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Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art to launch its membership program during Independence Day weekend festivities

BENTONVILLE, Ark., June 17, 2011
Baseball, hot dogs and… art? Although this combination may seem unusual, bring together America’s birthday, Bentonville’s legendary First Friday celebration and Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art (inching ever closer toward its scheduled 11-11-11 opening), and there is even more reason to celebrate this year during the July 4th weekend.

“As the region’s excitement about Crystal Bridges continues to escalate, one of the most frequent questions I am asked is ‘When can we join?'” said Don Bacigalupi, Crystal Bridges executive director. “And finally, the answer is now. What better time to launch the membership program for this great new American art museum than on this great American holiday?”

From July 1-4, Crystal Bridges will be participating in several events throughout the region, all designed to engage the community, while offering the prestige of being among the inaugural members of the museum. With 10 levels of membership ranging from a $35 student and $75 dual/family to the Benefactor Circle, it’s easy for everyone to get involved. The weekend activities include:

  • Friday, July 1: Two membership tents will be set up on the Square during the Bentonville First Friday events, with Crystal Bridges staff and volunteers encouraging guests to be among the first to purchase memberships. Crystal Bridges is also the sponsor of all of the July First Friday festivities.
  • Saturday, July 2: Crystal Bridges will host membership tents at four Farmers Markets throughout the region – Fayetteville, Rogers, Bentonville and Springdale – to help engage the region. From 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Bentonville market, Crystal Bridges director of culinary services Case Dighero will lead a cooking demonstration and provide delicacies throughout the day. Festivities (and membership opportunities) will be featured at the amphitheater, near James Turrell’s Skyspace by the Crystal Bridges Trail, from 5 – 9:30 p.m. This will be the grand opening of the Skyspace experience and the Art Trail, and a wonderful opportunity for families and friends to gather. Light musical entertainment will be provided.
  • Monday, July 4: Crystal Bridges will participate in Bentonville’s premier Fourth of July fireworks event with a membership tent at the Orchards Park amphitheatre. Museum staff will be available to answer questions and facilitate membership sign-ups.

Aside from being among the first to show support for the region’s newest asset, additional membership incentives for the Museum’s “Original Members” (which encompasses the first 3,000 commitments regardless of donor level) include an invitation to a member preview event just prior to the opening and a special membership card featuring Asher B. Durand’s Kindred Spirits. Additionally, members will enjoy special level-specific experience benefits such as exhibition previews, complimentary publications, conversations with curators and directors as well as private tours.

“Our membership levels are designed to appeal to multiple audiences, from students to young professionals and families to established art aficionados,” said Kathryn Roberts, director of member and guest services. “We’ve taken great strides to make sure there’s a level of involvement for everyone. We can’t wait to get out and share Crystal Bridges with our community.”