Member Spotlight: Brenda Hairston

What made you decide to become a Member of the Akron Art Museum?
Although I had visited the galleries and gift shop over the past 30 years, those visits were usually during Downtown@Dusk, or a recommended exhibition. One day I picked up a copy of the museum’s VIEW magazine, and I was amazed at the number of programs and variety of activities that are offered at the Akron Art Museum.

I became a member and joined Moving Connections, a self-care class held in the galleries and led by members of Verb Ballets. Their goal? To improve and maintain our strength, posture, balance, coordination and flexibility. We had fun in the process and left with knowledge of the artists and the artworks surrounding us in the galleries.

The museum has activities for all ages that can enhance the whole person. They have developed partnerships with local organizations that help support our community.

Brenda Hairston, 2017. Photography by Shane Wynn
What benefit of membership do you appreciate the most and why?
An early peek into the season’s offerings. I note my calendar as not to miss one-time events like artist talks, artist demonstrations, or community forums. Membership offers special programs and previews to exhibitions, events and gallery tours. I also like the flexibility of browsing the galleries at my leisure.

"The museum has activities for all ages that can enhance the whole person. They have developed partnerships with local organizations that help support our community."

How has the Akron Art Museum impacted you?
Each year from June to August, the summer concert series, Downtown@Dusk becomes a musical reunion of sorts. It comes complete with a park-like setting, good food and beverage choices and the festive greetings of many music lovers. Some of which I may only see at this annual event, and others who have become long-time friends. Downtown@Dusk has become a summer tradition for many years, and I always look forward to it.

Another event that impacted me personally was the Empty Bowls Project. This was a fundraising event that benefited The Good Samaritan Hunger Center. Beautifully handmade bowls made by local artists’ Claudia and Michael Zeber-Martell were filled with soup and served by local restaurants and caterers. It was truly an artful and heartfelt outreach collaboration that connected individuals with the broader community.

Are there particular works of art in the collection or current/past exhibitions that are special to you? Which ones and why? 
The national tour of Gravity and Grace: Monumental Works by El Anatsui was organized by the Akron Art Museum, and was presented as part of the museum’s 90th anniversary celebration. His works are an example of what an artist can do with common discarded materials. It was a stunning exhibition! 

InsidelOut is a new favorite of mine! The outdoor project shows what happens when the museum, community organizers and neighborhoods engage with one another. During InsidelOut, several communities throughout the greater Akron area gain the opportunity to become galleries and host 40 art reproductions from the museum’s collection. Media promotions heighten the fun, and challenge members from the community to visit each work. It is a wonderful experience having art sprinkled throughout our neighborhoods.

Do you have a story or memory that you would like to share about the Akron Art Museum?
Oh yes, and I jockeyed through the crowd for the best view! It goes back to the 90th anniversary celebration when featured artist Al Bright captured and engaged a large festive audience as he painted, very rhythmically, to a live jazz trio performance of the Jessie Dandy Trio. Bright reminded us that day that art is in everyone, and has been part of us since we were scribbling toddlers.

Personal Memberships

Culture Club

$375 $500
All Modern Contemporaries member benefits plus exclusive access to art tours, discussions with renowned artists, curators, collectors and guest lecturers, and invitations to exclusive Culture Club events

Culture Club

$375 $500

All Art Advocate membership benefits, including:

  • Unlimited free admission to the galleries
  • Complimentary parking
  • 10% discounts in the museum shop and café
  • Half-off guest admission tickets
  • Access to exclusive art experiences, Members-Only exhibition preview events and programs, as well as free children's and family educational programs
  • Reciprocal membership privileges at 13 Ohio art museums, 90 museums across North America and 40 world-class U.S. contemporary art museums
  • Eight guest admission passes
  • Exclusive access to art tours, discussions with renowned artists, curators, collectors and guest lecturers, and invitations to exclusive Culture Club events

Modern Contemporaries

$187.50 $250
All Art Advocate member benefits plus access to unique events and opportunities to experience modern and contemporary art in a social setting with friends and other young professionals

Modern Contemporaries

$187.50 $250

A special membership level designed for young professionals

All Art Advocate membership benefits, including:

  • Unlimited free admission to the galleries
  • Complimentary parking 
  • 10% discounts in the museum shop and café
  • Half-off guest admission tickets
  • Access to exclusive art experiences, Members-Only exhibition preview events and programs, as well as free children's and family educational programs
  • Reciprocal membership privileges at 13 Ohio art museums, 90 museums across North America and 40 world-class U.S. contemporary art museums
  • Four guest admission passes
  • Access to unique events and opportunities to experience modern and contemporary art in a social setting 

