Culture Club: free passes for Pima students


Pima Community College has partnered with Act One to provide free cultural passes to Pima students. 

Culture Passes are free admission tickets that you and a guest can get by going to your local Pima Library.

Act One is an organization that helps provide art and cultural experience throughout Arizona schools. Act One is a non-profit organization that is privately funded.

“A lot of it comes from donors and foundations, individual donors and foundations, corporations, that’s the bulk of it,” said Geri Wright, CEO and president of Act One.

Act One offers two main programs. 

Its first program is the Act One field trip, which helps Title 1 schools that can’t afford to take their students on field trips.

Since the organization’s founding in 2011, Act One has provided “nearly 157,000 students and their chaperones from Title 1 schools on educational arts field trips,” according to Act One’s website.

Studies show that the arts are important and should be implemented at a young age to help with development and the process of learning.

“We find that increases in students’ arts learning experiences significantly improve educational outcomes. Fostering and supporting these experiences lead to improvements in student discipline, writing achievement, and compassion for others,” according to a study conducted by Daniel H. Bowen and Brian Kisida.

Photo courtesy of Act One

Act One’s second program is the Culture Pass. The Culture Pass program makes the arts around Arizona more accessible to the students that may not be able to afford to buy their own. Since 2013, Act One has taken the Culture Pass under their wing and made it available to 60 libraries in 17 library systems, providing over half a million Arizona residents with free access to the arts.

The Culture Pass program now is implemented at Pima, piloted from Desert Vista Campus and is available to Pima students with their IDs and to the public that own a Pima County Library card.

This pass provides access to “nine Tucson arts partner attractions, eight statewide arts partner attractions and 14 Tucson performance arts partners,” according to Act One’s website.

Some of the available art venues included with these passes are Arizona Theatre Company; Museum of Contemporary Art Tucson; Tucson Symphony Orchestra; Tucson Botanical Gardens; and other arts organizations around Tucson.

“Our partners are critically important to the success of the culture pass, because if it wasn’t for them donating their tickets, we wouldn’t have a culture pass program,” Wright said.

If you are interested in the Culture Pass, all you have to do is find the Culture Pass kiosk at your local Pima County Library. 

Select the venue you would like to attend and take the pamphlet to the checkout counter. The library clerk will give you a receipt that you will take to the venue to receive free admission for two. 

So grab your child, a family member, a friend or your significant other and enjoy a museum, a botanical garden, a show and much more.

This program is a way to make the arts more accessible to those who are lacking the experience because of financial obstacles. 

“The arts are extremely important to a healthy community and a healthy person when we are developing these young minds, and we’re really proud of our new partnership founded with Pima Community College,” Wright said.