The Met, one of the museums you can get into for free with you CUID

Welcome to Columbia! Being here means being in a city home to some of the richest culture in the country. There’s no better way to explore the past, present, and future of that culture than visiting the many museums NYC has to offer. As a college student, many of these great museums’ admission fees can be pretty hefty. Columbia understands this and through the Arts Initiative, meant to foster the appreciation of the arts both on and off campus, has created a program called Passport to Museums. Passport to Museums allows students to visit over 30 museums across New York City for free with their CUID and semester validation sticker. Here, we’ll highlight some of the museums you probably didn’t know about, but you can find the whole list here.

The American Numismatic Society

  • Location: 75 Varick St, 11th Floor, Manhattan
  • What It’s About: The ANS contains the country’s largest collection of medals and currency from all over the world, past and present. With your CUID, not only can you view exhibitions for free, but you can also visit the collection, library, and archives without paying a cent.
  • Current Exhibitions: A History of American Currency; New York City, 1988; France: From the Franc to the Euro; Medieval Byzantine and Islamic Empires

Exterior of the Asia Society

Asia Society

  • Location: 725 Park Ave, Manhattan
  • What It’s About: Asia Society was created to strengthen relations and understanding between the United States and the people, leaders, and institutions of Asia. In addition to housing several art installations, it also hosts many events year-round, including lectures and discussions.
  • Current Exhibitions: There are no exhibits currently on display, but upcoming exhibits include Tuan Andrew Nguyen: Letters from Saigon to Saigon and the Progressive Revolution: Modern Art for a New India.

The Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute

  • Location: 120 E 125th St, Manhattan
  • What It’s About: CCCADI hopes to use art to promote social justice and community building while simultaneously preserving the art and cultures of African Diaspora communities. One of its goals is to create culture leaders who will foster social transformation.
  • Current Exhibitions: Mi Querido Barrio is a current exhibition that uses augmented reality technology to create a virtual tour of El Barrio/East Harlem.

El Museo del Barrio

  • Location: 1230 5th Ave & 104th St, Manhattan
  • What It’s About: El Museo del Barrio presents a wide range of collections and exhibits displaying the art of Caribbean and Latin American cultures. It also hosts bilingual public programs, educational activities, and other special events.
  • Current Exhibitions: Current exhibits include unoxuno: Miguel Trelles and unoxuno: Melissa Calderón, while the permanent collection is always on display.

Front of the International Center of Photography

International Center of Photography

  • Location: 250 Bowery, Manhattan
  • What It’s About: The ICP is the world’s most prominent photography institution, offering photography education at their offsite school, holding a large collection of books on photography in their library, facilitating discussion on photography through the Center for Visual Culture, and displaying the past, present, and future of photography at the museum, which you have free access to.
  • Current Exhibitions: Henri Cartier-Bresson: The Decisive Moment; Elliott Erwitt: Pittsburgh 1950; Multiply, Identify, Her; RFK Funeral Train: The People’s View

Museum of the City of New York

  • Location: 1220 5th Ave & 103rd St, Manhattan
  • What It’s About: The Museum of the City of New York is exactly what it sounds like: a museum dedicated to the art and history of New York City. It’s located on Museum Mile, a section of Fifth Ave that’s home to tons of museums, including El Museo del Barrio and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, both of which you can get into for free with your CUID.
  • Current Exhibitions: Rebel Women: Defying Victorianism; Through a Different Lens: Stanley Kubrick Photographs; New York at Its Core; Art in the Open: Fifty Years of Public Art in New York; Activist New York

A vintage train at the New York Transit Museum

New York Transit Museum

  • Location: 99 Schermerhorn St, Brooklyn
  • What It’s About: A NUMTOT’s dream come true, the New York Transit Museum tells stories of mass transportation while allowing visitors to truly visualize the history and evolution of New York City transit. It’s even housed in a now-defunct Brooklyn subway station.
  • Current Exhibitions: Underground Heroes: New York Transit in Comics; Bringing Back the City: Mass Transit Responds to Crisis; From the Archive: NYCT Photo Unit Collection 1966 – 2004 

All images via Wikimedia Commons.