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Act One Culture Pass celebrates 10 years of free admission to plays, museums

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Act One Culture Pass — a pass available at 48 libraries around metro Phoenix. Families can use the pass to get free admission for two people to attend live performances or to explore museums and other cultural venues around the state.

Every year, the pass provides more than 500,000 Arizonans with free admission and performance tickets — making the arts accessible to all! We asked Act One CEO and President Geri Wright to explain how it works.

How did this program come about, and what is its goal? The Act One Culture Pass program is a long-standing partnership between Act One, public libraries and arts and cultural institutions, providing library cardholders free admission for two people to participating cultural institutions or theater performances. Initially established by Phoenix’s Head Librarian Rita Hamilton in Maricopa County in 2009, the Culture Pass was adopted by Act One in 2013 and has since expanded into Pima County and Sedona. The mission of Act One’s Culture Pass is to make the arts accessible to everyone, regardless of age, circumstance, income or economic status.

Why is it important for kids to experience a live performance? We believe that the arts are an essential part of a child’s education and personal well-being. Just one artistic experience holds the potential to ignite a passion or transform a moment into possibilities. Experiencing the arts as a child opens up a whole new world of creativity and imagination.

How does a Culture Pass work? Culture Pass is available to library cardholders. Head over to your local library and check out the Culture Pass Kiosk. Choose the Culture Pass card for the venue you want to visit, and take the card to the librarian. The librarian will give you a receipt to take to the venue that you are visiting. Bring your receipt to the venue and exchange it for free admission for two within seven days. Last, and most important, enjoy the venue and be sure to fill out the Culture Pass survey at the end of your experience, and tell all your friends and family about it!

What museums and performing arts venues can families visit using Culture Pass? Today, 51 arts and cultural organizations participate in the Culture Pass program statewide. In Phoenix, you can enjoy the arts at venues like the Arizona Science Center, Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, Phoenix Art Museum and Desert Botanical Garden among others.

What are some local performances that will be great for families this summer via Culture Pass? While many of the performing arts organizations take a hiatus in the summer, metro Phoenix families should definitely check out “Madagascar the Musical,” which will be performed from June 21 to July 5 at Arizona Broadway Theatre. East Valley Children’s Theatre will be presenting “The Lost Boys of Neverland” June 13-23. Culture Passes will be available for select shows.

I understand Culture Pass is only good for two admissions. What if I have a large family? Culture Passes are limited to one per household and two per month. Many venues allow families to use their Culture Pass for the adults and pay for the children. Check with the venue ahead of time about their policies.

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