Working in Membership means my job is to get people excited about and involved with the Museum. In that way, my job is just as much community-builder as it is fundraiser. Though our Membership base is sizable and diverse, I’ve always felt that there is a large group of Brooklyn Museum visitors that would like to be more involved with the Museum but do not view the traditional Membership structure and benefits as appealing. I wouldn’t be following the Museum’s mission if I didn’t make an effort to reach out to this group. The bottom-line part of my job (monthly income goals, budget projections, cost/benefit analysis) is important, but not as important—or as fun, I might add—as growing our Museum community and making personal connections with our Members. It is with the Museum’s community in mind that we are pleased to introduce a new Membership program at the Brooklyn Museum: 1stfans.
What is 1stfans? a 1stfans Membership is an interactive relationship with the Museum that will happen in the building and online. We call it a “socially networked” Museum Membership, but what does that mean? The word has two meanings, which is why we picked it: it means developing face-to-face relationship with Museum staff and other Museum Members (literal social networking), and a strong, exclusive online relationship through social networking sites (you know them as Facebook, Flickr, and Twitter).
What do 1stfans get? Firstly (pun intended), exclusive events at monthly Target First Saturdays, where you’ll be able to interact with other 1stfans, Museum staff, and contemporary artists. Oh, and you can skip the ticket line for movies, which is pretty sweet. Secondly (no pun there), we will send updates to 1stfans via Facebook, Flickr, or e-newsletter, whichever you prefer. These will tell you what’s going on at 1stfans events, give you behind-the-scenes insight from Museum staff, and provide you with links to other cool stuff going on in the art world. Finally, 1stfans will be the only ones with access to the Museum’s new Twitter Art Feed, an extremely awesome way of engaging contemporary artists that Shelley will describe in greater detail on this blog soon. All of this for a tax-deductible $20 per-year. Not bad, right?
Who is 1stfans for? You, for one. With 1stfans, people who enjoy the Museum on-site and online now have an appealing (and did I mention inexpensive?) way to join the Museum as Members. If you come to our monthly First Saturdays and want a way to learn more about the Museum while interacting with Museum staff and making new friends, then you’ll enjoy 1stfans. If you like the Museum and have an account on Facebook, Flickr, or Twitter, 1stfans is also for you. Not only will we keep you updated via those sites, but we’ll also provide you with cool content and give you a shoutout when you post your own cool stuff.
1stfans will launch formally at the January Target First Saturday on Saturday, January 3 with help from the artist Swoon (18,000+ Flickr pics here). Swoon’s studio has very generously agreed to do a live printing event for 1stfans Members, so anyone who signs up for 1stfans between now and January 3 can come with their own piece of paper and walk out with a Swoon print. Stay tuned to this blog for details, which will be coming soon.
The artist for the Twitter Art Feed will be announced in the middle of each month for the following month, so keep a close eye on this blog in the next two weeks for the announcement of the January artist. If you’re a fan of contemporary art, you won’t be disappointed….
If you have any questions about 1stfans, please e-mail me.
Will Cary was the Brooklyn Museum's Membership Manager from January 2008 to May 2010. In addition to making sure all Brooklyn Museum Members got the most out of their Membership, he also developed the 1stfans Membership program in order to grow the Museum’s community of supporters. Before joining the Brooklyn Museum in January 2008, Will worked at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute. Will graduated from Williams College with a degree in Art History and Economics. Will now works in Membership at the Portland Museum of Art in Portland, Maine.