The arts make us better people. Watching, listening, observing, creating, and giving ourselves to the arts makes us more imaginative and uniquely driven by our ideas and inspiration. The goal of the IVY Arts program is to put these experiences in front of you — in front of IVY Members — in order to stimulate the kind of creative thinking that only happens when you engage in the arts. This is how IVY: The Social University makes a global impact and makes the world a better place.

In 2017, IVY hosted 220 events in the arts and culture space with 150 of the top arts organizations in America. Read our highlights below, and visit us online to learn how you can make 2018 a year filled with inspiring arts experiences.


DC: Salsa Workshop

One DC IVY member raved, “So fun! We took over a jazz lounge and danced all night, switching around partners and getting to know others in the room. The room was packed!”

BOS: Jazz Lab with Gregory Groover

This was one of the Boston community’s highlights of the year. Our Music Lab series this time spotlighted jazz: saxophonist Gregory Groover gave us a musical history lesson on the roots of jazz and the blues in slavery and the civil rights movement, all the way up to what is happening today. Part history lesson, part listening workshop, part concert, part party — this event was a great way to get members to understand how to listen and appreciate jazz as an artform.



NYC: The Museum Workout @ The Metropolitan Museum of Art with Monica Bill Barnes and Co.

l wasn’t quite sure how to explain this event to our members: you’re basically running through the galleries in the Metropolitan Museum of Art at 8:00am on a weekend morning, accompanied by the Bee Gees. Not having done it myself, I too wasn’t quite sure what to expect as I arrived at the snowy steps of the Met. An hour later, after doing light cardio through gallery after gallery, famous and less famous works of art whizzing by us, I found myself on the floor of the atrium amongst the Roman statues looking up at the skylights and pondering the existence of my very being. Led by Monica Bill Barnes and Co., it was one of the most unique and profound ways to experience a museum.

DC: Dance Lab with The Washington Ballet

If you have seen American Ballet Theatre perform sometime in the last 25 years (or are a fan of the dance flick classic, Center Stage), odds are you’ll recognize the Washington Ballet’s Artistic Director Julie Kent. One of her generation’s leading ballerinas, Julie now dedicates her time to passing along the knowledge and experience she has accumulated over her career to the next generation of Washington dancers. Julie invited IVY members into the studio to watch a coaching session with Washington Ballet Dancers Jonathan Jordan and Venus Villa, and her husband, Associate Artistic Director, Victor Barbee. We learned about how a ballet is passed down from ballerina to ballerina, and the details that make a great performance. I love how intimate these programs are, whether you are new to dance or the greatest balletomane, the Dance Lab format remains one of my favorite programs.

Legendary Ballerina Julie Kent on How to Fall in Love with Dance


MIA: Global Cuba Fest with Nu Deco Ensemble

Miami’s Nu Deco ensemble is redefining chamber music in the South Florida region, playing everything from Mozart to Radiohead, and we were lucky enough to enjoy a concert exploring the impact of Cuban culture in music with our members. In January 2018, we will be taking an IVY group to see Pulse at the New World Symphony, which will be performing the world premiere of a work by Nu Deco Artistic Director and IVY member Sam Hyken.

NYC: The Armory Show

The Armory Show is one of the most unique art events in New York, transforming Piers 92 and 94 (imagine two giant military aircraft carriers) into rows and rows of stalls, representing galleries and artists from all over the world. We have hosted a reception at the Armory Show every year, where members have sipped champagne before being guided through the maze of art, and finally dispersing on our own to fantasize about what we would hang up in the living room if price was no object. Perhaps something to spend our holiday bonus on in 2018?


BOS: John Williams in Concert @ Boston Symphony Orchestra

According to one Boston IVY member, “This was a great event. I really enjoyed the lecture before the concert; these additional opportunities before cultural events is why I go to IVY events. The timing of the lecture / quick cocktail / concert was perfect. In IVY style, the group was small enough, making the post-concert food and drink enjoyable.”

MIA: Art Lab @ PAMM

Something happens in the brain when you do figure drawing. Your brain is focused on seeing what is really there: shapes, relationships, lighting, weight — which gets your noggin humming on a higher level, boosting creativity and problem-solving skills. What better place to do this than on the bay at the beautiful Perez Art Museum Miami with the PAMM Contemporaries?


DC: Butterfly Bash with the Washington National Opera

We partnered with the Washington National Opera to host a black-tie party celebrating their new production of Madame Butterfly. Held at Washington’s Art Museum of the Americas, IVY members enjoyed a beautiful night of arias, cocktails, and an intimate way to be exposed to Opera.

