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The RMSC Receives $20,000 Funding for Museums for All

Dec 06th, 2022

The RMSC (Rochester Museum & Science Center) is excited to announce that it has been awarded a $20,000 grant from the M&T Bank Foundation to support the RMSC’s participation in Museums For All, a national program organized by the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) that provides in-need families and individuals discounted admission rates to the RMSC Museum & Science Center. This generous funding helps remove financial barriers for visitors, creating access for all of its community members to participate in museum experiences. 


“Partnerships with companies like M&T Bank are essential for us to continue providing equitable access to all the programs and interactive learning experiences that the RMSC has to offer,” said Melanie Barnas-Simmons, VP, Institutional Advancement at the RMSC. Through this program, anyone visiting the RMSC receiving food assistance (SNAP benefits) may visit at a reduced admission rate of $3 per person (in a group of up to four people) by presenting their EBT card. Rochester is considered a “Hub City” for Museums for All in participation with other local institutions that offer similar discounts through the program: Seneca Park Zoo, the George Eastman Museum, and the Genesee Country Village & Museum.


The RMSC has participated in Museums for All since its inception in 2019. We are proud to announce the continuation of this meaningful work of creating equitable access for our community members by announcing for the first time: the availability of discounted annual memberships for Museums for All participants. Anyone receiving SNAP benefits is eligible to sign up for a $30 annual membership at the RMSC Museum & Science Center Welcome Desk. 


“We are excited to continue the work of providing access to RMSC experiences to our community by expanding the Museums for All program. Our goal is to inspire a better future for all through curiosity, exploration, and participation in science, culture, and the natural world and this allows us to reach more people.” said Hillary Olson, President & CEO of the RMSC. 


The percentage of families with children living in poverty in the city of Rochester has been steadily increasing since 2000 (most recently to 48.2%, up from 38% in 2000).* This rate is more than twice that of the state of New York and three times the national average. In Rochester, there is a critical need for experiences that increase literacy and enthusiasm for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) in order to develop and engage a diverse population in the future workforce of Rochester, as well as enrich the lives of all visitors in our community. 


For more information on discounts provided at the RMSC, visit  

For more information about Museums for All, visit 


*United States Census Bureau, Poverty by Age, Rochester

The mission of the RMSC is to inspire a better future for all through curiosity, exploration, and participation in science, culture, and the natural world. The RMSC includes the RMSC Museum & Science Center, the RMSC Strasenburgh Planetarium, and the RMSC Cumming Nature Center. Offering experiences at the Museum & Science Center with more than 200 interactive exhibits, the Planetarium with a 65-foot dome screen and several hands-on exhibits,, and the Nature Center on 900 acres of land and 14 miles of trails, the RMSC stimulates community interest in exploration. In addition, the more than 1.2 million RMSC collection items tell the story of the Rochester Region's past and present, including its rich history of social and technological innovation. RMSC receives major funding from Monroe County, where it is one of the top five most visited attractions serving children and families. 

For more information about the RMSC, visit Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok.

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