How Current Events Inspired This Museum's First Amendment-Theme Party

The Newseum's seasonal Newseum Nights party focused on the First Amendment's freedom of speech and expression proposition with activation and entertainment tie-ins to current events.

By D. Channing Muller November 22, 2016, 7:15 AM EST

Photo: Channing Muller for BizBash

Newseum Night's Act Up!
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The Newseum in downtown Washington stayed open late on November 15 for the third installment of its 2016 Newseum Nights event series. Seeking to draw young professionals into the museum, each after-hours party focuses on showcasing one of the five freedoms of the First Amendment with its theme. About 650 people attended the event, which focused on freedom of speech and expression and included enhanced production aspects through a partnership with Art Soiree.

“[The museum] is repositioning itself as the place that is not just about news but the five freedoms of the First Amendment and free expression, so we thought the arts was a perfect way to convey that,” said Niki Ianni, donor events manager at the Newseum. “With all the political issues going on, people are turning to different forms of the arts-—poetry, dance, music-—to express to their thoughts, anger, and enthusiasm.” 

After the theme was selected, Ianni approached Art Soiree looking for artists who would be interested in participating, and received an overwhelming response. As a result, the event had more than 17 interactive elements, a sharp increase from its traditional two or three. The programming, guest engagement opportunities, and entertainment all brought to life a different interpretation of free expression spread throughout the six floors of the museum.

Glow markers and directional signage in the elevators going directly from the bottom floor to the silent disco on the sixth floor and terrace encouraged guests to write on the glass walls. Down on the main floor, art and dance activities were popular attractions. Off to the side, Just Smile Entertainment’s photo booth provided a branded “Newseum Nights Act Up!” keepsake.

Click through the slideshow to see more examples of how the event incorporated current events into its theme. 

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