Free First Thursday returns to the Portland Art Museum along with expanded hours for greater access

People walking around the Black Artists of Oregon gallery

PAM’s Free First Thursdays are supported by Art Bridges Foundation’s national Access for All initiative to reduce barriers and get people back to museums 

The Portland Art Museum announced today the return of Free First Thursdays, thanks to generous support provided by the Art Bridges Foundation’s Access for All Program. Beginning January 4, 2024, Museum admission will be free on the first Thursday of every month from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., and programs at the newly opened PAM CUT Tomorrow Theater in Southeast Portland will also be free. Additionally, the Museum announced new hours starting with the new year—Thursday and Friday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. 

“I am so pleased to be able to bring this free access day back to our community and incredibly grateful for the partnership with the Art Bridges Foundation,” said Brian Ferriso, Portland Art Museum Director. “In addition to the monthly free day, visitors have been asking for extended evening and weekend hours. The Museum is dedicated to doing our part to revive Portland’s downtown, and we look forward to welcoming everyone.” 

The Museum was one of 64 organizations across 36 states and Puerto Rico selected to receive funding from Art Bridges Foundation’s Access for All initiative. The funding underwrites the costs associated with Free First Thursdays for three years, including programming, and audience development. The Access for All Program represents a sweeping effort to get people back to museums after COVID-19 brought declines in revenue, staffing, and attendance. With many museums seeing just 71 percent of their pre-pandemic attendance, the new initiative aims to restore pre-pandemic levels—and open new opportunities for all people to enjoy art by reducing barriers to access and strengthening community relationships. 

Free First Thursdays at the Museum and PAM CUT’s Tomorrow Theater aligns with the revitalization of the long-standing Portland art galleries’ tradition of opening their doors for openings, receptions, and events on the first Thursday of each month. In recent months art and culture organizations have joined to bring back this popular activity, including the Pacific Northwest College of Art and the Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education in the North Park Blocks.

Approximately 45,000 visitors visit the Portland Art Museum for free or at reduced cost annually. Free First Thursdays are in addition to the Museum’s existing admissions access programs, including free admission for kids aged 17 and under, veterans and active duty military, and quarterly Miller Family Free Days. Reduced-cost admission is also available for seniors, students, and individuals on supplemental nutrition assistance, and through select Multnomah County Library branches. The Museum and PAM CUT offer free events as part of regular programming, including Art & Conversation, a popular program that is now back on the schedule.  

How to get tickets

Portland Art Museum
1219 SW Park Avenue 

Free First Thursday tickets can be reserved online one week in advance and are also available at the door. 

Tomorrow Theater
PAM CUT // Center for an Untold Tomorrow 
3530 SE Division Street 

Tickets to Free First Thursday programs at the Tomorrow Theater are available online, including BOWIE BIRTHDAY BASH // The Man Who Fell to Earth on January 4, 2024. 

Generous support provided by Art Bridges Foundation’s Access for All program.

Logo with text Art Bridges Foundation, Access for All

About Art Bridges Foundation

Art Bridges Foundation is the vision of philanthropist and arts patron Alice Walton. The mission of Art Bridges is to expand access to American art in all regions across the United States. Since 2017, Art Bridges has been creating and supporting programs that bring outstanding works of American art out of storage and into communities. Art Bridges partners with a growing network of over 220 museums of all sizes and locations on nearly 700 projects across the nation, impacting over 4.1 million people, to provide financial and strategic support for exhibition development, loans from the Art Bridges Collection, and programs designed to educate, inspire, and deepen engagement with local audiences. The Art Bridges Collection represents an expanding vision of American art from the 19th century to present day and encompasses multiple media and voices. For more information, visit

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