Megan McNeely

Megan McNeely

At Benefit v.15, Win Back the City with our annual silent art auction and fundraiser.

Experience your city in previously unexplored ways by engaging with networking and community groups at Young Professionals Night on Friday, February 6. Young Friends of the PMA is just one of 24 groups that will be joining InLiquid to talk about the importance of getting engaged, and staying invested, in Philadelphia’s cultural institutions. Megan McNeely, Manager of Young Friends and Member Programs at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, talks about the benefits of joining a young friends’ group in an interview below.

Can you tell me about Young Friends of the PMA?

Designed for the area’s most culturally engaged young professionals, the Young Friends program offers captivating events with curators and local artists, art-inspired excursions, and interactive social events designed to spark a lifelong love affair with art.

Each June, the Young Friends Executive Board awards grants that support important Museum activities, including acquisitions of new art, conservation of our collection, and educational programming. These grants are the result of the funds raised through Young Friends programs and events—including the annual Fall into Art and Winter Gala fundraisers—and Young Friends membership contributions. In addition, The Young Friends Fund, an endowment established in 2006, provides support to the Museum in perpetuity.

What benefits does Young Friends offer a young professional?

· Invitations to specially designed programs, including opportunities to meet and learn from local artists, museum curators, staff, and leadership
· Discounts on ticketed events, including the annual Fall into Art, Holiday Party, and Winter Gala
· Networking and social opportunities to mingle with other young artists, donors, and professionals
· Philanthropic investment in one of the largest and most renowned museums in the country

Fall event last September for Young Friends of the PMA

Fall event last September for Young Friends of the PMA

Do you have any exciting upcoming events?

The Young Friends of the Philadelphia Museum of Art will host their annual black-tie Winter Gala the evening of Saturday, February 21, 2015. Guests will enjoy art, music, and culture in the magnificent setting of the Museum’s Great Stair Hall. They will be among the first to view Ink and Gold: Art of the Kano and experience what it was like to visit an elite Japanese residence in the 16th and 17th centuries. The evening will include live entertainment by Japanese drum group Kyo Daiko and DJ DeeJay, Asian cuisine prepared by renowned Starr Restaurants Catering Group, an open bar with hand-crafted cocktails, and a raffle with silent auction.

Event proceeds benefit the Young Friends’ mission to support art acquisitions, education, conservation, and special projects at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

How can being a member of a young professionals group help someone learn to navigate their city better?

Young professionals groups are a gateway into one specific area of interest. It typically is an easy place to start if you are new to a location or a recent graduate looking to network. Once engaged members start creating spider webs of connections all over Philadelphia that lead them to new people and experiences.

Is there a value to young professionals participating in the arts economy, and becoming collectors themselves?

Of course, hopefully today’s young art enthusiasts and collectors will be tomorrow’s philanthropic donors and trustees. The goal is to engage this group in a lifelong relationship at an early age.

The Young Friends group supports the art museum with events like the Fall into Art event. Do you think it’s important for young professionals to take ownership of the cultural institutions within their city?

Yes! The support, energy, and enthusiasm that young professionals bring to Philadelphia institutions helps to ensure a robust groups of cultural philanthropists in this region. Their active involvement is a constant reminder that this community is passionate about the arts.

What are you looking forward to most about this year’s Young Professionals Night?

These groups come together to increase public interest in different initiatives and provide a unique opportunity for audiences of various ages and backgrounds to take an active role in Philadelphia’s future.

Meet, mingle, and network with Young Friends of the PMA and other young professionals groups at Young Professionals Night on Friday, February 6, or join us at Benefit v.15 on Saturday, February 7. Click here to purchase tickets at the advance price.

Justin Rubich

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