Membership benefits of museums participating in the North American Reciprocal Museum Association (NARM): 923 museums offer free admission
When I came up with what I thought was a great idea, a "local resident history pass" ("A proposal for a DCResidentCulturePass in DC"), John Suau, Executive Director of the Historical Society of Washington, pointed out to me that a form of that exists already, through museums and related organizations participating as members of the North American Reciprocal Museum Association (NARM).
Membership in a museum at a certain level--for the Historical Society of Washington it is $100 and above--entitles members to visit other museums and sites across North America for no additional charge.
Just within DC, it means that if you're a member of the HSW, you can also visit:
- Dumbarton House
- Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens
- International Arts & Artists/Hillyer Arts Space
- Jewish Historical Society & Lillian & Albert Small Jewish Museum
- Kreeger Museum
- National Building Museum
- Phillips Collection
- Tudor Place Historic House and Garden
- American University Museum (Katzen Center)
- George Washington University Museum and Textile Museum
Note that it turns out there is a competing organization called ROAM, the Reciprocal Organization of Museums, and some organizations are members of both. So by joining a museum or organization that is a member of both, such as the Hillyer Arts Space or Kreeger Museum, you can expand your options.
There is also the Western Reciprocal Program linking a number of museums from Minneapolis to the West Coast, and the Time Travelers Network, organized by the Missouri History Network, of history museums.
Interestingly, Philadelphia area museums put a 15 mile radius restriction on NARM participation, so that unlike in DC, you can't join one museum and visit others with no additional charge or membership fee.