Micro-benefit for Haiti: My invitation to the Whitney Biennial

February 18, 2010 at 10:44 am (art, blog, culture, interesting)

I am selling my invitation to the Whitney Biennial opening reception as a micro-benefit for the victims of the earthquake in Haiti.

I got this in the mail a few weeks ago and have been staring at it in dread ever since:

I’m not going to act like I’m being some sort of selfless hero… my social anxiety disorder has been kicked up a notch over the last few weeks, and the thought of going to the Whitney next Tuesday and seeing everyone I have ever met, ever, would be all it takes to put me over the edge. As a result, I really can’t go anyway. But I also don’t want to just chuck it when maybe it can raise a buck or two for a worthy cause.

I have absolutely no idea how “exclusive” this invite is. I have zero clue as to why I got it. All I know is that I have it, I’m not going to use it, and it should be put to some sort of good use. Several people I mentioned to that I have it got all eyebrow-raised and interested, so maybe something can come out of this.

Interior of the invite reads:

Adam D. Weinberg, Alice Pratt Brown Director, and the Board of Trustees of the Whitney Museum of American Art cordially invite you and a guest to attend a reception celebrating the opening of [the] 2010 Whitney Biennial. Tuesday, February 23, 2010, 7 – 11pm. Festive attire.


Fine print reads: This invitation admits two and is nontransferable. This invitation is required for admission. However, despite the use of the term “nontransferable,” I have given away several similar invitations over the years and it’s never been a problem. They just take the invites at the door and don’t check a list. Will things somehow be different this time? I have no idea.

Bidding starts at $1 and goes up in $5 increments from there. Leave your bid in the comments section below. Winner will be decided noon on Sunday, February 21st and announced here. Bidders are responsible for checking back here on Sunday to see if they won.

Once a winner is declared, that winner has until 6pm on Sunday to make an online donation to a Haiti relief charity of their choice in the amount that they have bid (any major non-religious charity is ok by me). They they will forward me the receipt they get from the charity, acknowledging their donation. If the winner does not do this by 6pm, the next highest bidder will win and we’ll go down the list from there.

Monday we will sort out delivering the invite. If you’re really generous and are somewhere in Manhattan, my arm could be twisted to hand-deliver it. Otherwise, if we could meet at a mutual-agreed-upon location, that would be great.

And then on Tuesday you get to get dressed up and rub elbows with art people!! And I get to be knocked off the Whitney’s mailing list for the rest of my life.



  1. alex said,


  2. Tom said,


  3. Eric said,

    $16 – for Haiti!

  4. Andrew Thornton said,

    I’d totally take you up on it, and only to be mortified and find out that you’re being awarded some kind of special Whitney prize… but I’m far, far, far away and won’t be able to attend… even if I was tempted to pretend to be you accepting a special Whitney Award.

  5. martina said,

    A crisp 50 dolla bill for haiti, but they got to be brought to me in Soho.

  6. amywilson said,

    as sweet as you are, andrew, i feel pretty confident saying that there is no secret whitney prize at stake here.

    delivery to soho on monday is no problem!
    bidding’s up to $50…

  7. martina said,

    I’ll outbid myself to $80. Online donation confirmation at that amount not a problem.

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