Quick Facts: 

Did You Know? There is a special category for young alumni and art enthusiasts age 30 and under to become acquainted with ICA donor clubs. Joining Leadership Circle Contemporaries gets you all the benefits of participating in Leadership Circle at a level within reach for young professionals.

For more than 50 years The Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) at the University of Pennsylvania has not only hosted some of the most important, challenging, and interesting contemporary artworks in the world, but it’s also partnered with artists during the development of their careers. Thanks to ICA Donor Clubs program, those passionate about contemporary art are able to catch a rare glimpse at the creative process from seed to blossom.

Membership in ICA Donor Clubs includes access to behind-the-scenes adventures in Philadelphia and New York, as well as tips from ICA’s Chief Curator on where to see the latest shows, small group tours of special collections, and experiences at art fairs, such as Art Basel Miami Beach and Frieze New York. But the hallmark of the program is the opportunity to access the private world of the artist’s sanctuary. “It’s a very rare thing to gain access to an artist’s studio, so having a longstanding personal relationship is key,” says Amy Sadao, Daniel W. Dietrich, II Director of the ICA. “Donor Clubs are a great opportunity to see how ICA develops artists and brings their work to a wider audience.”

Guests interact with artists during curator-led excursions, and learn about their processes as they enjoy intimate looks at upcoming exhibitions as they’re being developed. Last season, Donor Club members visited the shared studio of Philadelphia-based artists Becky Suss and Micah Danges. Danges was recently selected for a prestigious Pew Fellowship, and Suss had her first museum solo exhibition at ICA in the fall of 2015. The show was organized by ICA Associate Curator Kate Kraczon, who also led the studio tour.

For many benefactors, the best part of the ICA Donor Clubs is the opportunity to meet others who share an affinity for contemporary art. “Being a member has helped me gain a deeper appreciation for the artistic process and become more engaged in the local community here in Philadelphia,” says Leadership Circle Contemporaries member Christie Lebano.

ICA offers four levels of membership, all of which count toward recognition in Penn’s Benjamin Franklin Society. For more information, or to become a member of a donor club, click here.