driver’s license, student or college ID card, or library card.

Participating institutions currently include: American Bookbinders Museum, Aquarium of the Bay** (program participation to begin on June 1, 2024), Asian Art Museum, Cable Car Museum, California Academy of Sciences**, Cartoon Art Museum, Children’s Creativity Museum, Chinese Culture Center of San Francisco, Chinese Historical Society of America, Conservatory of Flowers, Contemporary Jewish Museum, de Young Museum, Exploratorium**, Guardians of the City Museum, GLBT Historical Society Museum, Japanese Tea Garden, Legion of Honor Museum, Museum of the African Diaspora, Museum of Craft and Design, Museum of the Eye, Randall Museum, San Francisco Botanical Garden, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA), San Francisco Recreation and Park Departments’ Japanese Tea Garden, San Francisco Railway Museum, Tenderloin Museum, Walt Disney Family Museum and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts.

** Reduced $3 admission. 

For more information, visit

(SF Mayor’s Office Release)


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