To be cliche, “we are the future.” We are going to run the world some day. We are most likely going to take care of the older generations some day, or at least pay your social security checks. We may even solve world hunger and find peace. But today, it is about us ensuring a future for high culture. It’s simple marketing, really. We are the generation that is going to support the industry as our parents get older and we are the ones with the means to support the industry now.
It is time for high culture to cultivate a relationship with Millennials, because as the calendar turns each day, their collectors and long-time supporters are aging (and becoming closer to death — not a pretty thought, but it’s true). High culture needs us and our rising discretionary income to become their next great generation of collectors, patrons and art buyers.
By hooking into us now, high culture is able to ensure a demand for their products for years to come — it makes for good business to market to us. Under the high culture umbrella, the wine industry has welcomed us with wide-open arms. By attending wine tastings, you learn what goes into making certain types of wine, and you are able to learn what you like and don’t like about particular wines. This allows you to walk into a store and buy a wine you know you will enjoy, not one that you will suffer through. Teaching us and helping shape our pallet will benefit the entire industry now and for years to come — especially as some think this generation will have the next greatest number of wine aficionados. According to the Wine Market council, we make up 21% of core wine drinkers, and not all Millennials are even of legal drinking age yet.
The art industry has also caught on and realized that they need to change up the way art is displayed and how we experience exhibits and gallery spaces — we want to feel involved. Artspace in New Haven, Conn. seems to understand that. And the MoMA has listened too. We say we want to be praised when we do good, well how about throwing a party for us when we support the arts?
The wine and art industries seem to have figured it out. The issue at hand is it’s time for high culture to catch up with the times and re-brand itself in order to not become extinct. We are a great resource, as we don’t have families to support (yet), and we’re not starting families as early as our grandparents did, nor our parents. We have the discretionary income to buy artwork, tickets to shows and donate to their endowments.