It seems like museum professionals everywhere are buzzing about that elusive 20-something to 30-something demographic. Who are they? Where are they? What do they want in a cultural experience? How can we connect with them so that they can help us more fully realize the enormous social and intellectual potential of our organizations?
At the Maltz Museum, we decided to stop asking and start doing. We gathered members of our staff and community for a brainstorming session. As we looked to existing young professional organizations for inspiration, we quickly realized that groups are popping up across Northeast Ohio. (According to Engage! Cleveland there are at least 60, with M-Cubed bringing the total to 61.)
We had to think critically about what our group could offer. How could we capture the essence of the Maltz Museum and translate it into an engaging experience for Cleveland-area millennials?
We decided that one important element was a commitment to inclusivity. This is a museum of Jewish heritage, yes, but it is also the museum of diversity and tolerance. We want to bring together a wide array of people of all backgrounds, connected by a common commitment to the museum’s core values.
Heather Johnson, Development Manager at the museum and M-Cubed member, explains, “I’m not Jewish but I love what the Maltz Museum stands for. Being part of M-Cubed connects me to a group of other young people looking to make a difference and end discrimination in all its forms.”
Ben Sattin, Moishe House resident and M-Cubed member hopes the group broadens the Museum’s reach. “I’ve always enjoyed learning about Jewish history,” he says. “The Maltz Museum has a fascinating permanent exhibition and brings in exciting temporary exhibits, but it’s a resource that I think is underutilized by people my age. I’m excited about M-Cubed because I hope it will bring together like-minded young people who will be able to build bonds over a shared appreciation of all the Museum has to offer.”
With this philosophy in mind, we decided that our events should be substantial as well as entertaining. We know young professionals like to party, but we also understand they’re so busy that when they commit to attending an event, they want the experience to be meaningful. We hope to combine both fun and meaning when we host the exhibition opening party for Yael Bartana: Inferno, Uma Pequena Festa (Thursday, July 17 at 6:30pm), so look for us there! If you’d like to get involved before then, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or give me a call at 216.593.0587. You can also like our Facebook page to make sure you’re updated on future developments.
Oh, and that name? It reflects our tagline (Meet. Mingle. Maltz), but is open to a wide variety of interpretive possibilities. We are the Maltz Museum multiplied by the power of M, and what that M stands for (millennials, modernity, mindfulness, motivation, momentum . . . ?) is ultimately for the group to decide as we continue to evolve together. — Laura Steefel-Moore