01/16/2013 04:32 pm ET Updated Jan 16, 2013

Chicago Museum Fee Hikes In The Works For Art Institute, Museum Of Science And Industry

A dose of culture from two of Chicago's most popular museums may soon cost a few bucks more.

In first round approval Wednesday morning, a Chicago Park District committee green-lit price increases for the Art Institute of Chicago and the Museum of Science and Industry amounting to roughly $2 more per entry, reports the Sun-Times.

(See the charts below for proposed museum fee changes.)

"If we didn't have to do it, we wouldn't do it," Art Institute director Douglas Druick said according to the Tribune. "It was felt that this was reasonable, not too onerous and signaled our commitment to the city and to the state by putting more of the burden on out-of-state tourist visitors."

Both museums cite the increased cost of utilities as the reason for upping admission. In the new year, Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced price jumps for non-profits getting a deal on city utilities like water that amounted to a 20 percent increase.

The RedEye notes the Art Institute hasn't touched admission fees for nearly four years; if Wednesday's hike is approved, it would be the museum's third in a decade, while the MSI last upped fees in 2010.

The Art Institute is currently offering free admission to all Illinois residents until Feb. 13. The AIC website says forthcoming free museum days for 2013 will be announced later.

The AIC also hosts free days for Illinois residents every first and second Wednesday of each month, according to Chicago Parent.

A recent survey revealed by the EvansArts at the Music Institute of Chicago and the Civic Center showed more than half of the 579 people surveyed said they patronize some sort of arts event at least once a month.

The increases would go into effect Feb. 1 if the proposed hike gets full board approval.

Art Institute Of Chicago

Museum Of Science And Industry