As organizers at the New Mexico Museum of Art (Santa Fe, NM) began planning for the institution's centennial, one thing was for certain — they were going to need a lot of cake. On Nov. 25, the museum celebrated 100 years since it first opened on the downtown plaza in 1917. In honor of the milestone, event planners threw a large‐scale birthday party during which guests were invited to explore the iconic museum free of charge, enjoy live entertainment and indulge in slices of handmade cake donated by local supporters.“We wanted to host a celebration that would be actively inviting while encompassing all aspects of our city's diverse artistic community,” says Director Mary Kershaw. “People keep commenting on what a truly happy day it was.”The museum saw more than 7,600 people come through their doors that day, not counting the numerous others who passed through to participate in outdoor activities on the plaza. Kershaw attributes the success of the event to thoughtfully targeted partnerships. This is how her team engaged members of the Santa Fe arts community:Targeted marketing efforts. “We worked with an advisory group who commissioned six feather banners in advance of the event that read ‘New Mexico Museum of Art 100th Birthday,’ and we moved them around town to maximize exposure to people who might be less familiar with us,” Kershaw says. “The group also engaged numerous cultural institutions by providing them with a social media toolkit and inviting them to wish us a happy birthday through their channels.”Engagement of new audiences. “Much of our community receives their news and information through the Archdiocese of Santa Fe, so we worked with them to spread the word to their congregations,” Kershaw says. “By identifying audiences who we don't naturally reach, we were able to include more people in the celebration.”Wide representation of artistic influences. “We had presentations from hoop dancers, students from the New Mexico School of Arts, the Shiners Club Jazz Band, a mariachi band, flamenco dancers and an opera singer,” Kershaw says. “We set aside one small part of the day to pay tribute to the museum with words from our government officials. It was a real moment of gravitas that helped us share the long and deep history of art making in Santa Fe.”Utilization of an accessible, outdoor space. “We invited classic car owners to put their vehicles and low‐riders on display in the plaza,” Kershaw said. “This, and other outdoor presentations, helped attract passersby to learn more about our museum. We also worked with the city to make free parking garages accessible, so people could easily spend the day downtown.”Free cake! “Our advisory group invited the city's cultural institutions and local bakeries to participate by donating birthday cakes donning their brands and birthday messages,” Kershaw says. “Local artists served slices to everyone who came to our event.”Source: Mary Kershaw, Director, New Mexico Museum of Art, Santa Fe, NM. Phone (505) 476‐5073. E‐mail: Mary.Kershaw@state.nm.us. Website: www.nmartmuseum.org
Special Events Galore – Wiley
Published: Jan 1, 2018
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