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Curate Your Own Membership: A New Approach to Museum Membership at the Whitney
An unidentified woman is shown viewing art at the Whitney Biennial at the Whitney Museum in New York. AP Photo/Sara Rose.

NEW YORK, NY.- Starting this week, the Whitney Museum of American Art is offering a unique, personalized way to become a member of the Museum with its innovative Curate Your Own Membership program. The Museum is inviting new members to custom design their membership, choosing from five series with exclusive benefits, only available at the Whitney.

"To our knowledge, the Whitney is the first museum to offer its members a chance to personalize their way of belonging to the institution," says Kristen Shepherd Denner, the Whitney’s Director of Membership & Annual Fund. "Museum memberships are generally centered on demographics—seniors, students, couples, and so on. By tapping into each individual’s core values and allowing them to customize their benefits, we hope to deliver a bespoke membership that is meaningful to them personally and responds directly to their interests and needs. Our goal is to give members a richer, more rewarding experience at the Whitney and communicate with them in a more relevant way. We want their relationship with us to grow—and by extension, their support of the arts in their community."

The Whitney's Membership Department created the Curate Your Own Membership program by learning about members and visitors in focus groups and surveys. "We found," says Denner, "that members fell into clusters that represent different ways to experience art and museums. Some members want more social events and to meet like-minded people at our fantastic openings; others wanted us to develop benefits that responded to their desire to have individual engagement with the art, or to learn more about the curatorial process. We developed our five benefit series to reach these clusters and fulfill needs not typically met by museum memberships."

In addition to enjoying Core Benefits—unlimited free admission, special discounts, and exhibition previews—Curate Your Own members can select from the following series: Social, Insider, Learning, Family, and Philanthropy. One series is included with an $85 Individual or $125 Dual membership. Additional series can be purchased for $40.

Curate Your Own Membership Series and Benefits:

Social Series
For mingling with like-minded individuals at cultural events

• Four passes to the summer opening cocktail reception for the Whitney’s newest exhibitions and Museum guest passes to share with friends and colleagues

• Invitations to an annual champagne reception in the Trustee Boardroom and ongoing invitations to cultural events throughout NYC

Insider Series
For curatorial insights and behind-the-scenes opportunities

• Invitation to a behind-the-scenes tour of the Whitney, including access to normally restricted areas

• Exclusive presentations by our curatorial staff and recommendations from curators and art insiders about cultural activities in NYC

Learning Series
For interactive, educational experiences and to learn more about contemporary art

• Invitations to two three-part lecture series examining key issues in contemporary American art and to gallery talks led by art historians

• Educational packets for all major exhibitions and advance notice with preferred registration for Whitney lectures, symposia, panels, and other thought-provoking events

Family Series
For engaging art experiences with the whole family

• A Whitney Kids Passport, which is stamped on each visit, as well as kids' membership cards

• Complimentary guest passes for family caregivers and kids' activity guides for major exhibitions

• Free admission to family programs, including Whitney Wees, and over 50% off Stroller Tours, for kid-friendly access to exhibitions when the Museum is closed to the public

Philanthropy Series
For those who believe in the civic benefit of art; majority of membership gift supports Museum philanthropically

• Enjoy Core Benefits including free admission and discounts while allowing more of your membership contribution to support the Whitney

Curate Your Own Membership Pricing:
$85 Core Benefits for one, plus one series
$125 Core Benefits for two, plus one series
Additional series can be added for $40 each

To Curate Your Own Membership and for more information, please contact the Whitney Membership office at or (212) 570-3641.

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