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Originally published January 31, 2013 at 11:57 AM | Page modified January 31, 2013 at 11:56 AM

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Make your wallet happy with free-entry days at area museums

Free first Friday at Bellevue Arts Museum, free first Thursdays at MOHAI, Northwest African American Museum and more.

Seattle Times staff

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Liven up winter days and spare your budget with free-admission Fridays at Bellevue Arts Museum and next Thursday at many of Seattle’s most popular museums.

Bellevue Arts Museum is free the first Friday of every month, with special Artists Open House activities this Friday celebrating the BAM Biennial 2012 High Fiber Diet fiber media exhibit by 40 contemporary artists. Basket-making, crochet, felting and embroidery are among artist demonstrations throughout the museum, ending with the presentation of the People’s Choice Award for favorite High Fiber Diet artist as voted by museum visitors.

BAM Biennial 2012: High Fiber Diet continues at the museum through Feb. 24. Two other exhibits, “Modern Twist: Contemporary Japanese Bamboo Art” and “Nikki McClure: Cutting Her Own Path, 1996-2012,” end Sunday.

Feb 7 is a free first Thursday at the newest museum in town, MOHAI (Museum of History & Industry), with special programs and activities including guided tours of exhibits “True Northwest: The Seattle Journey,” “Maritime Seattle” and “Celluloid Seattle: A City at The Movies.”

The Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience also is free on first Thursdays. Exhibits and activities at The Wing include the Lunar New Year kickoff Lion Dance and activities Saturday and ongoing tours of the neighborhood, including “Taste of Chinatown” and “Bitter and Sweet Tour,” based on the best-selling book “Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet.”

Northwest African American Museum has free admission the first and second Thursdays of each month. Museum exhibits include Journey Gallery, the history, culture and art of the region’s African-American community in photos, artifacts and narratives, and “Bearing Witness from Another Place: James Baldwin in Turkey Photographs by Sedat Pakay.” Black History Month at NAAM starts Sunday with the Family Film Series showing of “Akeelah and the Bee” and continues through Feb. 24 with the Jam at NAAM in honor of Ernestine Anderson.

Other local museums with free first Thursday admission Feb. 7 include Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture, Seattle Art Museum, Seattle Asian Art Museum and the Museum of Flight; see today’s Datebook for information.

Madeline McKenzie: mmckenzie@seattletimes.com

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