JAM at MAM – CANCELLED by Miami Art Museum 1/21/10

{Normally, on the third Thursday of every month, the Soul Of Miami crew excitedly rolls out to our favorite monthly party, JAM at MAM. It is a great way to just relax in a nice artsy atmosphere. JAM at MAM was the reason we became members of the Miami Art Museum. It was one of the main avenues through which we were brought into the art scene in Miami. And now, the Miami Art Museum management has cancelled it for unspecified reasons. Below is the message in their recent email.}

JAM @ MAM: As 2010 gets underway, Miami Art Museum is planning to relaunch JAM @ MAM in a new format to offer an even more meaningful experience to South Florida residents and JAM at MAM’s loyal following. Beginning in January, the third Thursdays event will not take place until further notice; please check miamiartmuseum.org or the NOW @ MAM calendar for updated event listings.

{We think this is a big loss for the city, and being as MAM is a public organization, we want to make our response public. I am sending the below email to the Miami Art Museum. If you would like to send your own, try sending it to news@miamiartmuseum.org or membership@miamiartmuseum.org. If we get better information, we shall post that, too.}

[Dear Miami Art Museum,

As a long-time member, who was originally converted by the excellent JAM at MAM series, I have to say that discontinuing it seems like a really bad idea. I know that it has converted many other people, including several of our friends, as well, into museum members and art lovers. I have watched the JAM, over the years, change from a small group of old ladies to a large, energetic crowd of people of all ages, including young people.

JAM at MAM introduced so many new people to the Miami Art Museum, and to the arts themselves. People who would not have normally come to an art museum began attending on a regular basis and being exposed to new and interesting work.

Certainly over the past few months, the event had lost some of its luster. Fewer live music acts and less variety in programming, as well as a lack of changing exhibitions led to a decline in attendance, but even at its lowest, there was still a decent crowd. The big crowds could easily have been brought back by more exciting programming. This was a program loved by many.

The city is losing an important cultural activity by the shutting down of JAM at MAM. Why is this being done? Was it really such a drain on resources? Why take such a popular event and stop doing it? How has the feedback been? I look forward to hearing what the future of this will be.

Sincerely,]

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