Back in 2003, when the Museum was turning 100 years old, a team of staff members came up with the idea to keep the Museum open for 100 hours straight to celebrate the occasion. No closing of the doors, no sleep for staff, all hours access for our visitors.
Our 100 Hour Celebration saw over 45,000 visitors in the Museum, and they came at all hours. We were excited to see people in the galleries at 4:30 a.m. looking at works of art, or dancing in our Atrium to DJs at 1:00 a.m. This showed us that people would come to the Museum if we kept our doors open after “normal” operating hours. Throughout the rest of the year, we experimented with after-hour events called Impressionist Evenings, where we worked out the types of programs offered, the best day of the week to hold the event, and how late we should stay open.
After a year of experimenting, Late Nights were born in January 2004. Now, on the third Friday of every month (except December), the Museum is open until midnight, and visitors can explore our galleries, participate in family experiences, go on tours, enjoy concerts, meet artists, and so much more.
This Friday, January 21, will kick off the 8th year of Late Nights. To celebrate, I have put together Late Nights by the Numbers:
77 – Number of Late Nights since 2004
323,989 – Total attendance for all Late Nights
35,557 – Number of visitors at our best-attended Late Night, in June 2007, featuring a concert by Erykah Badu
2 – Number of Arturo puppets we have (one is dressed in PJs and bunny slippers for Late Nights)
203 – Number of tours given during Late Nights
4 – Number of Best of Dallas awards Late Nights have received from the Dallas Observer
298 – Number of cases of water we have supplied for performers
95 – Number of films we have screened during Late Nights
19 – Number of different DJs who have spun at a Late Night, some more than once
8 – Number of times our visitors have done the Chicken Dance during a Late Night, which is every time Brave Combo performs
Stacey Lizotte is Head of Adult Programming and Multimedia Services.