Today marks the first day that the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s new policy, requiring non-New Yorkers to pay a mandatory admission fee, goes into effect. As the new rules come into play, the museum is bracing for the reactions that will come as a result.
Back in January, the museum announced official plans to stick all visitors from outside of New York State (except for students from New Jersey and Connecticut) with a $25 admission fee while in-state residents get to continue paying their amount of choice for the suggested donation. The new policy had been in the works for a while as the museum grapples with ways to address its recent budget woes. According to the Met, the new policy will impact 31 percent of the museum’s visitors.
About a week after the Met announced its new policy, a Care 2 petition was launched in efforts to urge the museum to ditch its plans for mandatory fees and to keep the museum affordable for all. It has since garnered more than 27,000 signatures, but has done little to sway museum officials to reconsider their new policy.
According to the New York Times, the Met has installed signage explaining the new policy at entrances to the museum as well as at the Met Breuer and the Cloisters. Additionally, more than 2,000 employees have been trained in “customer service techniques as well as communications and technical issues.”
Met officials say that they will not be super strict on enforcing the new policy in the beginning but will get tougher if they see that people are continuously failing to pay.