The Museum of the Bible, which is scheduled to open in Washington D.C. on Nov. 17, has announced that the admission to the venue will be free. The institution will instead suggest a $15 donation, with guests under no obligation to pay anything.
The museum, founded by Hobby Lobby President Steve Green and family, will be offering its members and guests the ability to reserve timed-entry tickets.
Museum of the Bible President Cary Summers said that the free admission was aimed at encouraging the public to “engage with the Bible.”
“We can think of no more fundamental way to give people access to the treasures and experiences inside this museum than to offer public admission coupled with the ability to reserve timed-entry tickets,” he said.
Basic membership at the museum starts at $60 for an individual and $150 for families, according to the museum’s website. Other membership options, which continue up to the $1000 Founding Champion level and beyond, is also offered by the museum.
Among the perks offered to members include unlimited early access and discounts in the museum gift shop.
“Membership to the museum is a great way to get year-round early access to beat the lines and show your support for the Bible,” said Tony Zeiss, executive director of the museum in Washington, according to The Gospel Herald.
“Members make visitors possible, and each individual or family who commits annually will give people from around the world access to engage with the history, narrative and impact of the Bible,” he added.
Beginning on Aug. 14, members will be allowed to reserve timed entry tickets in advance of the museum’s fall opening. The museum’s online reservation service will be available to the public starting Aug. 28 at 10 a.m. ET.
The 430,000-square-foot museum, located just three blocks from the U.S. Capitol, will be comprised of eight floors, including expansive exhibit and gallery space, visiting libraries and temporary exhibit space. The venue will also have a performing arts theater, a grand ballroom, and event space, as well as a restaurant and biblical garden.
The museum will feature the expansive Green Collection of rare biblical texts and artifacts, as well as $42 million worth of cutting edge technology including a digital entry arcade ceiling, a digital guide accessible through a smart phone app, and a 360-degree projection mapping employed in the 472-seat performing arts theater.
Smithsonian.com has described the Museum of the Bible as one of the “must-see” museums opening this year. CNN has recognized the venue as one of the most anticipated and beautifully designed museums opening this year. The opening of the museum has also garnered attention from other media outlets such as Time, The Washington Post, The New York Times and Fox News.