New Orleans Museum Month offers its annual membership deal
New Orleans is one of those rare cities that displays its culture on the streets. Walking along our uneven sidewalks where the live oak roots win over engineering, hearing the newest brass band practice their craft on the street corner, smelling the garlic coming from the kitchen at Irene’s Cuisine, and even admiring the feeling of permanence an ironwork balcony can give to a simple wood frame house are all sensory experiences that inform a simple stroll.
But every once in a while, our organically curated culture is heightened by experts who have created world-class museums to delve into our art, food, history, music and more. In exhibitions informed by research, personal collections and oral histories, we can see the human connections in world wars, civil wars and culture wars.
The month of August is well timed to be New Orleans Museum Month. Sixteen area museums are collaborating to create easier access to their exhibits free of charge. If you buy one membership at one of the participating institutions, you can visit any of them without paying additional admission through Aug. 31. Museum Month is part of New Orleans and Company’s “Be a Tourist in Your Hometown” campaign and works to tempt both locals and tourists to think outside of the bar, er, I mean, box.
“New Orleans is home to a collection of world-class museums, featuring permanent and rotating exhibitions of art, history and our unique culture, all expertly curated and displayed to surprise and delight visitors and residents year-round,” said Kristian Sonnier, vice president of public relations and communications at New Orleans and Company. “We have a wide variety of these invaluable resources that serve to stimulate and educate us on topics ranging from World War II to contemporary art.”
Sonnier pointed out the special experience that can be had in a museum.
“There is something therapeutic about visiting a museum to quietly get lost in one’s thoughts about a subject or several,” said Sonnier. “There are new things to learn behind every museum door here in New Orleans. We are fortunate to have so many excellent options from which to choose.”
The participating institutions represent an array of interests, some intrinsic to New Orleans like the Mardi Gras Indians represented at the Ashé Cultural Arts Center, and some to help us understand the mistakes of the past, like the Confederate Memorial Hall Museum. Even steampunks will pleased with the New Orleans Pharmacy Museum, located in the apothecary of America’s first licensed pharmacist.
You can browse the Museum Month website, which includes the Trip Advisor rating of each museum. Visit the individual institutions’ websites for details on their memberships and hours of operation.
The list of participating museums is as follows:
Audubon Butterfly Garden & Insectarium
Confederate Memorial Hall Museum
The Historic New Orleans Collection
Southern Food & Beverage Museum