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JentleBiz

13 August 2015 

VALUE of FREE

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In a world where most business entities are forever grabbing at every last dollar in your pocket, it's difficult to take anyone seriously when they use the word "free."  What's the catch, Mr. Salesman?!  Nothing is for free. NOTHING!  Should the word even hold value to the individual consumer anymore?  It's overly used in the classic, repackaged game of bait-and-switch.  Free parking yells the man on the street?  Free for the first 15-minutes.  Free t-shirt smiles a lady in the fashion district?  Only if you buy one, get one free.  No wonder we've learned not to trust the word.

Thankfully, there are a few worthwhile opportunities still available that allow us to embrace the true value of the word.  One of my favorite venues just happens to be open, free of charge, to anyone wishing to embrace the preservation of historic art.  The J. Paul Getty Museum (The Getty) in Los Angeles, California is one of the most beautiful gifts to the community, complete with multiple buildings filled with intricate paintings, treasured sculptures, informative books and loads more.  All talks and tours covering these international collections are provided at no cost, as well.

If you'd like, there are always extra benefits you can purchase, but it's not a requirement to enjoy your experience.  For those seeking a more hands-on experience and willing to financially support various programs, there are several classes offered that teach a "How To" of what you see presented in the museum.  You can draw, paint or sculpt.  There is even a bronze-casting workshop currently being taught.  Or, if you're more of a foodie, I'd suggest the upcoming culinary workshop - Dining in Hellenistic Greece.

I can guarantee you won't have to pay anything in order to experience a high level of engagement with the precious art surrounding you.  If you're anything like me, you'll take a few hours deciding which exhibit is your favorite (it's a hard decision!) and then relax on a bench in that room, allowing yourself to be inspired.  The whole environment encourages visitors to slow down, ceasing the quick-paced behavior of our daily lives - a concept I fully support.  Take a walk around the beautiful grounds, and grab a complementary umbrella if it's a rainy or sunny day.  Make a stop at the cafe for a cookie/coffee break or opt to bring your own meals rather than purchasing something there.  

Thanks to generous financial supporters who have made this possible, the value of free at The Getty is astronomical.  Some people go their whole lives not having an opportunity to witness history in this fashion, but I won't ever stop taking advantage of the facility's close proximity.  It remains community focused on a global level, catering to all including distant travelers, families with children, and large touring groups.  They create programs that appeal to both older and younger generations, so there's an opportunity for everyone to enjoy learning something new.  You no longer have to fly around the world to see world's history.

In hopes of finding similar types of value within a reasonable distance, I began compiling a list of Southern California museums and the days they are open free to the public.  Checkout the list below to see what may interest you, your friends and family.  Visit their individual websites to confirm my listed information and note any additional comments regarding potential parking fees or suggested travel routes.  If you see a museum you'd like added to the list, send me a message through the Contact page, and I'll be happy to check it out.  

Want more information on what The Getty has to offer?  Check out the website and be amazed.  

​Photos by  J. Allen & O. Ueki​​