A New Kind of Event for ArtWeek Boston

Release Date

ArtWeek Boston is a bi-annual festival that features interactive or behind the scenes art events throughout eastern Massachusetts. The project was contacted by them to do an event since being part of the art is what we're all about. Our participants are the artists, from what to wear, to the posing, to what they write.

We wanted to do something different from the standard photo shoot we setup at festivals, organizations, and schools, though. Northeastern Crossing volunteered their community outreach venue for the event, and we created a one day pop-up exhibit featuring 240 people from the collection as well as a photo studio.

Often, people find our booth as part of a larger event, so many times they don't expect to be part of it when they see us - they see the signs and like the idea, get their pictures taken, and move on to the next booth. We often measure success by how many people we were able to photograph during the event.

This time, it was a solo event inside a building with very little foot traffic. Most of the people stopped by because they had read about the event and came specifically to see it. For this event, the emphasis was on people reading about participants in the exhibit, and talking to me about the philosophy of the project and their own experiences with stereotypes, or professional observations about the topics the project covers. Many people stayed for extended periods of time and sometimes multiple groups joined the conversations.

The goal of the project is to encourage thoughtful conversation about difficult topics, and having this more relaxed atmosphere contributed to some great discussions among total strangers. I think including chairs and couches to this kind of event next time would make it even better.

Thank you to the great staff at ArtWeek Boston and Northeastern Crossing for helping make this event possible.

If you are interested in hosting a similar event to encourage conversation at your company, organization, or school, let us know!