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Arts pass aims to extend the reach of area culturals

Chris Caya/WBFO News

A new program meant to make arts and cultural events in the Buffalo area more accessible is up and running. People who find the cost of such events prohibitive can now gain admission for free. Arts Services Initiative Executive Director Tod Kniazuk says the Arts Access pass is accepted by more than 30 cultural organizations in Erie and Niagara counties, including every member of the Theatre Alliance of Buffalo.

"Those tickets are for every performances of those theaters. Not just one night, not just once a month, but every performance there will be tickets available for Arts Access pass holders," Kniazuk said Friday.

In order to be eligible for the program, a person must be a current member of the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program and present an active EBT card when signing up.

Along with benefiting residents, Kniazuk says the program helps arts and cultural organizations by providing them with a new and more diverse audience.   

"Every arts organizations truly and legitimately is interested in expanding their base and reaching out to underserved communities. We're providing an organized way for them to do that," said Kniazuk.

Kniazuk says the program also provides pass holders with free transportation to theaters and other cultural venues from six locations across the region.

Sign-up locations in the community and a list of free and low-cost events is available online at arts-access.org.