Art Advocate

$112.50 $150
Access to exclusive art experiences, Members-Only exhibition preview events and programs, as well as free children's and family educational programs

Art Advocate

$112.50 $150

All Art House membership benefits, including:

  • Unlimited free admission to the galleries
  • Complimentary parking 
  • 10% discounts in the museum shop and café
  • Half-off guest admission tickets
  • Access to exclusive art experiences, Members-Only exhibition preview events and programs, as well as free children's and family educational programs
  • Reciprocal membership privileges at 13 Ohio art museums, 90 museums across North America and 40 world-class U.S. contemporary art museums

Art House – Families

$56.25 $75
Access to exclusive art experiences, Members-Only exhibition preview events and programs, as well as free children's and family educational programs

Art House – Families

$56.25 $75

The following benefits for two adults, and children under 18 years of age, living at the same residence: 

  • Unlimited free admission to the galleries
  • Complimentary parking 
  • 10% discounts in the museum shop and café
  • Half-off guest admission tickets
  • Access to exclusive art experiences, Members-Only exhibition preview events and programs, as well as free children's and family educational programs

Art Enthusiast – Individual

$37.50 $50
Access to exclusive art experiences, Members-Only exhibition preview events and programs, as well as free children's and family educational programs

Art Enthusiast – Individual

$37.50 $50
  • Unlimited free admission to the galleries 
  • Complimentary parking 
  • 10% discounts in the museum shop and café
  • Half-off guest admission tickets
  • Access to exclusive art experiences, Members-Only exhibition preview events and programs, as well as free children's and family educational programs

Business Memberships

Art Works Business Member (500+ employees)

$5000
Free admission, facility rental, recognition in publications, discounts, and more.

Art Works Business Member (500+ employees)

$5000
  • Free admission for employees
  • Invitations to your CEO to our special Director’s Circle and Member only events
  • Listing on the museum’s website
  • Recognition in the museum’s quarterly publication for one year
  • Opportunity for a “Company Day” at the Akron Art Museum**
  • Discount for employees to upgrade to family memberships
  • A 25% discount on any facility rental at the Akron Art Museum*
  • 10% discount for employees in the café and museum shop
*“Company Day” is during regular Akron Art Museum gallery hours. Additional costs may apply.
**Discounted or free facility rental is for event space only. Additional costs may apply. This benefit applies to a corporate event only and is non-transferable.

Art Works Business Member (100-499 employees)

$2500
Free admission, recognition in publications, discounts in the shop and cafe, and more.

Art Works Business Member (100-499 employees)

$2500
  • Free admission for employees
  • Invitations to your CEO to our special Director’s Circle and Member only events
  • Recognition in the museum’s quarterly publication for one year
  • Listing on the museum’s website
  • Opportunity for a “Company Day” at the Akron Art Museum**
  • Discount for employees to upgrade to family memberships
  • A 25% discount on any facility rental at the Akron Art Museum*
  • 10% discount for employees in the café and museum shop

*Discounted facility rental is for event space only. Additional costs may apply. This benefit applies to a corporate event only and is non-transferable.
**“Company Day” is during regular Akron Art Museum hours. Additional costs may apply.

Art Works Business Member (50-99 employees)

$1000
Free admission, recognition in publications, discounts in the shop and cafe, and more.

Art Works Business Member (50-99 employees)

$1000
  • Free admission for employees
  • Invitations to your CEO to our special Director’s Circle and Member only events
  • Recognition in the museum’s quarterly publication for one year
  • Listing on the museum’s website
  • Opportunity for a “Company Day” at the Akron Art Museum**
  • Discount for employees to upgrade to family memberships
  • A 25% discount on any facility rental at the Akron Art Museum*
  • 10% discount for employees in the café and museum shop

*Discounted facility rental is for event space only. Additional costs may apply. This benefit applies to a corporate event only and is non-transferable.
**“Company Day” is during regular Akron Art Museum hours. Additional costs may apply.

Art Works Business Member (2 - 49 employees)

$500
Free admission, discounts in the shop and cafe, and more.

Art Works Business Member (2 - 49 employees)

$500
  • Free admission for employees
  • Recognition in the museum’s quarterly publication for one year
  • Listing on the museum’s website
  • Opportunity for a “Company Day” at the Akron Art Museum**
  • Discount for employees to upgrade to family memberships
  • A 25% discount on any facility rental at the Akron Art Museum*
  • 10% discount for employees in the café and museum shop

*Discounted facility rental is for event space only. Additional costs may apply. This benefit applies to a corporate event only and is non-transferable.
**“Company Day” is during regular Akron Art Museum hours. Additional costs may apply.

