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New Free Admission Programs at JAMO

New Free Admission Programs at JAMO

There is great news for those looking for free ways to learn about Oregon’s history and the culture of Japanese Americans in Oregon! Starting in January 2024, Free First Sundays launch at the Japanese American Museum of Oregon, with free admission and family-friendly programs scheduled every month. The museum has also joined Museums for All, a program that provides free admissions for up to 4 people when you show your SNAP food benefits card at the admission desk. Both initiatives are part of the museum’s efforts to ensure Oregon’s Japanese American history is available to anyone who wants to learn about it, regardless of their ability to pay admission fees.

Free First Sundays at the Japanese American Museum of Oregon will debut on Sunday, January 7 with free admission for all and hands-on activities for families and all ages. 2024 is the Year of the Dragon! Come on by the museum on January 7 to learn about Japanese astrology and make dragon hand puppets. The Free First Sundays program will continue throughout the year with different themes and activities each month, so you can count on that day for free admissions and hands-on programs for all.

The Museums for All program encourages people of all backgrounds to visit museums regularly and build lifelong museum-going habits. It was created by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) to help expand access to museums and raise public awareness about how museums in the U.S. are reaching their entire communities. The Japanese American Museum of Oregon is proud to join the more than 850 art museums, children’s museums, science centers, botanical gardens, zoos, and history museums in providing greater access to low-income visitors. Participating museums are located nationwide, representing all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. Virgin Islands. Visitors to the Japanese American Museum of Oregon can take advantage of this program starting immediately by showing their SNAP benefit card at the admissions desk.

Along with travel and admission scholarships for school groups and additional educator trainings, Museums for All and Free First Sundays are part of a series of efforts JAMO is making to welcome all audiences to the museum and give everyone the opportunity to learn the history of Japanese Americans in Oregon.

Hanako Wakatsuki-Chong, Executive Director of the Japanese American Museum of Oregon, anticipates a positive response to the new initiatives: “We look forward to welcoming new audiences to the museum who may not have otherwise been able to afford to come. The Japanese American story is an important lesson in the fragility of our civil rights and encourages empathy and understanding. The museum celebrates Japanese American history, culture, and resilience, and we look forward to sharing that with anyone who wants to visit.”

The January Free First Sunday is sponsored by Rich & Yoko Iwasaki. You can read more about the event here. If you are interested in sponsoring a Free First Sunday, contact JAMO at