On Saturday, September 29, 2012, the Mattatuck Museum will open its doors free of charge along with over 1,400 other participating venues for the eighth annual Museum Day Live! This immensely successful program, in which the Mattatuck Museum will emulate the free admission policy of the Smithsonian Institution’s Washington, D.C.-based facilities, encourages learning and the spread of knowledge nationwide.

Inclusive by design, Museum Day Live! fulfills Smithsonian Media’s mission to make cultural education accessible to everyone. For one day only, the Mattatuck Museum will grant free access to visitors who download a Museum Day Live! ticket at Smithsonian.com. Last year’s event drew over 350,000 museum-goers, and this year’s Museum Day Live! is expected to attract close to 400,000 participants.

“The Mattatuck is looking forward to participating in Museum Day Live! We are happy to provide an opportunity for our community to experience the arts and local history through our museum at no charge,” says Bob Burns, Director of the Mattatuck Museum. “It is a great way to introduce new patrons to what the museum and Waterbury have to offer.”

The Mattatuck Museum features art galleries that house a permanent collection of work by American artists from the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. Experience a range and diversity of the art of America as it evolves over 160 years and moves toward groundbreaking vision of artists from the 20th century. On the first floor visit a dynamic, regional history exhibit designed to engage audiences of all ages with interactive displays, oral histories, historic movie clips, and a Conversations Table – one of only four in the United States.

Also not to be missed is the Art for Everyone: The Federal Art Project in Connecticut exhibition on display in the Whittemore Gallery through February 5, 2013. In 1935 President Franklin D. Roosevelt created the Works Progress Administration (WPA), a relief program to put people back to work. The WPA initiated Federal Projects in the fields of writing, theater, dance and art. This exhibition examines a collection produced for the Federal Art Project in Connecticut where 173 artists made works that were then allocated to public buildings such as hospitals, schools and libraries. Ralph Boyer, Beatrice Cuming, James Daugherty, George Marinko, Spencer Baird Nichols, Joseph Schork and Cornelia Vetter are among the artists represented in this exhibit of more than 80 works. This exhibition is supported by the Connecticut Humanities Council, Connecticut Community Foundation and Connecticut State Library.

The Museum Day Live! Ticket will be available to download beginning in August at Smithsonian.com/museumday. Visitors who present the Museum Day Live! Ticket will gain free entrance for two at participating venues for one day only. One ticket is permitted per household, per email address. For more information about Museum Day Live! 2012 and a list of participating museums and cultural institutions, please visit Smithsonian.com/museumday. 

Visit www.MattatuckMuseum.org or call (203) 753-0381 for more information on all of the museum’s adult and children’s programs, events and exhibits. The Mattatuck Museum is operated with support from the Department of Economic and Community Development/Connecticut Office of the Arts, and is a member of the Connecticut Art Trail, a group of sixteen world-class museums and historic sites (www.arttrail.org). Located at 144 West Main Street, Waterbury, the museum is open Tuesday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday noon to 5 p.m. Free parking is located behind the building on Park Place.

About Smithsonian Media
Smithsonian Media comprises of its flagship publication, Smithsonian magazine, as well as Air & Space, goSmithsonian, Smithsonian Media Digital Network, and the Smithsonian Channel. Smithsonian Media is a division of Smithsonian Enterprises, the revenue-generating business unit of the Smithsonian Institution. The Smithsonian Institution is the world’s largest museum and research complex consisting of 19 museums and galleries, the National Zoological Park and nine research facilities. Approximately 30 million people from around the world visit the museums annually.