In FA’s About Us section, founder, Pat Nicholson, succinctly states the issue at hand: the Metropolitan Museum of Art [the Museum or Met Museum] and 12 other park-situated Museums or organizations in effect charge admission fees to New Yorkers when laws and/or contracts exist dictating otherwise. These laws or contracts have existed since the mid-19th and early 20th centuries and require that most of the 13 be open free to all New Yorkers in reciprocity for rent-free use of city-owned buildings and/or park land. [FA estimates that New Yorkers subsidize the Museum’s operations with 750 Million Dollars in free rent annually.] [see FA’s Expanded Efforts section]
Because FA founder Nicholson has a nearly two-decades history challenging Met Museum policies and practices and given that the Museum will celebrate its Sesquicentennial [150 years] in 2020, FA draws its conclusion about the Museum's current admission policy in the beginning:
FA's CONCLUSION: A Met Museum admission policy adhering to the terms of its 1878 Lease with New York City and in compliance with 1893 Law [discussed throughout FA’s website], would put the Museum’s operations well into the black [in its 2018 Annual Report, the Met Museum showed an $8.3 Million deficit] and give to New Yorkers, the free-of-any-charge park activity the Museum was initially intended to be.
So, why do Museum Trustees and administrators in effect operate, and why do City and State leaders and legislators let the Museum in effect operate, illegally, especially when doing so causes fiscal harm to the Museum?
FA studied the 1893 law and 1878 Lease – and if trustees, leaders and legislators do so as well – we could all conclude that the free admission the Museum is obligated to provide is attached only to New Yorkers, with the Museum having the right to charge an admission fee to non-New Yorkers since its 19th century inception. [see fuller details below]
The Museum touts Seven Million Visitors. If the Museum complied with the 1878 Lease and 1893 Law, and charged an admission fee of either $10, $15, $20 or $25 per adult visitor [including New Yorkers, two days a week], it could expect to increase the $47.5 Million admission income reported in its 2018 Annual Report, by $5,563,750, $32,095,625, $53,524,375 or $85,159,375, respectively.
Compelling, and a clear catalyst for insisting that the Museum comply and open its exhibition halls free-of-charge to New Yorkers.