Art Museum attracts with late night hours
The scavenger hunt was the latest in a series of weekly Thursday evening activities held at the museum to encourage students to visit the collection. It was co-sponsored by the museum, the Chinese Students Association, the Asian American Students Association and the Taiwanese-American Students Association (TASA).
James Steward, who became the museum’s director this year, said in an e-mail that he hopes the museum lures students “for multiple reasons, from serious academic work to being a venue for performances to simply being a social gathering place.”
Late-night hours are one component of the outreach efforts. “Extending our open hours seemed an important way of trying to address that,” he explained.
“It was fun going around the museum and checking out all the pieces of art,” TASA co-president Alex Shih ’11 said in an e-mail. “I was a little sad I didn’t win though ... What a downer.”
Past Thursday events have included a Nassau Street food tasting that brought over 2,400 students to the museum, as well as film screenings and musical performances.
The events have been organized by Elizabeth Lemoine ’09, who began working at the museum as the student outreach coordinator upon graduating.
Lemoine said that the programming emerged out of a “vision for reaching out to the undergrads, and for them to use the museum in a way they never used it before.”
Planning the events has required Lemoine to use the same creativity she needed as a comparative literature concentrator pursuing a visual arts certificate, she said.
The museum has also created a student advisory board to help bring students to campus.
Sarah Gerth ’12, who is on the 12-member student advisory board, said she was pleased with the scavenger hunt’s turnout. “It was great to see everyone figure this out,” she said, adding that “there was some intense competition.”
“It was a fun way to make me go to McCormick [Hall] when I probably wouldn’t have otherwise,” Shih said of the scavenger hunt.
Steward said he hopes students will continue to come to the museum during its extended open hours. “Late Thursdays has been designed to help create the sense that there are many reasons to come to the museum — not just the academic,” he said.