Toronto-Based “Culture Club” Sets Up Shop in Miami

The Society was founded by college grads who believed culture should be accessible

The venue is a sprawling waterfront Miami Beach home. Inside, a group from the Society is sipping on cocktails, having a conversation with acclaimed artist Michael Genovese. They listen intently as he describes the inspiration behind his public scribing project on display at the Miami Art Museum.
"The Society, we call ourselves the culture club for the creative class," said Annie Evans, executive director of the organization's U.S. Operations.
By class, the founders of the club don't intend to evoke any elitism.  

"Not at all, that's the farthest thing from the truth" Evans said. "The Society is actually a cheeky nod to the 18th Century British clubs."
The Society was born in Toronto in 2006 by two admittedly bored college grads, Amanda Blakely and Ashleigh Dempster, looking for something beyond a typical night out.
"If you had $60 in your bank account, you were probably going to go out to the bar with your friends. You probably weren't going to buy a ballet ticket; at least most people weren't," she said. "So we decided relevant culture shouldn't be about how much money you have."   
The Society's New York chapter was born a year later. And last year, Miami became its third chapter. So far, some of the unique events arranged by the Society in the Magic City have included a photo exhibit with a fashion blogger and fencing lessons at a renowned fashion designer's home.  On this particular night, the Society partnered with the Miami Art Museum Contemporaries Young Collectors Council, which provided the beautiful waterfront estate for the evening and the artist himself for the workshop.  
The Society has a total of 4,000 members who pay $125 a year for membership, which grants access to all the cultural events. Membership is granted after a referral from two existing members.
The founders say the mission is to instill a bit of culture in the people wherever they go.

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