2-for-1 ticket deals and other offers are aimed at attracting New Yorkers to the arts.
The sounds of a small jazz combo filled the great hall of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Warm candles lit the space. At the museum’s American Wing cafe, Christa Chiao and Anna Lee Hirschi were sipping prosecco.
It was the first weekend of “Date Night” at the Met, an initiative to attract local visitors to the museum on Friday and Saturday nights with two-for-one cocktails, gallery talks and free live music featuring featured New Orleans jazz bands, Renaissance ensembles and string quartets.
The museum’s efforts to lure visitors to the area come as many New York cultural organizations worry not only about declining tourism in the age of the pandemic, but also about the continued struggle to bring back local crowds. The Met currently attracts 62% of the local visitors it did before the coronavirus pandemic, a shift it attributes in part to the continued prevalence of remote working.
“In this new reality, where many Outer Borough residents work virtually and don’t have to come to Manhattan, it’s up to us at cultural institutions to be creative and proactive in finding ways to encourage local attendance,” said Ken Weine, a spokesperson for the museum.
“The challenge facing the Met,” he said, “is really no different from a small downtown business.”
The Met is far from the only arts institution trying to bring back local visitors with offers as Omicron’s push wanes and the outlook for coronavirus appears to improve.
Lincoln Center recently announced a new “Choose What You Pay” ticketing program for its American Songbook Series at the Stanley H. Kaplan Penthouse, with a minimum ticket price of $5 and a suggested price of $35, in an effort to to make its programming more accessible. .
The Museum of Modern Art announced this week that it will relaunch a program offering free admission to New York residents on the first Friday of each month from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.
This year, NYC & Company, the city’s tourism agency, has extended NYC Broadway Week – during which concertgoers can get two-for-one tickets to most Broadway shows – by an additional two weeks, until to February 27.