Meet the Bruce Contemporaries

Above: Bruce Contemporaries socializing at the Seaside Center (front row): Hagar Chemali, Katie Fong Biglin, Grace Djuranovic, Asya Geller; (middle row) Caity Lischick, Erin Glasebrook, Olivia Langston, Mike Geller; (back row) Matt Lischick, Taylor Glasebrook, Owen Biglin, Marko Djuranovic.

The Bruce Museum is much more than a place of changing exhibitions and collections of objects in fine and decorative art, natural history, and anthropology. It’s also a collection of people – a community of members, friends, and supporters who share a common interest in the wonders of art and science.

The Museum’s family of members now includes Bruce Contemporaries, a dynamic group of art and culture enthusiasts between the ages of 25 and 45 who enjoy insider access to the Bruce Museum and the exclusive events, educational, and networking opportunities the Museum is in a unique position to provide.

Credit longtime Bruce member and active volunteer Grace Djuranovic for providing the spark that brought this new member group together. As the Chair of the Bruce’s popular “Night at the Museum” fall event for two years, she saw the enthusiasm the annual family fundraiser attracted and recognized the opportunity to engage these young local families in a more sustained, inclusive way.

Grace, who spent a decade overseeing art sponsorship programs for a multinational bank, says, “Luckily, I have a wonderful group of friends who also have had careers related to the art world and a passion for art, so we pitched the idea and worked with the Bruce Museum to make this idea a reality. Everyone at the Bruce has been so supportive and wonderful in working together to identify great opportunities and create bespoke events tailored for the Bruce Contemporaries.”

The Bruce Contemporaries’ first gathering took place late last summer with “Sips on the Sound,” a casual cocktail reception at the Bruce Museum Seaside Center in Greenwich Point Park, raising critical funds to support the Center’s educational programs.

Other recent happenings have included a visit to the Charles Patrick Studio in Stamford, a behind-the-scenes tour of the newest aircraft in NetJets’ fleet at Westchester County Airport, and a curator’s tour of the Jean-Michel Basquiat exhibition at The Brant Foundation’s new space in New York’s East Village.

“Working with the Bruce Museum to create and launch Bruce Contemporaries has been very exciting,” says Grace, “Bruce Contemporaries provides a unique avenue for young members to engage with the Museum and have access to all of the wonderful content they can provide in a fun, social, and meaningful way.”

Annual dues for the Bruce Contemporaries are $375 for an individual and $550 for a couple. Throughout the year, members will receive: 

·Family/Dual membership to the Museum which includes invitations to two members-only exhibition openings

·Invitations to at least four Bruce Contemporaries social and educational events

·Access to discounted tickets the annual Bruce Museum Gala

·Access to early registration for the Night at the Museum Family Benefit 

·Invitations to select additional Museum-hosted events 

Helping brainstorm the Contemporaries’ adventures is a committee of passionate Museum members, including Katie Fong Biglin and Owen Biglin, Hagar and Julien Chemali, Grace and her husband Marko Djuranovic, Asya and Mike Geller, Erin and Taylor Glasebrook, Olivia and James Langston, and Caity and Matt Lischick.

“I’ve had so much fun as part of the Bruce Contemporaries – it’s a great group of young adults who want to socialize, attend unique or private viewings of art collections, and support the Bruce Museum and all it does for our community,” says Hagar Chemali. “I grew up visiting the Bruce and going to its events – it was a key part of my childhood in Greenwich, and I love that I can continue the tradition both as a young adult and for my children.”

Upcoming Contemporaries events include a private tour of a contemporary art collection in Stamford, a Gallery Crawl along Greenwich Ave., and a return this summer to the Seaside Center for more “Sips on the Sound.”

“The new Bruce Contemporaries group has already attracted nearly 70 members, and we look forward to welcoming more active young adults who are passionate about art and science – and the Bruce Museum,” says Becky Conelias, Development Department and Donor Relations Manager.

For more information about Bruce Contemporaries, please visit the new website at BruceContemporaries.org. The website features upcoming events, a blog covering past activities, and an option to join online. Or contact Becky Conelias; bconelias@brucemuseum.org or 203-413-6745.