MIA: Hard Hat Tour @ ICA Miami

Grab a hard hat! IVY members got to tour the new ICA Miami — building it opened to the general public — to learn about the inner workings of the building itself, its design elements, and the many considerations of architects and designers that go into a museum.


NYC: Misty Copeland in American Ballet Theatre’s Swan Lake

Ballet’s “It Girl,” Misty Copeland, transported our New York members lakeside for the ultimate ballet showdown of good girl versus bad girl. The annually sold-out phenomenon is in large part due to Misty’s large fan base, and securing tickets is near to impossible… unless you’re with IVY! American Ballet Theatre’s production is fairly straightforward and classical, a great introduction to the ballet if you’re seeing it for the first time.

LA: Collecting 101 @ Heritage Auctions

LA got a chance to see the Back to the Future self-lacing shoes, alongside other collectible sneakers, surfboards, and skateboard decks. Good thing we have the good folks at Heritage to ask what to look for when starting our own art collections.


NYC: The Public Theater’s Production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream @ Shakespeare in the Park

“Lovers and madmen have such seething brains, / Such shaping fantasies, that apprehend / More than cool reason ever comprehends.”

Yes, 2017 was pretty rough, but this was hands-down the hardest I laughed at any show this year. The Public stayed on the edge of politics again this year, once again reminding us the powerful force that theater plays “as a civic institution engaging, both onstage and off, with some of the most important ideas and social issues of today.” Annaleigh Ashford stole the show as Helena, one of the funniest women in theater.

LA: Infinity Mirror Rooms @ The Broad

Yayoi Kusama has been the most popular artist in 2017, with installations of her Infinity Mirror Rooms congesting both the Hirshhorn in DC and the Broad in LA. However, LA members were able to sneak a peek with one of our after-hour tours and transcend to selfie-heaven.


SF: Kid Koala @ SFJazz

IVY members went crazy for one of the more avant-garde performances this year, featuring live puppet theater and a video projection with an ensemble of strings, piano, and electronic instruments by renowned Montreal-based DJ, composer, and music producer Kid Koala.

NYC: Museum of Food and Drink

Just the name of the institution makes my mouth water: the newly opened Museum of Food and Drink in Williamsburg opened its doors to IVY members after-hours. We explored the exhibit Chow: Making the Chinese American Restaurant, with tours, tastings, and a cooking demonstration. Yum!


NYC: Star Wars @ New York Philharmonic

One of the best orchestras in the world playing John Williams’ iconic intergalactic score, and all of the cult appeal of the first three Star Wars films — this was a “force” within the IVY community in September. I’m not sure I can ever go back to watching the movies on a regular television without live music.

SF: Taylor Mac

The LA Times raved, “As a performer, Mac might be the love child of David Bowie and Liza Minnelli.” SF IVY members got to experience 24 decades of music performed in 24 hours by this MacArthur Genius in one of the most unique events on the IVY calendar.


DC: Opening of “Frammenti” @ The Embassy of Italy

IVY hosted a conversation with artists Kikki Ghezzi and Riccardo Vecchio, along with Italian Cultural Attaché Renato Mirraco. This intimate discussion centered on how art crosses borders and helps us understand people who are “other” in a foreign land.

BOS: Jazz Lab with the Newport Jazz Festival

The world-famous Newport Jazz Festival always features the best of the best in jazz — but this year the festival came to us! We partnered with Newport to present a Jazz Lab in Boston for our members. As one IVY member put it, “The IVY event with Newport Jazz was incredible. Listening to jazz at the GrandTen distillery was the perfect setting and the brass band was wildly talented. I met some great new IVY members that night!”


LA: Hamilton on Broadway

IVY gets you into the room where it happened — and thanks to an IVY member with an inside track, we get to head backstage after the show as a group!

DC: Mean Girls on Broadway

On Wednesday, we wore pink to a first look at Tina Fey’s Mean Girls on Broadway at the Kennedy Center. You can sit with us, if you are an IVY member! I hear they are making a few tweaks, and can’t wait to see what happens when it finally hits the Big White Way with previews on March 12, 2018. By the way, your hair looks sexy when it’s pushed back.


MIA: Miami Art Basel

We had over 100 IVY members from across the country descend on Miami for the annual marathon of art parties, open bars, and fair after fair of art that you love and is finally within your price range. We put together a pass for IVY members with access to ten fairs, VIP openings, and party access over the long weekend.

All Cities: The Nutcracker

It would not be the holidays without the Nutcracker, and we were able to bring holiday cheer to many of our IVY cities to close out a bittersweet year.

Thank you for joining us this year, and we hope to see you at an arts program in 2018!