The DMA Friends program turns a year old this month, and what a year it’s been! Our DMA Friends have helped reshape the way people visit the Museum—collecting points and badges—and the experiences they have at the DMA. There are so many highlights that we decided to recap some of the greatest hits of the past 12 months.
January – Let’s Get This Party Started
We launched the DMA Friends program, as well as our return to free general admission, with a day full of free activities on January 21, 2013. By the end of that first day, we had over 800 new friends. New DMA Friends have continued to join with enthusiasm—in fact, we welcomed the largest number of DMA Friends between December 26 and 31. Happy Anniversary, DMA Friends!
February – Busy Bees
The first full month of our new gallery activity, the Pop-Up Art Spot, was very pop-ular. DMA Friends love taking a creative break in the galleries with inspiration from the DMA’s collection. The Pop-Up Art Spot is currently the most popular activity for DMA Friends.
March – Rewarding Rewards
With all of their visits, activities and check ins, DMA Friends started raking in their points quickly. Our first high value reward, Dinner and Movie, was redeemed only two months after the launch of DMA Friends. It was the first of many special rewards redeemed this year, including the Art Beauty Shoppe reward, which you can read more about here.
April – Cindy Sherman Doppelgängers
We encouraged DMA Friends to test their creativity with our Cindy Sherman Super Fan activity. DMA Friends grabbed their wigs, costumes and cameras and tweeted their interpretation of Cindy Sherman for extra points and a bonus badge. DMA staff even got in on the fun—see more here.
May – Hera, Medusa and Zeus. Oh My!
Throughout the year, DMA Friends have had the opportunity to earn special limited-edition badges. In May, those who came to Late Night dressed as their favorite Greek hero received the Midnight Masquerade Badge, not to mention some adoring and impressed fans.
June – Indonesian Celebration
The DMA celebrated the award-winning catalogue Eyes of the Ancestors: The Arts of Island Southeast Asia at the Dallas Museum of Art with a week of activities, which was right up our DMA Friends alleys. The DMA’s Asian Galleries received the most visits by DMA Friends, with over 18,000 check-ins!
July – The President and Mrs. John F. Kennedy
We were halfway through our presentation of the DMA-organized exhibition Hotel Texas: An Art Exhibition for the President and Mrs. John F. Kennedy in July. This exhibition was the most visited exhibition of 2013 by DMA Friends.
August – Into the Deep
The DMA Friends reward Into the Deep was featured in the Dallas Observer in August. Since the launch of DMA Friends, 26 guests have explored the Museum’s art storage by redeeming this exclusive reward.
September – Coast to Coast
In September, we received great news: the DMA was awarded an IMLS grant to help fund the expansion of a platform of engagement based on the DMA Friends program to partner institutions, including the Denver Art Museum, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and Minneapolis Institute of Arts. Stay tuned this year for exciting news as their plans develop.
October – Late Nights, High Numbers
Ten months into our program, we reached over 30,000 new DMA Friends! And they loved October’s Late Night, when we welcomed the largest number of new DMA Friends during our monthly event.
November – Overnight at the Museum
Ten DMA Friends visited exhibitions, attended lectures, created art at the Art Spot and more to earn 100,000 points since the launch in January. Those DMA Friends and a few of their buddies were the first people to ever spend the night at the DMA. Read about their fun overnight adventure here and start saving your points now!
December – Feeling the Love
DMA Friends are making news around the world! In December, The Economist magazine put the spotlight on DMA Friends with its “How to Win Friends” article on the program.
Celebrate the first year of DMA Friends, as well as the DMA’s 111th birthday, this Friday during Late Night. We have a lot of fun events in store, including a few surprises for DMA Friends! Check out the Late Night schedule here to start planning everything you want to do.
If you aren’t already a DMA Friend, be sure to sign up for the free program on your next visit.
Kimberly Daniell is the manager of communications and public affairs at the DMA and Sarah Coffey is the assistant to the chair of learning initiatives at the DMA.