In Fall 2015, The City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program was getting ready to kick off a citywide art exhibition called Open Source. Open Source was made up of 40 art installations throughout the city of Philadelphia by 14 international artists including Shepard Fairey. The initiative was a huge undertaking by Mural Arts, artists and partners and had been in progress for many months.
Our challenge was to plan and produce an opening party with limited lead time that would position Open Source as a must-see for all Philadelphians with a passion for art, culture and activism.
We started by booking a well-known national act for the Opening Party with local supporting acts that not only fit the budget but also had cross cultural appeal. Ernest Greene of Washed Out headlined the event with a DJ set. City Rain and The Living Sample joined the bill with support from DJs Ben Arsenal and Serop.
We hosted the Open Source Opening Party at The Bok School—a former vocational high school built in 1938 turned modern day makerspace. We transformed the first floor into an art prom with an exclusive cocktail hour for Mural Arts’ dedicated supporters and VIPS. An electric dance party ensued in the high school gym as live art was created by 5 visual artists positioned throughout the space.
To market the experience, we designed and executed a social media campaign which highlighted the DJ set by Washed Out and the unique space at the Bok School. Onsite we supported the campaign by utilizing an Instagram hashtag printer which allowed attendees to post and print photos from the event using the unique event hashtag #opensourcePHL.
As a result, the impact of the event lasted throughout the length of the Open Source season-long program and drove scores of art enthusiasts and activists to the installations throughout the city.