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Alumna helps build the Carlos Museum's new Young Associates program

By Dana Goldman | Development Communications | March 19, 2014

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Emory alumna Rebecca Oppenheimer Nathan 05C might not be seen as the traditional museum supporter—yet. After all, she’s 31 years old, recently married, with a full-time job as creative director at a public relations firm.

But for the last few years, Nathan has been a major mover behind the scenes at Emory’s Michael C. Carlos Museum, drumming up financial support from fellow museum-goers, co-chairing the planning of its annual Bacchanal fundraising party, and working to encourage other young adults to discover more about the Carlos Museum.

Now she’s one of the founding members of the Carlos Museum’s new Young Associates program, which offers special museum benefits and events to adults under the age of 40. In its first two months, more than 20 young adults already have joined.

Signing up was the logical next step for Nathan, a lifetime lover of the arts.

“Growing up in Texas, I was always involved in the arts,” says Nathan. “From taking photography and painting classes to music lessons and museum visits, I cultivated an appreciation early in my life.” Her maternal grandmother—an artist—and paternal grandparents—art collectors—encouraged her along.

While Nathan attended Emory, the Carlos Museum was a favorite place for breaks from her double major in psychology and educational studies. After graduating in 2005, her involvement increased. For the past few years, Nathan has been instrumental in planning Bacchanal, the annual autumn silent auction and party in homage to Bacchus, Roman god of wine. And for good reason: “While a visit to the museum speaks for itself, I encourage my friends to attend Bacchanal as a first foray into seeing all the museum has to offer. It’s a fantastically fun night full of entertainment, delicious food, and an exclusive look at the galleries.”

This spring, newly minted Young Associates can also look forward to another event. After the Museum’s annual Veneralia benefit party on April 12, Young Associates are invited to an onsite after-party including live music and an open bar.

Nathan will be there. After all, for Nathan, the Young Associates program is a way to ensure that the museum she’s come to love stays vibrant and attracts visitors—and financial supporters—of all ages. “The Carlos Museum is a brilliant discovery for Emory students and visitors from all over the world,” says Nathan. “My husband and I hope our annual contribution will help fund new and intriguing exhibits for all to enjoy. Being involved is my way of giving back.”