Sleeping with Art: Not in the Biblical Sense

A year ago, before the launch of DMA Friends, we were brainstorming unique and fun rewards to offer. One idea we all jumped on was to hold a DMA Overnight at the Museum. We decided that this would be the “big reward” for DMA Friends to redeem, worth 100,000 points!

Ten months later, ten DMA Friends had earned enough points to redeem the reward. So on Friday, November 1, we hosted our first DMA Overnight!

The Overnight Crew!

The Overnight Crew!

We started planning for the DMA Overnight late this summer, and the question that we kept asking ourselves was “what are we going to do with our guests this evening?” Could they roam free for hours on end, should we pack the evening with activities, would they even want to sleep at some point or test their endurance by staying awake the entire night?

After researching other museums’ overnight programs, which were mostly nature and science museums, we put together a schedule that included an hour of free time, a curator-led tour, three different gallery activities, a midnight snack, an optional early sleep time, watching a film or playing games, and finally a time for “lights out,” when everyone had to be in their sleeping bags for the night (which ended up being close to 4 a.m.).

Knowing this group had done a lot at the DMA (they did earn 100,000 points after all!), we wanted them to have a new experience in the galleries, so we created a game for the DMA Overnight called Roll with It! This competitive dice game took the guests throughout the Museum as they searched for a work of art that matched the roll of the dice. One die gave a gallery location, one gave a feature that the work needed to include (red, 3D, animals), and one gave an action for the guests to do (pose, sketch, make a sound) in response to their chosen work of art. The team that completed the most rolls in 30 minutes won the game.

DMA Overnight by the numbers:

1,000,000 – points earned by 10 DMA Friends to attend the Overnight

23 – Friends

108 – glow sticks worn

3 – hand-made dice

10 – “art babies” created during the Creativity Challenge

1 – ghost story

5 – Friends who got up early to do yoga in the galleries

4 – average number of hours Friends slept during the DMA Overnight

Lights Out at the DMA

We were also excited to have Luke Darby from the Dallas Observer join us for the DMA Overnight. You can read about his experience here.

Stacey Lizotte is head of adult programming and multimedia services at the DMA, and designated RA of DMA Overnight.

2 Responses to “Sleeping with Art: Not in the Biblical Sense”


  1. 1 Gary juergens November 11, 2013 at 3:16 am

    Good times, the DMA staff kept us super busy all through the night. When do you get to snore in a concrete hall with priceless art trying to hush you?

  2. 2 samantha November 13, 2013 at 3:14 pm

    What an awesome goal and experience for DMA members. Great to see the energy and excitement in the photos – thank you for sharing!


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