San Antonio/ Arts & Culture
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Published on February 20, 2024
Tobin Center Launches 'Arts for All' to Offer Affordable Tickets to SNAP, WIC RecipientsSource: Google Street View

In a bid to democratize the cultural scene, the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts in San Antonio is courting an unlikely audience—recipients of food assistance programs. According to the San Antonio Report, under a new program dubbed 'Arts for All', those on SNAP and WIC can score tickets to select shows for a mere $10, or even for free, kicking the stuffiness out of highbrow entertainment and turning snooty stereotypes on their ear.

Michael Fresher, the President and CEO of the Tobin Center explained, “We believe that economic barriers should not prevent anyone from experiencing the transformative power of the arts," in an overhaul aimed at celebrating the Center's ten years of community engagement, and what better way to throw open the velvet ropes to the hoi polloi. Although the exact number of discounted ducats varies, depending on the whims of touring shows and the vicissitudes of box office hits, the News 4 San Antonio reports that at least a couple of events each month will extend the gracious offer of affordability to those traditionally priced out.

"We really want the community to be able to come out to the Tobin Center," Mandie Sullivan, community engagement and public relations manager for the Tobin Center, told the San Antonio Report. This sentiment addresses a long-standing perception that high culture is only for the affluent, signaling a broader industry trend to spread the enrichment of the arts far and wide, regardless of socioeconomic status.

The Arts for All program is sustained through the generosity of donors, mirroring similar initiatives that offer ticket discounts to military members, educators, and students to ensure no one misses out on the magic of the creative world; the breadth of shows accessible includes resident company performances as well as guest productions and concerts, just not sometimes events produced by the Tobin Center. The Tobin Center, a non-profit organization, looks to fill more seats with the faces of cultural consumers who might not otherwise afford a night out at the ballet, opera, or symphony, according to the San Antonio Report.