Indianapolis Museum of Art to charge general admission

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The Indianapolis Museum of Art (IMA) is announcing several changes that it says focus on enhancing visitor experience and long-term financial stability.

Starting in April, an adult general admission ticket of $18 will include the cost of both parking and exhibitions. Annual membership prices will remain at $55 for individuals or $75 for families. Currently general admission is free.

Another notable change: the museum will restrict access points to its extensive grounds. Members will get unlimited admission to the museum and gardens, along with other perks.

The following attractions will still be free to the general public: Virginia B. Fairbanks Art & Nature Park: 100 Acres; The Dudley and Mary Louise Sutphin Mall (Five Brushstrokes and LOVE sculptures) and Museum Store IMA Café.

The IMA says it currently receives less than 1 percent of its annual budget from government sources and relies on membership, fund raising efforts, public support and its endowment for more than 99 percent of its revenue.

The museum also announced several new programs, including the exhibition Dream Cars: Innovative Design, Visionary Ideas opening next May; a new ARTx series; Family-friendly programming including monthly Family Days, new classes and summer camps for children and teens. 

More on the entry policy:

While visitors to the Virginia B. Fairbanks Art & Nature Park: 100 Acres will enter as they do now, the Efroymson Family Entrance Pavilion will become the welcome center for guests attending the original 52-acre museum and garden property. Enhanced plantings and access gates will be installed in certain areas to guide visitors into the welcome center. By welcoming all visitors through a single entrance, IMA staff and volunteers will maximize their opportunities to engage with new and returning guests.

A new “Garden Path” will guide guests from the welcome center to the Showalter Pavilion where they will begin their garden experience. Beginning in April 2015, a new eco-friendly tram will offer visitors easy access to the extensive gardens and sites, including the Lilly House and Madeline F. Elder Greenhouse and Shop. While on their tram ride guests can listen to a guide highlighting features of the National Historic Landmark site, including its gardens and historic buildings.

The museum plans to improve navigation and programming on its 152 acre-campus. 

Also, admission will be free for scheduled Marion County public and charter school field trips college students from four-year, non-profit and public colleges and universities in Marion County General public every first Thursday of each month from 4-9 p.m.

The changes were approved unanimously at a board meeting Thursday.

Correction: A previous version of this story stated that the museum will charge to get access to its grounds. The museum says access to grounds will remain free to the public.