Just a couple of days ago I cited Millennium Park as an excellent example of the bread and games concept in Chicago. Today, the Washington Post reports that Rep. James P. Moran Jr. suggests the Smithsonian Institution should charge an admission fee, as their buildings are suffering from underfunding.
Charging an admission fee would move the Smithsonian Institution from being a great example of the bread and games concept to being “just” another institution. The bread and games concept is essential to serve audiences that would otherwise never get a chance to experience the art and culture. Institutions like the Smithsonian must be funded properly to be enjoyed by all, if only as a symbol for cultural greatness of a country. Remember to marvel your citizens and your neighbor’s citizens; by charging an admission fee, there will be a lot less citizens to marvel.