Press Release

Gillibrand, Coalition Of 54 New York City Art Museums And Cultural Institutions Announce Free Admission For All Active Duty Service Members And Veterans This Memorial Day Weekend

May 17, 2010

New York, NY – With families across New York City set to honor America’s veterans and United States Armed Forces this Memorial Day Weekend, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) announced today that a coalition of over 50 museums, historic sites and cultural institutions from all five boroughs will provide free admission throughout the holiday weekend for all United States Armed Forces active duty members and veterans in a special tribute to the men and women who have so bravely defended our country.

Standing in the galleries of the Whitney Museum of American Art with Whitney Museum Director Adam D. Weinberg, Paul Rieckhoff of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), and New York veterans, Gillibrand unveiled details of the New York Museums Salute Memorial Day: A Weekend of Appreciation, which includes institutions across the state and such top institutions in New York City as the Whitney Museum of American Art, American Museum of Natural History, Brooklyn Museum, Bronx Museum, El Museo del Barrio, Guggenheim Museum, Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum, Jewish Museum, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Modern Art, National Museum of the American Indian, New York Historical Society, New York Transit Museum, Queens Museum of Art, Sailor’s Snug Harbor, South Street Seaport, Staten Island Museum, The Children’s Museum, The New Museum of Contemporary Art, The Studio Museum in Harlem, and many, many more.

New York City alone has approximately 240,000 veterans who will be eligible to participate in this first ever free cultural weekend.  In the coming days, Senator Gillibrand will announce more than 100 institutions on Long Island, the Lower Hudson Valley, Western New York, and throughout the state that will be providing free admission to veterans and active duty personnel.

“As we celebrate Memorial Day this year, it is important to pause, reflect and give thanks to all the men and women who have risked their lives to protect and defend our freedom,” said Senator Gillibrand. “I think of no better way to give special thanks to them and their families than opening New York City’s great cultural institutions, free of charge to our courageous men and women.  I thank all of the participating museums for their generosity, and for joining me in extending heartfelt thanks to our active duty service members and veterans this Memorial Day.  In New York City and across the state we have the most impressive and engaging museums, historical sites and cultural institutions in the world and we look forward to welcoming veterans and active duty service members this coming holiday weekend.”

“We are proud to welcome our brave active duty military members and veterans to the Whitney Museum of American Art, especially on Memorial Day Weekend, and we commend Senator Gillibrand for leading the way with this important initiative,” said Adam D. Weinberg, the Whitney Museum’s Alice Pratt Brown Director. “The timing is ideal for visitors to see our signature exhibition, the Whitney Biennial, during its final weekend before the show closes on Sunday, May 30.”


“The museums and other cultural institutions that are opening their doors to American service men and women embody the values that we are trying to preserve: democracy, freedom, brotherhood and respect for the dignity of all cultures,” says Alliance for the Arts President Randall Bourscheidt.  “These institutions are also making a gesture of respect and gratitude on behalf of all Americans to those who serve.”

“The Museum Association of New York applauds Senator Gillibrand’s work to bring museums and communities closer together by creating this Memorial Day opportunity for active duty service members and veterans to visit and explore the many cultural destinations New York State has to offer,” says John Haworth, President of Museums Association of New York.  “We are pleased that so many museums and heritage organizations are opening their doors to America’s service men and women.”

“Today, IAVA is proud to stand with Senator Gillibrand, the Alliance for the Arts, the Museums Association of New York and the Whitney Museum to offer veterans and their loved ones the opportunity to enjoy New York’s cultural and arts institutions this Memorial Day weekend. This is just one of the many ways Americans are stepping up and showing their support for those who have served,” said IAVA Founder and Executive Director Paul Rieckhoff.  “Memorial Day is a sacred day for our nation to honor the more than one million American service members of all generations who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. This year, IAVA hopes every American does their part to thank and honor the millions of brave men and women who have served and their families who have sacrificed on the home front.”

New York Museums Salute Memorial Day: A Weekend of Appreciation, an effort conceived by Senator Gillibrand, Alliance for the Arts and the Museums Association of New York will provide free admission to all active duty service members and veterans at each of the 54 participating institutions throughout Memorial Day Weekend.  Some institutions operate on an abridged schedule over the holiday, and visitors are encouraged to check the museum’s schedule in advance. Any one of the following accepted forms of identification must be presented along with photo ID to gain free admission:

  • Discharge papers (e.g. Certificate of Service, Separation Papers (aka DD-214 or DD-215)
  • Active military ID card
  • Reservist military ID card
  • Retiree military ID card (these retiree ID cards are also given to certain spouses and children
  • Formal letter on VA letterhead confirming service and veteran status (e.g. VA Statement of Service or VA Benefits Award Letter for service connected disability, pension or DIC, etc.)
  • Veterans Identification Card (VIC)
  • TRICARE insurance card
  • Dog tags
  • Government-issued photo identifications that indicate military service

The following New York City cultural institutions have volunteered to open their doors free of charge to the military for the holiday weekend by  participating in the first ever New York Museums Salute Memorial Day: A Weekend of Appreciation program. The list of participating museums can also be found at



Bronx Museum

Wave Hill



Brooklyn Museum

Brooklyn Children’s Museum

New York Transit Museum

Waterfront Museum



9-11 Memorial and Museum / Temporary Location

Alliance for the Arts

American Folk Art Museum

American Museum of Natural History

American Numismatic Society

Americas Society

Asia Society

Children’s Museum

Columbia University Art Museum / Ira and Miriam Wallach Gallery

Cooper-Hewitt Museum

El Museo del Barrio

Ellis Island Museum of the American Experience

Goethe House German Cultural Center

Guggenheim Museum

Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum

Jewish Museum

Metropolitan Museum of Art

Museum for African Art

Museum of American Finance

Museum of Art and Design

Museum of Jewish History

Museum of the City of New York

Museum of Modern Art

National Museum of the American Indian

Neue Galerie

New Museum of Contemporary Art

New York City Fire Museum

New York Historical Society

Rubin Museum of Art

South Street Seaport

Studio Museum in Harlem

Taipei Galleri

Tenement Museum

The Drawing Center

The Forbes Magazine Galleries

The Hispanic Society of America

The Pierpont Morgan Library

Whitney Museum of American Art



Alley Pond Environmental Center

American Museum of the Moving Image

Bowne House Historical Society

Isamu Noguchi Museum and Sculpture Garden

LaGuardia and Wagner Archives

P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center

Queens Museum of Art


Staten Island

Alice Austen Historical House

Sailor’s Snug Harbor Cultural Center

Staten Island Museum