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CLEVELAND -- The Cleveland Foundation has revealed its gift to the community for May: Free admission to all four Wade Oval institutions.

On Saturday, May 24, admission is free for the Cleveland Botanical Garden, Cleveland Museum of Natural History, Western Reserve Historical Society and special free programming at the always-free Cleveland Museum of Art.

All four are open from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m.

This comes on the heels of the Cleveland Foundation's free admission day that brought record-breaking attendance to the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo last month. Earlier this year, the Cleveland Foundation also gave free entry to the Great Lakes Science Center and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

"We are pleased that our May centennial gift to the community will make the first-class institutions on Wade Oval available to all Greater Clevelanders," said Robert E. Eckardt, executive vice president of the Cleveland Foundation. "This concentration of cultural institutions is unmatched anywhere in the world. As part of Memorial Day weekend festivities, we invite the community to take advantage of this cultural heart of our city."

Each institution is offering something unique to visitors on Cleveland Foundation Day on Wade Oval, in recognition of the nearly $50 million in collective support the foundation has provided them throughout the past 100 years.

Because the Cleveland Museum of Art always offers free admission, the Cleveland Foundation has made it possible for the museum to offer a special gift on May 24: all available public tickets to the Van Gogh Repetitions exhibition will be free for the first 500 visitors. The special exhibition is scheduled to close on May 25.

Cleveland Botanical Garden will debut its highly anticipated Nature Connects exhibit, which will feature 14 LEGO brick sculptures depicting plants and animals that day as well.

"This will be the first time the Botanical Garden is able to offer free admission on the opening day of a major attraction, and it's thanks to our longtime partner, the Cleveland Foundation," said President Natalie Ronayne. "We celebrate the foundation's generosity to the Garden and the impact its support enables us to achieve in our community."

As part of the Cleveland Foundation gift, free admission to the Cleveland Museum of Natural History will include free entry to Shafran Planetarium for the first time ever.

"The Cleveland Foundation has been a longtime supporter of the Museum, especially our education and science initiatives, and we are honored and delighted to be part of this historic celebration of Cleveland's legendary cultural district on Wade Oval," said Dr. Evalyn Gates, executive director and CEO. "The Cleveland Foundation's gift to the community has allowed us to open a window into the universe through free admission to the Shafran Planetarium, and to invite the community to explore science and nature – past, present and future!"

For Cleveland Foundation Day, the Western Reserve Historical Society has extended its popular Dior & More – For the Love of Fashion exhibit through May 25. WRHS will have curators and experts available in the Crawford Auto Aviation Collection, as well as in other exhibits. Tour guides in the Hay-McKinney House and the Research Library will answer questions from visitors.

On May 24, University Circle Inc. will offer free shuttle service between the Wade Oval institutions and to/from both Louis Stokes VA Medical Center garages (the patient garage on Magnolia Drive and the employee garage on E. 105th Street), which will be free to Cleveland Foundation Day visitors. Traffic will be rerouted in one direction around the Oval to help with flow. Visitors are being encouraged to carpool or take the RTA's HealthLine to the Adelbert Road or Ford Road station. For more information, go to www.rideRTA.com.

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