As part of our celebration honoring 20 years of the Museum of Pop Culture, we'll take time each month throughout 2020 to get to know some of MoPOP's most dedicated visitors and supporters.
MoPOP members receive some pretty cool perks, but perhaps more importantly, each member's continued support of our nonprofit museum helps fund our world-class exhibitions and community programming. This month we hear from Puskar Naha and Melissa Orstrom, who are aiding our mission of making creative expression a life-changing force.
How long have you been members and what initially drew you to MoPOP?
Melissa: We've been members about a year and a half. My brother was coming to visit for the Pearl Jam home shows and we saw that there was going to be an exhibit here at the same time, so it was one of those things that we knew he would enjoy. A Marvel exhibit was also going to be here, so we had heard about everything coming up, and were just kind of excited. We had previously been to the museum and knew how awesome it was, so we decided to become members.
Puskar: And before we'd miss some things because they were only here for a few months, so this time it was like, 'No, no, no. We'll get the membership and will definitely get to every temporary exhibit before it leaves.'
What's your experience as members been like so far?
Melissa: It's been really awesome. Member mornings was something that we didn't know existed originally and it's just kept us coming back. I think we've been here every month. It's just great being able to explore the museum with less crowds. Like it's awesome that there's crowds, it means the museum's doing well and people like it, but it's also really nice to have that more intimate experience with it.
Do you have a favorite exhibit or artifact within the museum?
Puskar: Just generally the scji-fi and fantasy exhibits. I came once, years ago, and I definitely know more of the sci-fi exhibit now than I did then. Apparently I'm just becoming a bigger nerd over time. But yeah, every time we go through those, there's something else that we didn't know or didn't see or didn't notice last time.
Melissa: I also just really like the fantasy exhibit because once you open that door it's totally different from the rest of the museum. The space is just amazing. That's just fun to especially bring new people in and watch them get to experience that for the first time.
What do you tell your friends about MoPOP?
Puskar: We start with it being nerdy.
Melissa: Yeah, that's true. We know a lot of people that are into sci-fi and fantasy and we're like, 'Oh, there's this great place. They've got all these things.' Honestly, I think if you've ever watched TV or a movie in the last 70 years, there's something here that you're going to love. And music too, obviously. We just tell anyone that we know that any kind of interest that they have, it's like, 'Oh yeah, there's going to be something there that you're going to enjoy. We know exactly where it is. We'll show you where to go.' And also there's all these new things you can discover.
Why do you continue to support MoPOP through your membership?
Puskar: All the new exhibits; that was one of the first reasons we joined, at least for the membership.
Melissa: How engaged with the community the museum seems to be from things like sensory-friendly programs, just the outreach. I think when we first started we didn't really have that knowledge of what programs were available. We'd both moved here just a few years ago, so we weren't as entrenched in all of Seattle. But just knowing how many youth programs and access programs are available, it's really, really nice to see the outreach and inclusiveness of the museum.
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