It was about 4:30pm on Saturday when Shelley called me. Interestingly enough, I was here at the Museum giving a talk to our Student Guides on Membership and leading a group from my college’s alumni association through our Caillebotte exhibition. Now, if you know Shelley you won’t be surprised to hear that she has no problem calling anyone she works with anytime, including nights and weekends. This time, she was calling to say that something crazy was happening. “A support revolution is getting started online,” she said. Sure enough, she was right.
Friday was an up and down day here at the Museum and on Saturday afternoon, 1stfan Member Nina Simon seized the moment when delivering her closing plenary at the Museums and the Web conference by encouraging anyone who cared about the Brooklyn Museum to join as a Member. Roughly around the same time, New Curator put out a similar call to action.
Then, 1stfans and colleagues from other institutions lit up twitter with the same message. Within hours, 21 people had signed up for 1stfans Membership, many of them from around the world. In New Zealand, Courtney Johnson joined and wrote a spectacular blog post in which she volunteered to buy 1stfans Memberships for four people who would comment on her post or would pass it along to others.
In tough times, I find that Members often can help the Museum with the important work that needs to be done. Not only do they contribute much-needed financial support, but they bring friends when they visit, they shop at the Museum and share their experiences in a variety of ways. This weekend was no exception, but the support generated online was so swift and heartfelt, that it took us by total surprise. We continue to be extremely grateful for the support of every one of our members: thank you all.
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.