Dia Art Foundation Inaugurates Special Program for the City of Beacon

Residents of Beacon receive free admission to Dia:Beacon on Saturdays and Sundays; special programs and a performance by Pete Seeger inaugurate the initiative on October 17, 2009

Beacon, NY - On Saturday, October 17, 2009, Dia Art Foundation celebrates the launch of free admission for City of Beacon residents on Saturdays and Sundays throughout the year. Dia will inaugurate the initiative with a day of special programs and events, including a performance by legendary folk musician Pete Seeger and remarks by Dia director Philippe Vergne and Beacon Mayor Steve Gold. Free admission is available to all Beacon residents with valid government identification, and the day-long activities to mark the launch is open to the public.

Mr. Vergne states, "Free weekend admission at Dia:Beacon is a good neighbor practice. It is a simple civic exchange that I hope will help make art, and looking at the world through art, more broadly available to the Beacon community who have welcomed Dia so warmly over the past six years. We hope the public will join us on October 17th and participate in the inaugural activities."

Free admission on weekends for Beacon residents builds on the long-term success of Dia:Beacon’s Arts Education Program (AEP) which was initiated in partnership with Beacon City Schools in 2001, prior to the museum’s opening. The Arts Education Program offers students in the City of Beacon school district a supplementary arts curriculum that provides opportunities for in-depth, structured explorations of art. Students at the elementary, middle, and high-school levels interact directly with works on view at the museum, participating in specially designed activities that relate to aspects of their own school curricula. The program makes Dia’s collection and the museum a resource for area students and their teachers and families. Since its inception, the AEP has expanded beyond schools in the City of Beacon to encompass partnerships with local cultural and educational organizations and colleges, a series of professional-development workshops, and the implementation of an education resource website. During the 2008-2009 school year, more than 2,500 students participated in education programs at Dia:Beacon.

Since opening in 2003, Dia:Beacon has additionally hosted extensive public programming at the museum including free monthly gallery talks, dance performances, film screenings, concerts by St. Luke’s Chamber Ensemble, and Community Free Days for neighboring counties. These initiatives complement Dia’s distinguished collection of art from the 1960s to the present which is on long-term view and temporary exhibitions by contemporary artists.

Launch Day Activities at Dia:Beacon, Riggio Galleries

11:30am Complimentary refreshments, including apples and cider from Fishkill Farms and pumpkin spice muffins from The Funky Baker

12:00pm Welcome remarks by Philippe Vergne, Director, Dia Art Foundation, and Mayor Steve Gold, City of Beacon

Performance by Pete Seeger

1:00pm Guided tours of Dia’s collection for adults and families

2:00pm Line, Rhythm, Chance: guided activities for families in the museum’s Learning Lab. Open by reservation to children 6 and above accompanied by an adult. RSVP familytours@diaart.org.

Free weekend admission for residents of the City of Beacon is made possibly by Lyn and John Fischbach in honor of Pete Seeger.

Dia:Beacon, Riggio Galleries
Dia Art Foundation celebrates the sixth anniversary of Dia:Beacon in May 2009. The museum, which has welcomed over 500,000 visitors since its opening, presents Dia’s distinguished collection of art from the 1960s to the present. Situated on the banks of the Hudson River, in Beacon, New York, the museum occupies a former Nabisco box-printing facility that was renovated by Dia with artist Robert Irwin and architect OpenOffice.

Dia:Beacon’s expansive galleries, which comprise 240,000 square feet of exhibition space illuminated by natural light, house works by a focused group of some of the most significant artists of the last half-century. These include Bernd and Hilla Becher, Joseph Beuys, Louise Bourgeois, John Chamberlain, Walter De Maria, Dan Flavin, Michael Heizer, Robert Irwin, Donald Judd, On Kawara, Imi Knoebel, Sol LeWitt, Bruce Nauman, Blinky Palermo, Gerhard Richter, Robert Ryman, Fred Sandback, Richard Serra, Robert Smithson, Andy Warhol, and Lawrence Weiner.