About the Program
The New Jersey State Council on the Arts and the New Jersey Historical Commission have partnered with the NJ Departments of Human Services (DHS) and Health (DOH) to launch New Jersey’s Families First Discovery Pass program. This program provides families and individuals enrolled in state assistance programs with free or highly discounted admission to arts and history organizations, venues, and programs – both in-person and virtual.
The Families First Discovery Pass Program offers broad access to cultural experiences for New Jersey residents and helps cultural organizations engage new audiences with the goal of building long-lasting relationships. Residents who receive benefits through SNAP, WFNJ, Child Care Subsidy and/or WIC are eligible for free or steeply discounted cultural programs throughout the State.
How it Works
Visitors use their Families First Card or eWIC card to identify they are eligible for a discount; the card is not for payment. Any payment due should be paid with standard payment methods (cash, credit card). In general, the discount should be available any time for general admission or virtual opportunities, available to WIC participants and their families, as well as to Families First and eWIC cardholders and the cardholder’s family/household. The discount or offer should be administered in the same way other discounts at these organizations are.
However, the extent of the discount, and the number of people that the discount extends to per card is up to each participating organization to decide. Certain special performances or exhibits may be exempt from the discount. Organizations may limit the number of spots available to card holders, if there is limited capacity for a class or performance.
See details on the list of participating organizations for each organizations’ discounts, how to access them, where the organization is located, the class, performance or operating hours and contact information. Look to find out more about the cultural offerings you are interested in attending; purchase tickets online, at the box office, or over the phone as indicated.
Most free admission programs don’t require advance reservations or ticket “purchase,” but a few do – so check the details on the list of participating organizations to be sure. If you are not clear on the discount or how to access it, the organizations’ phone numbers are listed, and you can call them and ask how to use the Families First Discovery Pass Discount.
How Organizations Can Participate
Make sure that your organization meets the minimum requirements listed in the guidelines, and then submit your information via this online form.
Registration is rolling, however, materials and the websites are updated according to a series of deadline. For participation in the 2022-2023 program, sign-up by October 14th, January 31st, or May 1st.
If you have any questions about this program, or want to discuss ideas for discounts, program implementation, and front line staff training, please contact: Mary Eileen Fouratt, State Arts Council OR Niquole Primiani, Historical Commission.
Desi L. Dunn, Managing Editor
Born & educated in NY with an Environmental Science degree from SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Desi's family resides in Hardwick with a young teen and several spoiled pets. Considering northwest Jersey to be a true gem, her commitment to the people and environs is exemplified by the many different jobs she's had - municipal & county official, election clerk, open space plan writer, newspaper & radio journalist, grant writer, events coordinator and farm market manager as well as retail, waitressing, archaeological digger and once for a short while in a very huge warehouse.
Her favorite was as a reporter for many years with the Recorder newspapers, Blairstown Press, Paulinskill Chronicle, Gannett publications plus WNTI Public Radio producing public affairs and human interest stories on-air.
She often has her camera ready to capture interesting people and events. She's thrilled to now serve as RVE's Managing Editor, helping fellow writers hone their skills and show you the issues as well as treasures that exist in North Warren, through their eyes.