News Releases

June Passes for the National Museum of African American History and Culture Released March 1

March 1, 2017

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture released free timed passes for June on Wednesday, March 1, at 9 a.m. (EST). A total of 110,000 timed passes were issued to the public before noon.   

The museum has generated an unprecedented level of interest on a local, national and global scale. Since opening in September, the newest Smithsonian museum has surpassed 1 million visitors, becoming one of the most popular destinations in Washington, D.C. The museum’s dwell time, the length of time a visitor stays in a museum, is unmatched—averaging six hours or more on weekends, compared to 75 minutes to two hours for most museums. This surging popularity reinforces the need for timed passes in order to ensure the safety, security and quality of the visitor experience.

Increasing interest has also motivated tens of thousands of people to attempt to reserve timed passes whenever new passes are released. In preparation for the March 1 release of passes, the Smithsonian made top-to-bottom improvements—new servers dedicated to the museum and IT staff monitoring and adjusting in real time—to meet the growing demand for passes. In addition to system improvements, eTix increased the number of representatives in its call center to serve the higher number of callers.

“The level of interest in our museum and the powerful impact of this history and culture on our visitors are unparalleled,” said Lonnie Bunch, the founding director of the museum. “We are honored by the commitment and desire to visit and participate in this historic endeavor. We ask for the public’s patience as we move to accommodate the increasing number of requests. The demand for timed passes simply exceeds the number of people that we can safely accommodate.”

The museum is offering the following to obtain timed passes:

Online Same-Day Timed Passes: Visitors can obtain passes on the day of their planned visit starting at 6:30 a.m. on the museum’s website at

Walk-Up Passes: A limited number of walk-up passes will be available starting at 1 p.m. Monday–Friday. No walk-up passes will be available on weekends due to high visitation.

July 2017 Advance Timed Passes: Beginning at 9 a.m. Wednesday, April 5, timed passes for individual and family visits in July 2017 will be available online at or by calling 866-297-4020. Timed passes will be released on the first Wednesday of each month.                       

For more information about the museum, visit

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Linda St.Thomas 
(202) 633-5188 
(202) 841-2517 (cell)

Fleur Paysour   
(202) 633-4761

Chanel Williams 
(202) 633-0282

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