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Highland Street Foundation Announces 7th Annual “Free Fun Fridays”

Highland Street Foundation Announces 7th Annual “Free Fun Fridays”

Statewide Program Offers Free Access to 70 Museums and Cultural Institutions Throughout the Summer



(Boston, MA) – The Highland Street Foundation announced its seventh annual “Free Fun Fridays” initiative, a summer program that offers visitors no cost admission to many of the most treasured cultural venues in Massachusetts.  Seventy institutions, from art museums to zoos, will join the program, an increase from the 67 venues that took part in 2014. This summer, for 10 consecutive Fridays — beginning June 26th and continuing through August 28th— seven different venues will welcome visitors, free-of-charge.

The Highland Street Foundation’s ‘Free Fun Fridays’ provides access to the best  exhibits, programs and experiences that the city and the Commonwealth have to offer,” said Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh. “I join the Highland Street Foundation in inviting residents from across Boston and around the state to take advantage of our rich cultural community by participating in ‘Free Fun Fridays.’” 

Since its inception in 2009, “Free Fun Fridays” has drawn more than 800,000 visitors to venues throughout the Commonwealth.  Last year alone, the program reached 150,000 people and according to Executive Director, Blake Jordan, the Highland Street Foundation expects that those numbers will increase again this year with the expansion of the program.

"2015 marks the most extensive ‘Free Fun Fridays’ yet and we are pleased to welcome new venues to this summer’s program,” said Jordan.  “This signature program reflects the Highland Street Foundation’s longtime commitment to enriching the lives of kids and families by providing easy access to the very best cultural offerings in Massachusetts.”

Each year, Highland Street Foundation grants help participating venues in every corner of the state open their doors for free.  In the past seven years, the “Free Fun Fridays” program has represented an investment of nearly $4 million in the Commonwealth’s vibrant cultural community.  ‘Free Fun Fridays’ is one of many programs created and supported by the Highland Street Foundation to increase access and opportunities for children and families throughout Massachusetts.

“Peabody Essex Museum is proud to partner with the Highland Street Foundation in its efforts to showcase the Bay State’s diverse cultural venues and promote our wide-ranging missions,” said Dan Monroe, Rose-Marie and Eijk van Otterloo Director and CEO of the Peabody Essex Museum.   “Through this essential program, visitors have access to the fine and performing arts, historic homes, lush gardens, environmental centers and top museums.  Equally important, ‘Free Fun Fridays’ helps introduce the cultural community to a set of new and diverse audiences.”

This year, some of the program’s favorite sites, including the Boston Children’s Museum, Tanglewood, and the ICA, are joined by new venues like the Cape Ann Museum in Gloucester, Old Sturbridge Village and the recently opened Edward M. Kennedy Institute.  A complete list of all participating venues and dates is below.

To learn more about the “Free Fun Fridays,” and the Highland Street Foundation, visit
www.highlandstreet.org and connect on facebook.com/HighlandStreet and Twitter @HighlandStreet.

The following institutions are participating in upcoming “Free Fun Fridays” 2015:

July 17
Museum of Fine Arts (Boston)
Sports Museum (Boston)
Cape Ann Museum (Gloucester)
Children’s Museum in Easton (Easton)
Fitchburg Art Museum (Fitchburg)
Larz Anderson Auto Museum (Brookline)
Tower Hill Botanic Garden (Boylston)

July 24
Commonwealth Shakespeare Company (Boston)
Edward Gorey House (Yarmouth Port)
Battleship Cove (Fall River)
Fruitlands Museum (Harvard)
Garden in the Woods (Framingham)
Pilgrim Hall Museum (Plymouth)
Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University (Boston)

July 31
Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston (Boston)
Cape Cod Museum of Art (Dennis)
American Textile History Museum (Lowell)
Eric Carle Museum (Amherst)
Museum of Russian Icons (Clinton)
Sandwich Glass Museum (Sandwich)
Wenham Museum (Wenham)

August 7
Boston Harbor Island Alliance (Boston)
Worcester Historical Museum (Worcester)
Concord Museum (Concord)
Hancock Shaker Village (Pittsfield)
Rose Kennedy Greenway Carousel (Boston)
Springfield Museums (Springfield)
Old State House (Boston)

August 14
John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum (Boston)
Cape Cod Children’s Museum (Mashpee)
Historic Deerfield (Deerfield)
Children’s Museum of Fall River (Fall River)
Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center (Great Barrington)
Clark Art Institute (Williamstown)
USS Constitution Museum (Charlestown)

August 21
Franklin Park Zoo (Dorchester)
Freedom Trail Foundation (Boston)
Emily Dickinson Museum (Amherst)
Buttonwood Park Zoo (New Bedford)
Discovery Museums (Acton)
Museum of African American History (Boston)
Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival (Beckett)

August 28
Old Sturbridge Village (Sturbridge)
Plimoth Plantation (Plymouth)
Cape Cod Museum of Natural History (Brewster)
EcoTarium (Worcester)
Fuller Craft Museum (Brockton)
Griffin Photography Museum (Winchester)
MASS MoCA (North Adams)

About Highland Street Foundation:
Since 1989, the Highland Street Foundation has worked to enrich the lives of children and families in Massachusetts by donating more than $160 million to worthy nonprofit organizations. From its support of the TADpole playground in Boston Common, to providing tickets to local sporting events to local nonprofits, to building capacity and providing technical assistance to hundreds of nonprofit organizations, the foundation is dedicated to expanding opportunities for families in Massachusetts and beyond. This year marks the seventh anniversary of “Free Fun Fridays” and a record- breaking 70 venues will participate, with seven cultural venues in Massachusetts open free-of-charge every Friday for 10 weeks this summer. Over the past six summers more than 800,000 visitors have enjoyed the “Free Fun Fridays” program.

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