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How This Broadway-Inspired Pop-Up Doubles as a Clever Fundraising Effort

Exhibit and museum design agency Thinc Design is bringing an immersive costume exhibit to life in New York, with proceeds benefiting the city's performing arts and entertainment industry.

Showstoppers! Spectacular Costumes From Stage & Screen
Showstoppers! Spectacular Costumes From Stage & Screen, opens today and runs through Sept. 26 in Times Square, New York. All proceeds from the exhibition benefit the Costume Industry Coalition Recovery Fund.
Rendering: Thinc Design

NEW YORK—It’s no secret that many event-dependent businesses will be recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic’s effect on live events well into 2022 and beyond. Case in point: The Costume Industry Coalition (CIC)—a group of more than 50 small businesses in and around New York City dedicated to crafting and preserving costumes from Broadway, off-Broadway and other performing art companies—lost $26.6 million in revenue in 2020.

Showstoppers! Spectacular Costumes From Stage & ScreenFrom Disney's Frozen on Broadway, Elsa and Anna's iconic dresses can be seen on display at the exhibit.Photo: Rebecca J. MichelsonNow that in-person events are slowly making a comeback and the same companies are getting back to business, fundraising has been top-of-mind to help make up for what was lost. Naturally, the fundraising solution for CIC was a costume-clad experiential exhibition, now on display through Sept. 26 in Times Square.  

Titled Showstoppers! Spectacular Costumes from Stage & Screen, the immersive exhibit was produced by museum and exhibit design agency Thinc Design. The experience features more than 100 different costumes used in acclaimed Broadway and on-screen productions such as Hamilton, Dear Evan Hansen, Black Panther, Frozen and more.

“The exhibition is a major fundraiser for us, as all ticket proceeds will go toward our CIC Recovery Fund,” says Brian Blythe, manager at theatrical costume supplier John Kristiansen New York Inc., part of the CIC. “The entire performing arts sector has been devastated by the pandemic. However, we are always resourceful, always ready to roll up our sleeves and figure out how to move forward.”

For what would usually take about two years to create from planning to production, Thinc Design’s team and the CIC transformed the installation’s 20,000-square-foot performing arts venue in just under four months. For health and safety purposes, attendees are required to wear masks throughout the experience. Showstoppers! Spectacular Costumes From Stage & ScreenOne of the many ensembles on display is of the specially made silk suits for Lin Manuel Miranda to wear in Hamilton.Photo: Rebecca J. Michelson

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