Donor Tips from a Broke Chick: Night at the Museum

Dear ROM,

Thanks (again). I was excited when I found out about Friday Night Live @ ROM (#FNLROM), I was excited to go, and now I’m excited to go again.

There were two things I would have liked to see differently – more seating would have been nice. Yes, it’s my own fault for wearing heels, but especially since the food options needed two hands and a drink needed a third, more seat and tables would have helped. I was also disappointed you couldn’t scan my smartphone ticket – something I almost expected at such a hip young event.  I guess Starbucks has spoiled me!

But that’s it for complaints. The rest of the evening was outstanding.

Price point? Perfect. I got to try wines I had never had before and upscale comfort food like they have at all those fancy events, but at a much friendlier price point. (Reminder for my readers: Admission is $9 and food and drink range from $2 to $5, paid for in “ROM dollars” which are good for any FNLROM till June 22).

Timing? Perfect. I was able to get some stuff done after work and still arrive before the event was too much underway, got enough time in at the party, and got home in time to catch up on 30 Rock. I noiced the demographic changed throughout the night. I counted myself among the cinq-a-septs (or six-a-neufs, really) and I left shortly after the galleries closed, swinging by for another glass of wine. As I was leaving the crowd was a bit dressier and more up for the party aspect – they weren’t as concerned with browsing the galleries as the food and drink and people watching. So you provided something for everyone, really.

Letting us walk around in the whole museum? Brilliant!  As I work during the day and don’t have children, I get frustrated when museums and galleries close too early for me to get a real visit in after work, or are open later but open at such discounts they’re sure to be packed with families. (Aside for my readers: I don’t hate families! I just don’t want to fight with children for space in the galleries. Sincerely yours, a selfish childless 20-something.)

But, dear ROM, since your event was 19+, there was nary a toddler or teen to be seen. It was only grownups at the museum! At some points I almost felt like I had a gallery entirely to myself. And I felt like a kid again. Oh yeah. We hit up the Bat Cave. We crawled through the fox’s den in the Biodiversity Gallery (even though I was in a dress and heels). You really made me feel the ownership of the museum space that I have missed for, well, a good ten years. And that, that was incredible. That’s how you get the 20-somethings-without-kids to fall back in love with you.

Good friend and man about town Scott Honsberger and I got to complaining about the shortcomings at other events we had attended – drink tickets that were only good for one night, too-long lineups for drink and food, tiny and therefore crowded drinking areas, no quiet areas where you could hear yourself speak, and on and on… It was as if the organizer’s of FNLROM had sat down, listed their gripes about other events, and created an event without any of those shortcomings.

It made for an incredible visitor experience. I even intentionally didn’t go to all the galleries so I had another reason to come back.

And I will. And I will bring more friends.

See you soon!

Hugs and kisses,

Dear readers: who’s coming with me next time?
And dear readers: If you plan on dressing up, leave the heels at home. There’s a lot of space to cover in the ol’ Royal Ontario Museum.
And dear other cultural institutions: more of this please!

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3 thoughts on “Donor Tips from a Broke Chick: Night at the Museum

  1. Pingback: The future of museums (and my 2nd least favourite word) | emmajenkin

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