Free admission at MOCA is here: Saturday festival kicks off new era

Free admission starts at the Museum of Contemporary Art on Saturday.
(Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)

A new dawn has arrived.

On Saturday, the Museum of Contemporary Art will do away with its $15 entry fee and begin its new policy of free admission.

MOCA will mark the change with an all-day party, Art for All: Free General Admission Celebration, at its Grand Avenue and Little Tokyo locations. Festivities will include food, music, performances and art-making workshops. Shuttles will run between both sites.

MOCA announced its plans to go free at its annual benefit in May, a switch made possible by a $10-million gift from MOCA Board of Trustees President Carolyn Powers. The goal is to remove financial barriers to entry, to become more accessible and to encourage repeat visits.


“It’s about art and sharing it,” MOCA Director Klaus Biesenbach has said.

Still, it took the museum about eight months to institute the infrastructural and visitor engagement changes that come with free admission.

Saturday’s celebration will include screenings of Ulysses Jenkins’ video work “Dream City,” which MOCA recently acquired, at MOCA Grand Avenue’s Ahmanson Auditorium; and a Self Help Graphics stencil silkscreen workshop at the Geffen Contemporary, the Little Tokyo satellite that also is hosting a drumming performance and workshop by the L.A.-based ensemble Taikoproject.