Library adds BalletMet and Columbus Symphony to its Culture Pass program, offering free tickets for checkout

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Customers can check out free tickets to upcoming performances

COLUMBUS—Columbus Metropolitan Library (CML) has partnered with BalletMet and the Columbus Symphony to make a select number of passes available for library customers to check out for free.

One BalletMet Culture Pass will be available at each of CML’s 23 locations beginning two weeks before each performance during the 2022-23 season. Each pass is valid for up to two people (children or adults).

Ten Columbus Symphony Culture Passes will be available at each of CML’s 23 locations beginning two weeks before each performance during the 2022-23 season. Each pass is valid for one adult (children under 16 are free). Passes are valid for Masterworks performances only.

CML offers its cardholders free admission to select central Ohio cultural institutions. The Culture Pass program enables CML customers to borrow passes just as they would a book: using their library card. This onetime pass, which must be checked out in person, grants customers limited free access to institutions that would otherwise charge admission fees. Click here for more information.

CML piloted the program in 2018, offering Culture Passes to Franklin Park Conservatory and the Wexner Center for the Arts. Since then, CML has worked to expand the number of participating organizations.

“With the help of our community partners, we’re working to expose all central Ohioans to the many renowned cultural gems we are fortunate to have at our doorstep,” said CML Chief Community Engagement Officer Donna Zuiderweg. “As a public library, our role is to ensure equal access to all, and that goes well beyond books.”

“I think our art deserves to be shared with as wide an audience as possible,” said Columbus Symphony clarinetist Mark Kleine. “The arts have the ability to strengthen and speak to all corners of society, regardless of the repertoire or the venue.”

“We are thrilled to be a part of the Culture Pass program just in time for ‘The Nutcracker,’” said Sue Porter, executive director of BalletMet. “‘The Nutcracker’ is one of our most magical productions and the Culture Pass will help us share the magic with even more people this holiday season.”

Current participating cultural organizations:

  • BalletMet: Passes available at all 23 CML locations
  • Columbus Clippers: Passes available at all 23 CML locations
  • Columbus Museum of Art: Passes available at all 23 CML locations
  • Columbus Symphony: Passes available at all 23 CML locations
  • Columbus Zoo and Aquarium: Passes available at CML’s Main Library and Barnett, Driving Park, Franklinton, Hilltop, Karl Road, Linden, Marion-Franklin, Martin Luther King, Northern Lights, Northside, Parsons, Shepard and Whitehall branches
  • Franklin Park Conservatory: Passes available at CML’s Driving Park, Martin Luther King and Shepard branches
  • National Veterans Memorial and Museum: Passes available at CML’s Main Library and Barnett, Franklinton, Martin Luther King and Parsons branches
  • Ohio History Center: Passes available at CML’s Driving Park, Franklinton, Hilltop, Karl Road, Linden, Martin Luther King, Northern Lights and Northside branches
  • Pizzuti Collection of the Columbus Museum of Art: Passes available at all 23 CML locations

The Culture Pass program offers each participating institution the opportunity to select which specific CML locations will offer their passes based on the neighborhoods and communities associated with their outreach, diversity and inclusion goals. Therefore, Culture Passes are only available for in-person customer checkout at the specific CML locations listed above. Culture Passes cannot be reserved like traditional library items. However, customers can check their availability at columbuslibrary.org by typing “Culture Pass” into the catalog search bar.

Each participating organization offers their passes to CML and its customers for free. CML does not purchase passes as it does with traditional library materials. Each organization sets its own rules for how many individuals are covered under its passes and on which days the passes will be honored. Partner organizations also set the number of passes allotted to each designated CML location.

The Culture Pass program previously included the Wexner Center for the Arts, however since admission to the museum is now free, both partners are exploring new partnership opportunities.

Click here for additional CML press announcements and media resources.

Columbus Metropolitan Library has served the people of Franklin County, Ohio since 1873. With its Main Library and 22 branches, CML is well known for signature services and programs like School Help, Reading Buddies, Summer Reading Challenge and Ready for Kindergarten. The library’s Strategic Plan supports the vision of “a thriving community where wisdom prevails,” which positions CML to respond to areas of urgent need: kids unprepared for kindergarten, third grade reading proficiency, high school graduation, college and career readiness and employment resources.

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