Director's Circle

Director's Circle Crystal

$7500 $10000
All Director's Circle Platinum member benefits plus champagne VIP tour of exhibition for eight with the John S. Knight Director and CEO or a museum Curator

Director's Circle Crystal

$7500 $10000
  • Unlimited admission to the collection and all exhibitions galleries for one year
  • Invitations to exhibition preview events
  • Discounts in the museum store and on educational workshops, lectures and programs
  • Invitation to exclusive Members Only events such as day trips, family events, weekend art getaways, behind-the-scenes tours and wine tastings
  • Subscription to the museum’s quarterly magazine
  • Complimentary parking
  • Tax deduction in accordance with IRS regulations
  • Reciprocal membership privileges at 13 Ohio art museums, 90 museums across North America and 40 world-class U.S. contemporary art museums
  • Champagne VIP tour of exhibition for eight with Director or Curator
  • All exhibition catalogs (three to four per year)
  • Ten guest admission passes

Director's Circle Platinum

$3750 $5000
All Director's Circle Gold member benefits plus invitation for two to an event at the John S. Knight Director and CEO's home

Director's Circle Platinum

$3750 $5000
  • Unlimited admission to the collection and all exhibitions galleries for one year
  • Invitations to exhibition preview events
  • Discounts in the museum store and on educational workshops, lectures and programs
  • Invitation to exclusive Members Only events such as day trips, family events, weekend art getaways, behind-the-scenes tours and wine tastings
  • Subscription to the museum’s quarterly magazine
  • Complimentary parking 
  • Tax deduction in accordance with IRS regulations
  • Reciprocal membership privileges at 13 Ohio art museums, 90 museums across North America and 40 world-class U.S. contemporary art museums
  • Invitation for two to an event at the Director’s home
  • Choice of one exhibition catalog per year
  • Six guest admission passes

Director's Circle Gold

$1875 $2500
All Director's Circle Silver member benefits plus private lunch for two with the John S. Knight Director and CEO upon request

Director's Circle Gold

$1875 $2500
  • Unlimited admission to the collection and all exhibitions galleries for one year
  • Invitations to exhibition preview events
  • Discounts in the museum store and on educational workshops, lectures and programs
  • Invitation to exclusive Members Only events such as day trips, family events, weekend art getaways, behind-the-scenes tours and wine tastings
  • Subscription to the museum’s quarterly magazine
  • Complimentary parking 
  • Tax deduction in accordance with IRS regulations
  • Reciprocal membership privileges at 13 Ohio art museums, 90 museums across North America and 40 world-class U.S. contemporary art museums
  • Private lunch for two with the Director upon request
  • Private docent tour for up to eight
  • Six guest admission passes

Director's Circle Silver

$1125 $1500
All Director's Circle member benefits plus one complimentary one-year dual/household level gift membership (designate a new recipient each year)

Director's Circle Silver

$1125 $1500
  • Unlimited admission to the collection and all exhibitions galleries for one year
  • Invitations to exhibition preview events
  • Discounts in the museum store and on educational workshops, lectures and programs
  • Invitation to exclusive Members Only events such as day trips, family events, weekend art getaways, behind-the-scenes tours and wine tastings
  • Subscription to the museum’s quarterly magazine
  • Complimentary parking 
  • Tax deduction in accordance with IRS regulations
  • Reciprocal membership privileges at 13 Ohio art museums, 90 museums across North America and 40 world-class U.S. contemporary art museums
  • One complimentary one-year dual/household level gift membership (designate a new recipient each year)
  • Six guest admission passes

Director's Circle

$750 $1000
Invitations to special preview dinners of exhibitions and opportunities for tours and travel with the John S. Knight Director and CEO

Director's Circle

$750 $1000
  • Unlimited admission to the collection and all exhibitions galleries for one year
  • Invitations to exhibition preview events
  • Discounts in the museum store and on educational workshops, lectures and programs
  • Invitation to exclusive Members Only events such as day trips, family events, weekend art getaways, behind-the-scenes tours and wine tastings
  • Subscription to the museum’s quarterly magazine
  • Complimentary parking 
  • Tax deduction in accordance with IRS regulations
  • Reciprocal membership privileges at 13 Ohio art museums, 90 museums across North America and 40 world-class U.S. contemporary art museums
  • Invitations to special preview dinners of exhibitions and opportunities for tours and travel with the Director
  • Private shopping day at the museum store in conjunction with Director’s Reception
  • Complimentary copy of a newly published museum catalog/book