Gift Will Allow Free Saturday Admission Forever At Wichita Art Museum

Jan 3, 2019

The Wichita Art Museum will continue to offer free admission on Saturdays, thanks to a $1 million gift to the Wichita Community Foundation.

The gift comes from Wichita philanthropist Colby Sandlian, who began underwriting the museum’s Free Saturdays in 2003. Sandlian owns Sandlian Realty and is a longtime commercial real estate developer.

His gift establishes an annual grant to ensure free admission on Saturdays can be offered forever.

Wichita Art Museum Director Patricia McDonnell said the gift ensures “that generations and generations of people in Wichita are able to come to our museum.”

“I think it’s just the generosity gene that he has in his body that made Colby think that this is something that he knows makes an impact in his city, and he wanted it to continue forever into the future,” McDonnell said.

Free Saturdays account for nearly half of the museum’s annual attendance.

McDonnell said the gift will have a “profound impact ... not just on our art museum, but on our city.”

“There’s so many rich studies that now document the importance of thriving cultural organizations, and the meaning and enhanced quality of life they provide to a community,” McDonnell said.

The Wichita Art Museum’s hours on Saturday are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Andrew Linnabary is an intern in the KMUW News Lab.