Looking for a unique holiday gift that broadens the world of the recipient and also supports the arts? Consider giving the gift of membership to one of Penn’s arts organizations or the University’s public radio station.
Memberships come with plenty of opportunities to see, listen and learn. All of the organizations offer exclusive members-only benefits, including perks such as admittance to special lectures, events and libraries, as well as discounts at gift shops and regional arts events.
Although general admission to museums such as the Arthur Ross Gallery (ARG) and the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) is free, membership offers greater access to the galleries and their resources. ICA and ARG members also can attend special lecture programs and meet-the-artist events.
“There are opportunities [for members] to learn more about what is happening in contemporary culture around the globe, while it is happening,” says Marily Pollick, director of development at the ICA.
Members of the Kelly Writers House (KWH) help support the organization in presenting nearly 300 annual events. The Writers House hosts a wide range of programs, including writing seminars, poetry readings, film screenings, lectures, workshops, art exhibits and musical performances. Events at KWH have featured many accomplished alumni, such as author and former Philadelphia Phillie Doug Glanville and journalist/author Buzz Bissinger, speaking about their writing experiences.
Penn’s Morris Arboretum offers members access to a 92-acre Victorian landscape garden of flowers and foliage. It is home to some of Philadelphia’s rarest and most spectacular trees. Members are permitted to attend special events, such as horticultural talks, the annual Fall Festival, the Arbor Day celebration and the Japanese Cherry Blossom Festival. Arboretum members also receive reciprocal admission privileges to other gardens and arboreta through the American Horticultural Society.
Membership at the Penn Museum opens the door to a wide world of exhibitions and educational programs, advancing the understanding of cultures around the globe. Visitors can view spectacular artifacts, including the massive granite Sphinx in the Egyptian Gallery, mummies and the majestic Chinese Rotunda. Museum members receive free admission for one year, invitations to exclusive events and exhibition openings, and discounts to the Museum store and café.
WXPN, Penn’s member-supported public radio station, is the place to tune in to hear music by independent and emerging artists. XPN’s membership packages offer many perks, including advance notice of its Friday Free at Noon concerts and discount tickets for other musical performances.
Originally published on December 9, 2010