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Support Our Bills for a study on NYers' rights to free admission to city institutions

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This New Yorker participation petition seeks your support for study Bills #A03059/#S5265.

New York City residents have the right, written in State and local laws and contracts, of free access to and instruction from 17 cultural institutions existing on New York City parkland. These rights were provided for in a mid-1800’s public-private partnership arrangement in exchange for the institutions’ right to rent-free use of publicly-owned park land and buildings.

Today, New York City leaders provide more than $1 BILLION annually in New York taxpayer subsidies to the park institutions while New Yorkers are required to pay a stated or pay-what-you-wish fee.

For more than 150 years, and until the work of the Free Admission [FA] campaign [], no oversight entity ensured that the provisions of each institution’s incorporating laws and contracts were followed. Bills #A03059/ #S5265 are first-of-their-kind legislation to obtain, analyze and make recommendations regarding the oversight of the park institutions and New Yorkers’ free rights to them.

Bills #A03059/#S5265 request a comprehensive study on increasing public access to the institutions including dollar benefits, directly from taxpayer dollars and city and state agencies’ budgets, and indirectly from the value of any form of free rent and the provisions of controlling laws and contracts pertaining to each park institution’s obligation to provide New Yorkers’ free rights.

Along with your signature on FA’s PETITION, urge your friends and family to sign as well. FA would like to demonstrate to the State Assembly and Senate that today’s New Yorkers – as custodians of a perpetually funded cultural legacy – appreciate their effort on our behalf.

The 17 institutions are:

  • American Museum of Natural History
  • Brooklyn Academy of Music
  • Brooklyn Botanic Garden
  • Brooklyn Children’s Museum
  • Brooklyn Museum
  • Bronx Zoo
  • Central Park Zoo
  • Museum of the City of New York
  • New York Aquarium
  • New York Botanical Garden
  • New York Hall of Science
  • Prospect Park Zoo
  • Queens [Flushing Meadows Park] Zoos
  • Staten Island Museum
  • Staten Island Zoo
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art
  • Wave Hill

For more information regarding New Yorkers’ “free” rights, visit or send your questions and comments about FA’s campaign to

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