Buy one get six free
The Museum of North Idaho in Coeur d'Alene is a participant museum for the Idaho History Reciprocal Membership Program started in May, a collaboration that allows members of one museum to visit all seven participating locations for free. Photo courtesy of the Museum of North Idaho
| October 23, 2021 1:00 AM
Museum members now have free admission to seven participating museums across Idaho, and more, through the Idaho History Reciprocal Membership Program started in May.
“The bottom line of it is to promote interest in museums for the state of Idaho for any local communities,” said Don Pischner, a former member of the board of directors for the Museum of North Idaho and current director at the Idaho State Historical Society. “It's just a greater opportunity to expand the interest in Idaho history.”
Pischner said he came up with the idea and brought it to the other board members at the Idaho State Historical Society. The goal is to open up access to museums around the state, Pischner said.
The program is a collaboration between the Idaho State Historical Society and participating museums and historic sites across Idaho, including the Museum of North Idaho in Coeur d’Alene and Post Falls Historical Museum.
Britt Thurman, executive director of the Museum of North Idaho, said the program is nice for them because it allows them to give their members better benefits and creates a healthy membership base.
“Being able to go to all of these organizations for free if you're traveling within the state is a pretty huge benefit,” Thurman said. “It's nice to be able to offer that, and then also it gives us potentially more people coming in our doors as well, that might not have otherwise.”
Other participating museums include Twin Falls County Historical Society Museum, Latah County Historical Society and McConnell Mansion in Moscow, Bannock County Historical Museum and Fort Hall Commemorative Trading Post in Pocatello, and the Old Idaho Penitentiary and Idaho State Museum in Boise.
Thurman said she thinks it is great how the program allows the museums to share resources and have a bigger link between the state museums and smaller museums spread throughout.
Membership also includes a subscription to participating museums’ electronic newsletters and access to all participating museums’ virtual programs, discounts for youth and education programs and activities at Idaho State Historical Society sites, and a 10% discount at Idaho State Historical Society stores.
Memberships at the Museum of North Idaho run between $30 to $500, with varying perks and admission levels. Thurman said admissions levels with the membership will run directly across to participating museums.