Under 40 and into the arts? Here’s how to plug in

Under 40 and into the arts? Here’s how to plug in
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Nearly every Charlotte institution dedicated to the arts has a group for young people who want to get involved and support the scene. These affiliate groups generally target 20- to 40-somethings and provide opportunities to network, ways to serve the community and exclusive membership benefits.

Here’s the low-down on 8 groups you should know about — what they are, how much they cost, and why you should join.

Young Affiliates of the Mint

2017 Young Affiliates of the Mint Derby Days. Photo via Facebook

Who: A diverse group of young professionals promoting and supporting the Mint Museum through cultural, social, leadership, and fundraising activities and events.

Mission: To introduce members to the resources available at the Mint, and develop appreciation of the arts through a wide variety of programs including gallery openings, receptions, annual fund-raising events, membership meetings, and after-work educational seminars.

Cost: $25. The fee is added onto your current general Mint membership. See all membership levels here.

Why you should join: Discounted pricing for YA’s larger fundraisers like Fall Ball and Derby Days, and discounts through their partnerships and reciprocal memberships to museums across the country. See all membership benefits here.

Upcoming event: Gendered: An Inclusive Art Show June 16- July 21 at the Mint Museum Uptown.

Become a Member

Club Blume

Club Blume’s last workshop at Coco and the Director. Local artist Ken Knudsten led an interactive class on graphic novels. Photo via Facebook

Who: The Blumenthal Performing Arts’ Affinity Group for 20- and 30-somethings who share an interest in theater and live performances. Blume has about 80 season ticket holders and over 2,000 e-mail club members.

Cost: $0 – no dues, no officers, no membership requirements.

Why you should join:

  • Discounted season tickets with 7 shows included. This upcoming year’s season ticket included Hamilton, which sold out quickly.
  • Exclusive discounts for single tickets to Broadway shows…. nearly 50% off for Orchestra level seats
  • Pre-show receptions with free food and adult beverages
  • Free workshops with local artists and theater experts held at our various theaters (includes complimentary food and adult beverages)

Goals: Club Blume plans to expand their event offerings to include more volunteer opportunities and networking mixers at unique locations in and around Uptown.

Become a member: send your name, address and email address to [email protected]

For more info, check out their Facebook

Bechtler Young Visionaries

Taboo! The Bechtler’ Museum of Modern Art’s 2017 fundraising Gala. Photo via Facebook

Who: A diverse group of young members interested in modern art and modernism. They enjoy exploring the Bechtler collection, socializing with fellow culture-lovers, and creating a community that inspires, informs, and enhances the cultural and intellectual scene in Charlotte. The group has about 50 members.

Mission: BYV membership supports the museum’s collection and its future and makes possible innovative and meaningful outreach programs for children and adults who are not traditionally served by the visual arts sector.

Cost: $35 for an individual and $70 for a couple. The fee is added to any level of Bechtler Museum of Modern Art membership (memberships start at $45).

What they do: Experience visual art in the Charlotte area with a group of contemporaries and contribute to the success of the Bechtler Museum and its mission. Participate in educational and social events, both at the museum and within the greater art community. Events include visits to artists’ studios and galleries, hands-on art making events and an annual fundraising party.

Why you should join: Invitations to BYV events and networking opportunities, free general museum admission, discounted tickets to the BYV Holiday Party and the Bechtler’s annual fundraising gala. See all benefits here

Upcoming event: Saturday, June 24 – take a field trip to Winston-Salem to tour the studio one of the leading glass artists in the world, Jon Kuhn.

Become a member: Purchase a general Bechtler membership here, then email [email protected] to add your BYV membership.

Opera Carolina’s BRAVO! Young Professionals

Photo via Facebook

Who: Variety of young professionals (business professionals, to entrepreneurs, to social media bloggers) who want to explore and enjoy Charlotte’s vibrant performing arts scene. Bravo! has 20-30 active members and over 200 e-mail club members.

Purpose: To help Opera Carolina in showcasing the many faces of opera, including those under 40 years old. They aim to break the stigma of opera.

Cost: $0, no annual membership fee

Why you should join: Besides getting discounts to opera performances, you get to mingle and network. Bravo! hosts pop-up opera events at breweries, opera afterparties every Saturday at Blue Restaurant, and other social events.

Become a member: fill out their online form here

* last year they held a “Tinder Opera,” an opera about the Tinder app, at D9 Brewing Company. Be on the lookout for this year’s kickoff opera- potentially at Lenny Boy Brewing Company.

Young Members of the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Who: Members of the Met between the ages of 21 and 35

Cost: Free, but you must already be a member of the Met (memberships start at $80)

Why you should join: Special events and programs… enjoy rooftop cocktails at the Members Rooftop Bar, celebrate exhibitions alongside fellow Members during the annual Young Members Party, and explore The Met’s renowned collection during MetFridays throughout the year.

Become a member: To join their mailing list, call 212-570-3753 or email [email protected] with your Membership ID number and date of birth.

*And if you’re looking for more exclusive activities and benefits, check out the Met Apollo Circle, an upper level membership group.

ASC’s Young Donor Society (YDS)

What: a donor benefit for individuals age 40 or under. YDS has over 400 members, all of whom are passionate supporters of Charlotte-Mecklenburg’s cultural sector and believe in the Arts and Science Council’s (ASC) vision of “Culture For All.”

Cost: An annual donation of $500 or more to Charlotte’s ASC

Why you should join: Exclusive events and meet-ups throughout the year, unique volunteer opportunities within the Charlotte-Mecklenburg community, leadership recognition of your donation, and a Connect With Culture Card (special discounts & offers to enjoy the cultural community).

Become a member

McColl Center for Art + Innovation Contemporaries


Who: Young professionals with a passion for creativity. Newbies and seasoned art lovers welcome. The group has over 100 members.

What they do: Members bring their curiosity and knowledge (or lack thereof, which is perfectly normal) of contemporary art to the group. Learn from each other, socialize with friends and artists, and have a drink or two while you’re at it.

Cost: Add a Contemporaries membership onto your general membership (ranging from $50-$500). $10 for Individual Contemporaries, $20 for Dual Contemporaries (good for two people).

Why you should join: In addition to general membership benefits, get access to to working artists in residence of McColl Center (Uptown Charlotte’s first and longest-running artist residency program). 

ART+ BEER = the Contemporaries’ 2017 SUMMER SERIES: Their new series pairs alumni artists-in-residence with local breweries. First up on June 27th, Free Range Brewery hosts a showcase of artwork by Janet Lasher, who will be on hand for chat and cheers. More info coming soon at mccollcenter.org.

Become a member

Charlotte Museum of History Young Affiliates Society

Photo via Facebook

Who: Individuals between the ages of 21 and 40 who share a love for Charlotte and its history. The group currently has about 20 members.

Cost: $50/year.

Why you should join: Networking events, professional development programs, historical education programs, and group fellowships. You also get discounts to non-free programs at the museum and discounts to the gift shop.

Their 2017-2018 initiative: YAS is committed to raising up to $100,000 of the $600,000 needed to restore the historic Siloam School (a 1920’s-era school for black children) and relocate it to the grounds of The Charlotte Museum of History, where it will become an important centerpiece in efforts to engage the community in the history of the Charlotte region. Read more here 

Become a member: E-mail [email protected] your contact information.

Additionally, Discovery Place Science and Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Art + Culture host regular events and experiences that target participation from young professionals: Science on the Rocks at Discovery Place Science and Gantt After Dark at the Gantt Center.

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