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Ways to make friends: Cultural groups

Whether your cultural tastes are high or low, you can make friends easily with one of these stimulating associations.

Lovers of the arts can make friends with similar interests by joining one of these culturecentric organizations. Bibliophiles might debate the merits of the best novels about New York, while theater fans discuss the best film-to-musical adaptations.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to how to meet new people in NYC

4th Street Bar Association

Broadway powerhouses Rent and Once started downtown at the New York Theatre Workshop—and so can your next friendship. Join fellow theater lovers in their twenties and thirties for parties with actors, an annual bar crawl through the East Village and discounted trips to Broadway shows. The Friday December 7 evening performance (8pm) of A Civil War Christmas will be followed by a holiday party with the cast and creative team. • 212-780-9037, nytw.org. Annual membership $125–$500.

“The group widens my horizons by seeing shows I wouldn’t go to otherwise. I’ve gotten to meet—and become friends with—so many people that don’t only work in theater, but who bring different perspectives [to] everything.”—Erica Ryan, 34, communications manager for the Broadway League, East Harlem

The Young Patrons of Lincoln Center

Performing-arts buffs unite for discussions, community-outreach programs, sneak previews of shows and exclusive opportunities to meet performers. Annual galas provide an excuse to dust off your formal wear, get schmancy and sip bubbly. • 212-875-5236, lincolncenter.org/YPLC. Members-only holiday party December 13, 2012; annual membership $250.

“You can join plenty of young professional groups in Manhattan, and you can dress to impress for any number of philanthropic reasons, but I chose to make a commitment to YPLC because the community is just so active! And in a city where you can meet up at a bar or ‘cool new spot,’ there’s nothing better than a culturally constructive environment that’s also an excuse for catching up with friends.”—Meghan Cross, 26, director of communication for StyleCaster, Upper West Side

Young Professionals Book Club & Dinner

Having hosted open-to-all book clubs, the JCC in Manhattan recently introduced a gathering dedicated solely to people under 40. The two-hour monthly powwow, led by a different member each time, brings together bibliophiles from across the boroughs to share wine, dinner and conversation on a chosen novel. • 646-505-5727, jccmanhattan.org. December 19, 2012 at 7pm; $10.

“Meeting new people, analyzing literature and having structured, engaging conversation is my idea of a good time. It’s a bonus that there’s dinner and wine.”—Lindsey Blank, 27, attorney, Upper West Side

New York Social Network

When media professional Dave Cervini first moved to Manhattan, he encountered a common problem: he had no idea how to meet people. His desire for pals to explore the city with led him to start the New York Social Network in 2004. The group hosts a wide array of events almost nightly, from bowling, movies and bar trivia nights to scavenger hunts at museums, history tours and more. Gatherings are generally intimate, with 12 to 30 people in their twenties through forties. • 212-873-2256, newyorksocialnetwork.com. Holiday party December 15, 2012 at 9pm; annual membership free, annual VIP membership $100. Event prices vary.

The Young Members Circle

Meet new people and learn more about the place you call home through the Museum of the City of New York’s group for young professionals ages 21 to 39. Get discounts and tickets to exhibits and openings year-round, free admission to the museum and savings on lectures, workshops and more. Build up your trivia repertoire while forging new friendships through a common love for exploring the past, present and future of NYC’s history. • 212-534-1672, ext 3328; mcny.org. Annual membership $100.