While researching how museums are engaging young professionals I stumbled across this web page: http://www.meetup.com/Los-Angeles-Curiosity-Seekers-Museums-and-More/
Organized by a young professional in L.A., this is an example of young professionals are creating their own opportunities to socialize at museums. Members can suggest Meetups at different L.A. museums and then experience different exhibits and educational programs together. Past Meetups for this group have included time for discussion of the exhibits, dance lessons and visits to exhibits that require hands-on participation. According to the group’s Meetup page, the next event is a special invitation to the Santa Monica Museum of Art for a private tour and gift shop discount.
According to the Meetup website, “Meetup’s mission is to revitalize local community and help people around the world self-organize.” There is a monthly fee for organizing a Meetup, around $12 dollars a month, which, unless this cost is split between members, can add up to a significant yearly commitment. If this cost is split among members though, Meetup could be a great option to explore museums and network without the price tag of a young benefactor program and opens up programming opportunities at all the local museums.
This is an interesting example of how young professionals are interested in visiting and socializing at museums. If you do a search for museum groups on the Meetup home page you’ll find museum groups in most major cities. If museums like the Santa Monica Museum of Art reach out to these groups by offering special tours and savings it could be another way for museums to forge a connection with this demographic.