Al Stafford, founder of Penumbra Theater, with his son Keenan at the opening for “Rose and Melvin Smith: Remembering Rondo.”

Introducing Free Membership at WAM

The Weisman Art Museum has offered free admission since we opened our doors in 1993. Today, we’re reaffirming our commitment to community accessibility by making our membership program free to join! Our mission is to create engaging exhibitions and programs that spark discovery, critical thinking, and transformation, both at the University and throughout the Twin Cities. Everyone is welcome to join us in this mission, and to have some fun while they’re at it!

As a member, you’ll enjoy:

  • A subscription to our triannual print newsletter and a monthly e-newsletter featuring upcoming programs, museum news, and special member offers.
  • Priority registration to the most popular events of the year, including the Student Design Showcase, exhibition openings, and artist talks.
  • Free admission to more than 75 participating museums nationwide as part of the College and University Art Museums Reciprocal Program.
  • Members Only sales in the WAM Shop, and invitations to seasonal sales throughout the year.

We recognize the barriers that have long existed in traditional museum membership models. By making membership free for all, we hope to communicate that the funky-looking building located at the heart of this dynamic University is here for everyone. So welcome (or welcome back!) to WAM. It’s great to have you here.

Become a free member today by filling out this quick form >>

Free Membership FAQs

How do I sign up for free membership?

It’s simple! All you have to do is fill out this form. We’ll use the information you provide to send you member communications like our newsletter and special invites. After you submit, we’ll send you an email to let you know when your membership card is ready to be picked up. If you don’t want to sign up online, you can visit our front desk and sign up with a Visitor Services team member.


What does it mean to be a member at WAM?

As a member, we’ll keep you up-to-date on all the exciting things happening at WAM. With that information, you can  attend an exhibition opening, roll up your sleeves and participate in an artist-led workshop, or take advantage of the Members Only Pre-Holiday sale and become the best gift giver in your family. More than anything, we ask you to share the love—bring a friend to the museum, post pictures of your visit on social media, and participate in all the ways you’re willing and able. As a member, we look forward to getting to know you and your interests better so that we can work towards creating a more inclusive and exciting space for all members of our community.


I am a University of Minnesota student. How do these changes impact student membership?

We’re glad you asked! We have some pretty exciting news about our free student membership program, too. Learn more about the remodeled program here.


But, wait. Now that membership is free, what’s the point of donating?

One thing hasn’t changed: Donors play an absolutely essential role in our community. WAM is sustained by the generous contributions of its donors, who provide vital funds that sustain student scholarships and museum programs, creating exciting opportunities for future art patrons and audiences of all ages. Donors also help keep admission and programs (and now membership!) free, ensuring that everyone in our community has access to the WAM they know and love.

If you’ve been a donor to WAM in the last year (other than as a paid member), we want to express our thanks by automatically enrolling you in the free membership program. You can expect your Free Member cards in the mail this fall!

Give today to keep admission and membership free for everyone >>


I am currently a paid member of the museum. Will there be a change to my benefits?

You will keep your current benefits until your active membership expires (12 months from your last donation). When it expires, you will be automatically enrolled in the new free membership program and won’t ever have to renew! While membership is now free, we hope you will consider financially supporting WAM through our annual giving program. This helps ensure continued high quality public programs and exhibitions that stimulate the mind and heart!


Before WAM transitioned to free membership, I was contributing at the Founder, Patron, or Director’s Circle level. How will I be acknowledged for my contributions?

Donors who contribute an annual amount of $300 or more will continue to receive special recognition and invitations to stewardship experiences. For more information about how this transition affects your generous giving, contact Patti Phillips, WAM’s Development Director, at (612) 625-9678 or