The sticky wicket about being a world-class institution, with fans located around the planet, is that connecting with people who live down the street, and a zip code or two away, can sometimes get lost in the bigger swirl.
Not that any place with such a reputation would complain about having global and neighborhood cachet; it's just that the visitors-from-all-over part can sometimes dominate in the ebb-and-flow of running a major museum.
Well, we tipped our hand right there: It's the Los Angeles County Museum of Art we're talking about, one of the premier institutions here and everywhere, a spot that dotes on its outside-of-Southern-California guests as much as it adores Angelenos.
But it is the regional people that are about to get a little bit of extra LACMA love. The painting-packed landmark, which celebrated its 50th anniversary on Miracle Mile in 2015, announced its new LACMA Local membership program on Monday, Feb. 1.
So what's the deal? The museum describes it as "a fun, low-key way to hang out with like-minded people while experiencing art." This includes bi-weekly events such as admiring a sunrise at Levitated Mass, the universe's most famous over-air boulder, or a scavenger hunt that could include mimicking the pose of a statue (and capturing it with your phone).
How does one get up on this? If you're a member right now, you'll pay an extra $25 to join LACMA Local for a year. But you don't need to be a member to participate, as there's an "a la carte" option for forty bucks.
There's absolutely a more social dimension to LACMA Local, if you're wondering how it differs from a traditional membership, and a zanier, outside-the-box-ier approach to art appreciation than one might typically find.
The community-nice heart of LACMA Local is in a very nice place: It ponders "(h)ow do you meet people and make friends in a big sprawling city like LA?" It's a query posed by Kristen Shepherd, the associate vice president of audience strategy and services for the museum.
A lively get-together built around people- and museum-engagement seems one key for connecting locals, with LACMA serving as the cultural conduit.