Meet Caroline Neal. She and her husband Charles have been members for ten years and enjoy attending the A Think & A Drink talks every third Thursday of the month for a quick educational session about art. They divide their time between Kailua and North Carolina, and generously purchase gift memberships for their tenants as a way of engaging them with the community. We caught up with Caroline to find out what she enjoys most about the museum and her membership. 

What do you like about the monthly A Think & A Drink talks?
I like A Think & A Drink because it’s a smaller group of members and it is the perfect way to begin an evening out in Honolulu. One can have happy hour and learn something about art!

How did you become acquainted with the museum?
I started out by going to the Tea & Cookies tour (now called Tour + Talk Story). I have no background in art but the docents were very enthusiastic and very welcoming. I then joined Book Club where we looked at art pieces related to the books we were reading. It was a great way to meet a steady group of people every month.

What do you appreciate about your museum membership?
My husband and I were first stationed in Hawai‘i in 1984, and the museum was a good place to land—it was a place where you would meet interesting people. We like donating to the museum because they encourage us to be curious and to be life-long learners. The museum has grown steadily and it is a great place for kids and growing families. My daughter and her husband were also living here and they loved the museum because it is so accessible. She would come to ARTafterDARK and encourage all her friends to come. At times a group of about 10 would attend and they would have a blast! She lives in Georgia now and she misses the museum so much! 

What is your favorite Honolulu Museum of Art memory?
I really enjoyed the Bhutan exhibition in 2008 and all the programming and activity that was held, especially the visit by the monks. 

Do you have a favorite work of art at the museum that you visit often? If yes, why is it your favorite?
I love the Arts of Hawai‘i gallery on the second floor, and I love the Chinese ceramic polo women and the iconic Guanyin statue.

What do you think the museum brings to the community?
The world is a distressing place and art helps calm the beast. Art gives you something else to think about and the museum is a great place to surround yourself in music and art. Secondly, the museum is a great place for kids—art teaches them how to think, pay attention to detail and understand process. 

What would be one suggestion you have for the museum and why?
Reach out to military families to join as members—the museum will make a difference in their lives!

To learn more about A Think & A Drink contact Ching Jen Lum at gro.muesumululonohnull@mulc.