This is what I know about Aliki… She is kind and well rounded; an explorer and a world traveller. She is a hard worker and a serious doer; a loyal friend with a perfect dosage of craziness and brilliant mind. So brilliant and educated in fact, that she captivates me whenever I hear her speak. I honestly forget that she is three years younger than me and I shut up and listen to what she has to say (Yes, that can happen too…!). This is also pretty obvious if you look at our pics, taken during a private tour she gave me at the Museum of Cycladic Art, where she is currently working.
She is also the key person behind the museum’s Cycladic Young Patrons Program, the first of its kind in Greece. #CycladicYoung is expanded to younger audiences and aims to draw parallels and connections between the past and the future, whilst at the same time, cultivate interest for the local art scene.
A few words about Aliki-Marcadia Lampropoulos
She is an Oxford Economics graduate with a master’s degree in Risk Management from the London School of Economics. She has worked at EFG International, in London. Living in London in her twenties, she made friends from all sorts of fields – fashion designers, artists, actors, academics, journalists, musician, lawyers, bankers – and really felt the city’s beat. Later on, she interned for the Niarchos Foundation and undertook a research project for an incredible initiative, called HIGGS – an incubator for non-profits, with a focus on youth unemployment. Together with Katherine Embiricos and Marietta Chandris she cofounded Love Rocks Charity Ball, a very successful and much anticipated event based in London. Over the last five years, Love Rocks Ball has raised more than 1 million euros and benefited greek charities and institutions.
Q & A
What exactly inspired you to put forward the idea of the Cycladic Young Patrons?
I had met the president of the Museum of Cycladic Art, Sandra Marinopoulos and the rest of the team, during a fundraising they were doing in London and, when I moved to Athens, she approached me and asked me if I wanted to work with them, as she wished to expand to younger audiences. The Museum of Cycladic Art has a very distinct identity, housing the largest private collection of Cycladic figurines in the world.
While living in London, I myself was an active member of various young patron groups there (The National Theatre, Whitechapel Gallery, The Tate). The composition of these patron groups was either art or theatre collectors/fanatics, gallery owners, art advisors, dealers, artists/actors and young professionals like me, that had nothing to do with the subject and were just interested and curious. I had also noticed that there were many people using this as a great way to meet different “crowds”, with similar interests, whilst doing cool things. And so, I hit upon the idea of applying the same model to the Museum of Cycladic Art.
Who are the people supporting the Cycladic Young Patrons?
Greece does not have the young transient professional that comes to Athens to work for two years in investment banking, like London; it has, however, a very large number of “diaspora” people that love the country, have origins there and live abroad, as their parents or grandparents had to move away when they were kids. Nonetheless, they do tend to come and spend time here during summer, to visit their “Greek side of the family”. In Oxford and in London, I met and became very good friends with many Greeks that grew up and live abroad, felt so proud of their identity and would grasp every opportunity to support their country.
There is also this other category of “Hellenophiles” – people that come here every year on holiday, because our country is blessed and there is no better place in the world to spend your summer! So, it all started to make great sense: a young patron group would give a cultural point of reference to all the Greeks and “Hellenophiles” that live abroad, as well as an opportunity to stay connected with each other. It would give them a reason to visit their beloved country every year and do something fun!
What purpose is served through the Cycladic Young Patrons philanthropy?
Together with Sandra Marinopoulos and the rest of the team, we concluded that it would make sense if, through our Cycladic Young Patron launch, we shifted our fundraising objectives to more socially impactful ones.
It was decided that the best way to do this would be to dedicate the subscriptions of the Young Patrons to the funding of educational projects and visits of “vulnerable groups”. In this way, we would serve the mission statement of the museum – The Study and Dissemination of Cycladic Art – while corresponding to the current social and financial environment.
How has the Cycladic Young Patrons progressed so far? What projects & charity programs have already been materialized?
With the help of the Young Ambassadors and in particular with Lena Economides who also works at the museum – the Cycladic Young Patrons grew very fast, with over 180 members in just a year from around the world. Through the group, we have fresh ideas and new collaborations coming in – from Eugenie Niarchos, designing a Cycladic pendant for our shop to Michael Frahm, curating the Ai WeiWei exhibition and many many more. We have organized numerous interesting events: visit to Delos with our charismatic museum director Professor Stampolidis, visit to the excavation site of Despotiko island with leading archeologist Yannos Kouragios, off the hours curated tours of galleries, exhibition spaces and museums, as well as many drinks, parties, fundraisers and dinners in Athens, London and New York and, of course, the Cycladic Islands!
At the same time, we were able to launch the “Together at the Museum Program”, consisting of visits and educational programs for kids with disabilities, as well as pilot-mixed educational programs between refugee and greek kids in the museum. Furthermore, we have granted weekly visits of elderly peoples homes to the museum, by sponsoring their costs. Our professional and warm welcome of the elderly is currently being shared as best practice with other museums in Greece!
What are your aspirations for the present and the future of the Museum of Cycladic Art ?
We are not MOMA or the Louvre, but we live in a country with an abundance of extraordinary archeological sites and breathtaking natural beauty! Unfortunately, very few of us take advantage of it. In addition, Greece has a unique and interesting contemporary art scene. We believe that, through this dynamic Young Patron groups, we are safeguarding the future of the museum, as we are creating happy memories for the younger generations, by making it not only a place where they can visit exhibitions, but also a meeting point where they have fun, find inspiration, socialize, educate themselves, eat, shop, wonder around.
Human nature does not change; everything ancient was once contemporary. By studying our past and learning from it, we can hopefully find the inspiration and ideas for a better future!
THE CYCLADIC YOUNG PATRONS TEAM
#CycladicYoung Ambassadors : Lena Economides, Atalanti Martinos, Andreas Melas, Alexandra Economou, Katherine Embiricos, Artemis Baltoyanni, Rhea Papanicolaou, Philippos Tsangrides, Filippos Lemos, Dimitri Chandris and Marianna Goulandris. With the support of: Sandra Marinopoulos, Titina Patera, Eugenia Christodoulakou.