Children play on an interactive water exhibit outside the Witte Museum. Photo by Scott Ball.
Children play on an interactive water exhibit at the Witte Museum. Credit: Scott Ball / San Antonio Report

Whether you’re looking to explore another cultural perspective or simply try something new, San Antonio’s growing Museum Reach and downtown offers residents and visitors more artistic, cultural, and entertainment events than ever before. For many low-income residents, however, entry fees can be barriers to entry.

However, several local cultural institutions offer free programming – typically on Tuesdays – to reach those that may be unable to afford admission fees.

The Witte Museum

Visitors have enjoyed Free Tuesdays at the Witte Museum for more than 30 years, but the new #FreeKnowledge #FreeTuesday event will provide visitors with a new, interactive learning experience. Hundreds of local families enjoyed free general admission, a healthy eating demo by H-E-B and screen prints by local artist Cruz Ortiz during the first edition of the weekly event Tuesday night. Each week, Free Tuesday guests will be invited to enjoy free general admission to exhibits, demonstrations and educational programs held onsite.

A child runs through an exhibit at the H-E-B Body Adventure at the Witte Museum. Photo by Scott Ball.
A child runs through an exhibit at the H-E-B Body Adventure at the Witte Museum. Photo by Scott Ball. Credit: Scott Ball / San Antonio Report

“We are proud of our commitment to be a catalyst for broadening minds and inspiring lifelong learning,” stated Marise McDermott, president and CEO of the Witte Museum, in a news release. “The New Witte -which is now under construction- underscores the commitment of the museum to be a driving force for bold ideas and innovative learning in San Antonio. We decided the Free Tuesday franchise needed to reflect the vision of a museum undergoing a once-in-100-year transformation.”

General admission is free every Tuesday between 3-8 p.m. on Tuesdays. Special exhibitions like “Bodies Revealed” can be viewed for $10. Follow the Witte’s event updates on Facebook, Twitter, or use the #FreeKnowledge and #FreeTuesday hashtags.

San Antonio Museum of Art

The San Antonio Museum of Art. Photo by Scott Ball.
The San Antonio Museum of Art. Photo by Scott Ball.

Every Tuesday, visitors can freely explore the museum’s permanent art collection, which features ancient ceramics, contemporary paintings and installation art. Museum docents also offer free guided tours of the museum’s greatest highlights- featuring work from Diego Rivera, Thomas Sully, and Cynthia Carlson. General admission is free to the public from 4-9 p.m. on Tuesday evenings.

The DoSeum

Visitors of all ages are able to tour the DoSeum’s innovative exhibits on the first and third Tuesday of each month – the next one is coming up on Dec. 1. The STEM-centric museum includes exhibits on alternative energy and conservation, the science behind sight and sound, and a treehouse.

A boy plays with spinning mirrors. Photo by Scott Ball.
A boy plays with spinning mirrors at the DoSeum. Photo by Scott Ball.

Visitors are encouraged to arrive and park early, as only the first 1,500 guests will be admitted entry. The Free Family Nights, sponsored by H-E-B, take place every first and third Tuesday of the month, 5:30-7:30 p.m.

"Miro: The Experience of Seeing" at the McNay Museum of Art, September 2015. Photo by Page Graham.
“Miro: The Experience of Seeing” at the McNay Art Museum. Photo by Page Graham.

The McNay Art Museum

North of the Mission Reach, the McNay Art Museum offers free general admission on Thursday nights, sponsored by H-E-B. “Miro: The Experience of Seeing” exhibit will be on displace until Jan. 10, 2016 and on Thursday nights admission to the special exhibit is only $10.

Briscoe Western Art Museum

The unique downtown museum offers insight to the history, art, and culture of the Old West. Every first Tuesday of the month, the museum hosts “210 West Gallery Talks,” which are free and open to the public. The events focus on an artist or scholar with special insight to Texas and Western history. The events starts at 6:30 p.m. and general admission is free from 4-9 p.m. every Tuesday.

Ben Nighthorse Campbell speaks to an audience at the Briscoe Western Art Museum about creating Indian jewelry and preserving the market for future artists. Photo by Katherine Nickas.
Ben Nighthorse Campbell speaks to an audience at the Briscoe Western Art Museum about creating Indian jewelry and preserving the market for future artists. Photo by Katherine Nickas.

“The Saga” in Main Plaza

While the animated projection on San Fernando Cathedral’s facade is not technically a museum, “The Saga” by French artist Xavier de Richemont is a culture and history lesson that should not be missed. The installation combines history and art to bring San Antonio’s narrative to life. Screenings take place each Tuesday at 9 p.m., 9:30 p.m., and 10 p.m. in Main Plaza.

The opening night of "The Saga" video art installation on San Fernando Cathedral in Main Plaza. Photo by Iris Dimmick.
Downtown San Antonio during the opening night of “The Saga” video art installation on San Fernando Cathedral in Main Plaza. Photo by Iris Dimmick.

*Top Image: Children play on an interactive water exhibit outside the Witte Museum.  Photo by Scott Ball. 

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Lea Thompson

Lea Thompson is a Texas native who has lived in Houston, Austin and San Antonio. She enjoys exploring new food and culture events. Follow her adventures on Instagram, Twitter or Culture Spoon.