YBCA to help art lovers share passion

Courtesy PhotoFeatured talent: Tim Fite

Yerba Buena Center for the Arts may not be able to get more artsy, but it is about to become more accessible.
Wild and wacky art-o-manes at YBCA are throwing a big party Saturday night to unveil the hip new membership program, called YBCA:You.

For $15 per month, the club allows free entry to all YBCA-presented exhibits and programming, including gallery shows, film and video screenings and other presentations — totaling about 350 events per year.

It also includes substantial social programming exclusive to YOUers, or YBCA:You members.

“It’s really for anyone who is interested in contemporary art, or curious about it, or even afraid of it,” says YBCA program manager Beth Pickens. “You can take chances on things you don’t know anything about. There’s no financial risk. You can leave something if you don’t like it.”

YBCA:You provides unusually personalized extras, including services of a personal art coach, who, after discussing art preferences with members, recommends upcoming shows and events, including offerings not at YBCA.

“Members may have interests we don’t serve, and we can help them find that,” Pickens says. Well-versed in Bay Area arts offerings, YBCA staffers can help members curate personally tailored art calendars.

The program’s social offerings are abundant, too. YBCA:You hosts multiple monthly gatherings exclusive to YOUers.

Smart Night Out events include attendance to a YBCA event, a gourmet dinner, conversation before and after the show and the occasional event-related workshop.

On the other hand, at Smart Night Outings, members go on art field trips outside YBCA, and chat about the experience over cocktails and appetizers.

Local literary luminary Michelle Tea hosts a book club; inspired by YBCA programming, she chooses books thematically.

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A members-only website encourages participants to continue their dialogue about shows and events online.

“It’s like an art club where we get to hang out and do cool art things together,” Pickens says.

Saturday’s launch party features a last-chance look at British artist David Shrigley’s whimsical “Brain Activity,” which closes Sunday, along with live music by Double Duchess, Tim Fite and DJ Doc Sleep and performance artists Kirk Read, Maryam Farnaz, Rostami, Boy Child and Mica Sigourney/VivvyAnneForeverMORE.

The evening’s biggest draw likely may be the Champagne lounge. Featuring bottomless ice cream sundaes, it’s exclusive to YBCA:You members and new sign-ups.

lgallagher@sfexaminer.com

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