Membership Update FAQ

July 1 Membership Updates | Frequently Asked Questions

To learn more about upcoming changes to the membership program, please read below. 

Q: What are the specific changes at each level, and why are these changes being made?

A: We are changing the names and membership gift amounts of some levels, and adding benefits to all levels. Many of these changes are based on feedback from our members. The name changes better reflect the benefits at each level. For example, the new Dual Level is for two adults. It’s that simple.

It has been six years since we raised our membership prices. In that time, we’ve doubled the number of exhibitions we present each year and our outreach to the community has grown considerably, including free admission opportunities for everyone. Our costs have increased with our commitment to our audience. Membership contributions are an important part of maintaining a balanced budget and continuing to engage the broad and diverse communities we serve.

Q: What do my dues support?

A: Your membership dues support exhibitions, concerts, classes, free admission for kids, and community outreach programs. Members make all these things happen—thank you!

  • Community outreach programs reaching more than 350,000 people annually
  • More than 1,000 free gallery tours for the general public
  • Free docent-led tours reaching more than 51,000 schoolchildren throughout the Los Angeles area
  • NexGen, our FREE membership program for kids seventeen and under
  • Free general admission for all on the second Tuesday of each month, and free general admission to L.A. County residents Monday through Friday after 3 pm
  • 41 free Family Sundays each year, reaching more than 18,000 kids and families
  • Conservation of more than 115,000 works in our collection
  • Evenings for Educators program and other professional development programs for teachers that help bring art into the classrooms
  • Our incredibly popular free Friday night Jazz at LACMA program
  • The Maya Mobile and Ancient Art Mobile—our “art trucks” that travel to schools and teach more than 8,000 kids every year about art

Q: Is the price increase related to the proposed Peter Zumthor plan for a new LACMA campus?

A: No―the increase in membership prices supports general museum operating costs, expanded educational and public programming, and membership benefits. The proposed Peter Zumthor plan is just that―a proposal of one possible future for the museum. No membership gifts are being used toward the exploration of Zumthor's design.

Q: Did the tax deduction change for the various levels?

A: Yes. Here are the new tax deductible amounts for each level.
Student ($30):           Not tax deductible
Individual ($60):        Not tax deductible
Dual ($110):               Not tax deductible
Friend ($250):            $100 is tax deductible
Supporter ($600):     $300 is tax deductible
Partner ($1,200):       $625 is tax deductible
Film Club ($50):        Not tax deductible
Muse ($50):               Not tax deductible
Parking Pass ($60):  Not tax deductible

Q: Why are some membership levels not tax deductible?

A: The IRS requires that we subtract the value of certain benefits from the full gift amount since the donor will receive benefits that have monetary value, such as guest passes, admission to specially ticketed exhibitions, catalogues, and special events.

Q: I just renewed my membership. What does this mean for me?

A: You’ll receive all the additional benefits as of July 1, 2013. Don’t worry if your membership card has the name of an old membership level—you’ll still receive all the new benefits.

Q: How does the new LACMA parking pass work?

A: Members at the Dual level ($110) and above may purchase a LACMA annual parking pass for $60 at any LACMA Ticket Office or by calling 323 857-6010. With the parking pass, you can park one car for free whenever you visit LACMA until the end of your current membership year. The LACMA parking lots are for LACMA visits only. Once you’ve purchased the pass, you may simply stop by the Ticket Office on your way to the galleries to get your free validation. Your details are in the system at the Ticket Office—there are no physical passes that you need to carry.

Q: How many membership cards do I get?

A: If you are a Student or Individual-level member, you will receive one membership card with your name and membership expiration date on it. If you are a Dual-level member or above, you will receive two cards. If you have specified a second member on your membership record, the second card will have their name on it. However, if you have not specified a secondary person, your second card will read "Guest of (your name)".

Q: I'm a Dual-level member or above. Can the second person on my membership visit without me? Can they bring a guest?

A: Your Dual-level or above membership grants admission for two people per day. The second member on your record can visit LACMA at any time, and you do not need to be present. If you have named a second member on your membership record, they may visit LACMA and present their membership card or their photo ID to pick up tickets for their visit. If you have not named a second member on your membership record, your guest must have the "Guest of" card in-hand when picking up tickets. (See question above.)

Alternatively, if you are visiting the museum without the second person listed on your membership, you may use your card to bring a guest for free. The second member may do the same with their card, if they are visiting and you are not present. In other words, a total of two people may visit LACMA for free, per day. If both people listed on a membership are visiting on the same day, and they are bringing guests, the guests will need to pay for admission. Members may purchase up to two discounted general admission tickets per visit.

Q: How many general admission guest passes do I receive with my membership and how do they work?

A: Friend-level ($250) members receive two general admission guest passes; Supporter-level ($600) members receive four, and Partner-level ($1,200) members receive six. They will be mailed to you in your welcome packet when you join or renew. Members must accompany their guests on visits.

Q: As a member at the Friend level ($250), may I really come back to specially ticketed exhibitions as often as I like?

A: Yes! Now instead of receiving just two free tickets, you may visit select specially ticketed exhibitions as often as you like—including James Turrell: A Retrospective. Please note, memberships are not transferable, and you may be asked to show a picture ID at the ticket office. Limit of two tickets per visit.

Q: Does LACMA membership grant reciprocal membership benefits at any other museums?

A: Yes! At the Friend-level ($250) and above, you will receive benefits at 24 other museums nationwide, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, Seattle Art Museum, and more! Learn more.

Q: Are there any other changes to the benefits?

A: Yes, some opportunities to participate will be reserved for members at higher levels, and some benefits will also be reserved for members at higher levels.

  • If you’d like to add Muse or Film Club to your membership, you must be a member at the Individual level or above.
  • If you’d like to add the annual parking pass to your membership, you must be at the Dual level or above.
  • If you’d like to join an art council, you must be at the Friend level or above.
  • Members at the Friend level ($250) will no longer receive Insider, nor an exhibition catalogue.
  • Members at the Supporter level ($600) will receive one catalogue instead of two.

Q: What are art councils and how do I get involved?

A: LACMA's ten art councils have been essential to establishing the museum's reputation as a world-class arts institution. Over the course of the museum's short history, these councils—each supporting a specific area of the collection—have acquired or helped acquire nearly 5,000 works of art for the museum, including some of its most iconic masterpieces. Learn more.

Q: What is LACMA’s global arts travel program?

A: LACMA’s art councils have enjoyed travel with LACMA curators and staff for years, and now we are expanding the program to include all members at the Partner-level and above. You’ll travel in style to museums and private collections throughout the world, with experts in the field.

Q: What is the annual Summer Evening?

A: Summer Evening is a fun, casual, open house and barbeque for members at the Partner level and above. It takes place in August, and it is for the entire family.

Q: Can you describe the curator-guided tours a bit more?

A: There will be two curator-guided tours each year for Partner-level members. These tours will be led by LACMA curators and will give members an intimate view into special exhibitions at the museum.

Q: What is NexGen? Has anything changed with this membership program?

A: NexGen is a free membership program for children 17 and under. The membership will continue to focus on bringing youth to the museum and engaging them in arts education activities. NexGen members continue to receive discounts on studio classes and art camps, but will no longer receive a discount in the museum store. Museum store discounts are reserved for members at the Student level and above. Learn more.

Q: How do I sign up for a Student membership?

A: Full-time students currently enrolled in college are eligible for the student membership. Visit a Ticket Office and show proof of enrollment and provide your expected graduation date to join.