New York's Finest Young Patrons Organizations: A Field Guide

by DASHA BRIL · March 4, 2009

    [Inside this year's Frick Gala]

    If you ever skim through GofG you're probably aware of the myriad gatherings geared toward the young culturati that go on in New York City to benefit various charitable and artistic causes. What you may be less cognizant of are the groups who organize these events, and how--if at all--you can be a part of them. Whether you're a patron of the arts or just a young professional, membership to most of these groups guarantees access to the insular world of society and a chance to support, um, the arts and stuff (assuming that's why you're interested, right?) That's why we've come up with a list of The Top Organizations in New York For Rising Young Professionals/Collectors (in no particular order) with incentives geared toward young patrons and professionals (most have age requirements of 20-40), and what you need to know about each (including the dent it'll make in your wallet).

    Young Fellows of The Frick Collection:

    The deal: The Young Fellows of the Frick Collection is the first one on our radar as their giant fete was last week and well, why not. With names like Ivanka Trump, Monique Lhuillier and Roger Vivier as the sponsors of this years gala, the Young Fellows of the Frick draw some of New York's most fabulous names.

    What it'll cost you: $500 annually. Visit here for more info.

    Young Associates of Chelsea Art Museum:

    The deal: At a fraction of the cost of some of the other committees on our list, the YA at the Chelsea Art Museum might be a good place to get your feet wet and practice your schmoozing before you start hobnobbing in the big leagues.

    What it'll cost you: A bargain at $150. Visit here for more info.

    Guggenheim Young Collectors Council (YCC):

    The deal: This year's event honored rising artist Ryan McGinley and was hosted by Chloé. Supporters include:Blake Lively, Leelee Sobieski, Claire Bernarnd, Lauren Davis, and Arden Wohl.

    What it'll cost you: $500 annually (more if you want a seat on the Acquisitions Committee and the privilege of voting on acquisitions for the collection). Visit here for more info.

    Whitney Contemporaries:

    The deal: Their annual party is absolutely one of the best for the junior social bunch. This year stars like Christina Ricci, Emma Roberts, Mariah Carey, Becki Newton, Donatella Versace, and Patrick Dempsey walked the red carpet.  The after party is when the real fun begins!

    What it'll cost you: $400 annually, with priority discounted tickets for the Art Party... visit here for more info.

    The New York Junior League:

    The deal: Sorry boys, this one's for the ladies only, ages 16+. This organization of debutantes was created in 1901 in order to help those less fortunate, and membership is on a volunteer basis. In the past year, however, the NYJL's volunteer work (and glitzy social-networking events) were overshadowed by some shady financial worries.

    What it'll cost you: $485 annually, plus a lot of your time. Volunteers are required to attend an orientation meeting and a training program, as well as (obviously) donating your time to various community initiatives. Visit here for info.

    New York Public Library Young Lions:

    The deal: Young literati, this one's for you. The New York Public Library's initiative for young leaders in the humanities, The Young Lions host a number of panels and readings with notable authors, as well as giving out their much-anticipated Fiction Award to the year's best young writers and an annual Benefit Party.

    What it'll cost you: $350, with benefits including access to all of the above. Visit here for info.

    The Apollo Circle at the Metropolitan Museum of Art:

    The deal: Certainly one of the more prestigious committees on our list--OK, so membership to the Met's Apollo Circle won't get you access to the lauded Costume Institute Gala, but discounted tickets to the Apollo Circle Benefit Dance and reservations in the exclusive Trustees Dining Room don't sound half bad.

    What it'll cost you: $1000. Eek. Go here if you're interested.

    The MoMA's Junior Associates:

    The deal: We say, this one's less for party crashers and more for the real art aficionados. Membership to MOMA's JA gives you access to lots of curatorial walk throughs and introductions to collecting.

    What it'll cost you: $700 for individual membership (unless you're already a member of MOMA in which case, less). Go here for info.

    American Ballet Theatre (ABT) Junior Council:

    The deal: For fans of the performing arts, membership to the next two groups guarantees the ability to mingle with like minded lovers of men in tights. ABT's Junior Council members will receive invites to the annual season kickoff party aboard Forbes family's private yacht (oooooh!), entry to exclusive lounges at ABT performances, and discounted tickets to their gala.

    What it'll cost you: $500. Go here and hop to it.

    New York City Ballet Young Patrons:

    The deal: Too few tutus? Take your pick between the ABT Junior Council or the NYCBallet Young Patrons,  or if your pockets are particularly deep, support both. Here's a taste of what membership could get you.

    What it'll cost you: $500. Visit here to check them out.

    UJA Federation of NY:

    The deal: Stick it to Bernie Madoff and contribute your money energy to this organization, young Jewish New Yorkers. The UJA Federation of New York hosts its signature Generosity benefit for 20-to-30 somethings every year--a perfect place to meet a philanthropically inclined Jewish single that your mother would approve of.

    What it'll cost you: Nada, but go here to make a contribution and learn more.