Brooklyn Museum’s “1stfans” Membership Will End
After four years, Brooklyn Museum’s innovative 1stfans membership program developed by Shelley Berstein and Will Cary will end, the museum announced on the 1stfans MeetUp page today.
The membership plan brought net nerds together online, and in the museum, to meet artists, curators, and other museum professionals on the museum’s First Saturdays. 1stfans got exclusive access to artists like Swoon, Valerie Hegarty, and Fred Tomaselli, but also art world innovators like Jen Bekman (20x200). When the program was announced, it was praised by many including Nina Simon (of Museum 2.0 fame) who wrote, “This sounds awesome. I hope this is the first step towards museums thinking of members as participants (as churches and most advocacy groups do) rather than just yearly pass holders.”
It’s also the end of a program that broke ground in facilitating online art projects using Twitter. Initially the program had a dedicated, now-defunct, Twitter feed which was run by a different resident artist each month. Some great folks took over the feed, including Jonathan Lethem, Mary Temple, An Xiao, Duke Riley, Mike Monteiro, Man Bartlett , and many others.*
This museum nerd even did one month with an ambitious postcard project which was a mix of small successes and failures, but was mostly a lot of fun. The same may be said for the 1st Fans program in general, which will certainly be missed by some of its most dedicated members who will get an upgrade in membership from the museum.
I’d like to add a special thank you to Shelley (and all the others who worked on 1stfans at Brooklyn Museum) for all your hard work on this project! I’ll never forget the great experiences I had as a result of that hard work. And thanks so much for archiving the twitter net art projects which were such labors of love for many of us.
*To see an archive of the artists @1stfans Twitter projects, pick an artist and click on a name: