The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens invited current college students in Los Angeles County to participate in a raffle for a chance to win a one-year free membership last month. Among the winners, 46 Cal Poly Pomona students were chosen.
Each winner received a Sustaining Membership that is valued at $159. Some perks and benefits that come with the membership include one year of free admission for up to two guests, access to member-only events and a discount at the gift shop.
Last year, only 100 memberships were offered, but this year, 500 memberships were offered out of 850 applicants to “expand access,” according to Kalina Cavallero, the membership and visitor services director at The Huntington.
All applicants were asked to answer how they lend their voices, experiences or talents to make a difference in their community — a question stemming from The Huntington’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Strategic Plan.
“The work that we do so closely ties to our community, so we value diverse perspectives and diverse experiences to help us fulfill our mission as a non-profit institution,” said Cavallero. “We wanted to hear from the community as to how their experiences and their voices make a difference.”
Ingrid Zaragoza, a third-year plant science student, came across the giveaway through Instagram. She followed them after she visited The Huntington over a year ago and was impressed by the Jungle Garden. Responding to the application prompt, Zaragoza highlighted her dedication to helping local farms.
“My contribution to the community is working on a research project on campus at the Micro Farm and the Spadra Farm,” said Zaragoza. “I am helping a grad student and, together, we are conducting research on covered crops to help local farmers make an income.”
Miranda Andre, a third-year landscape architecture student, first visited The Huntington as a 15-year-old and remembers the towering bamboo infrastructure in one of the gardens. After her most recent visit, she subscribed to its newsletter where she discovered the giveaway.
“Through my studies, I am learning how to analyze and research different cultures such as groups of people and understand where they stem from,” said Andre. “I am understanding how to plan urban spaces or cities for people with social justice in mind.”
Alondra Delgado, a fourth-year architecture student, visited The Huntington during her first year at CPP. Since then, she has returned with friends and family during free admission days.
“How I lend my voice and experience would be by taking others to experience and to surround them with nature,” Delgado said. “I like to post pictures and videos of when I visit, and I like talking about (The Huntington) to people who have not been.”
Currently, The Huntington’s art galleries and library are not open to the public due to COVID-19, but its 16 themed gardens that span over 120-acres are open to guests. All visitors must pre-purchase and reserve an online admission ticket prior to visiting.
For more information, visit https://www.huntington.org.
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