In Saturday’s (4/3) New York Times, Robin Pogrebin writes, “Like Prada handbags and Hermès scarves, a spot on one of New York City’s most prestigious cultural boards never goes on sale, even in a recession. Looking to join the power set at the Metropolitan Museum of Art? Be ready with a check for as much as $10 million. The price of admission can reach that high at the Museum of Modern Art, and remains roughly $5 million at the New York Public Library, according to people involved in the process. ‘For those who can, we have an expectation and we try to be very clear about that expectation,’ said Reynold Levy, the president of Lincoln Center, whose board members are generally asked to contribute $250,000 upfront and on an annual basis. … The pressure to raise money from volunteer boards has intensified as the economy slumped and broader charitable giving declined. … Money alone is not an automatic ticket onto such boards. As one trustee put it, there is no ‘cash register at the door.’ Some people with considerable wealth do not make the grade if they cannot demonstrate a significant passion for the arts.”

Posted April 5, 2010