Every fall, Washington Project for the Arts (WPA) and Hickok Cole partner to host Art Night, an annual exhibition and fundraiser that has raised over $1.4 million in support of WPA’s mission and the local arts community. This year, we were challenged to reimagine Art Night for a virtual audience, pivoting to mark our 20th year with a socially-distant, yet highly connected celebration spanning the month of October.
The shift to Art Month required identifying what people love most about Art Night and finding new ways to deliver it virtually. In a year of limited corporate budgets, maintaining legacy sponsors who account for 75% of historical sales was essential. The team decided to focus outreach efforts on Devil and Cherub sponsors, two levels that target individuals, not companies, with discretionary income. Budget saved from traditional expenses like catering went to an upgraded VIP experience, including private tours of a limited gallery and a customized gift box hand-delivered to homes and businesses to express thanks in person.
Simultaneously, the event’s virtual nature allowed us to expand our buyer pool through unexplored channels and audiences. We shook things up with new programming and content, including our first-ever virtual gallery experience – all curated to connect art lovers and potential buyers with local art and the diverse community of creatives behind it who needed their support more than ever.
Art Month 2020 exceeded expectations, raising $115,470 for WPA and DC’s art community and redefining the reach and format of Art Nights to come.
Hickok Cole's Art Month 2020
Special Event > Special Event-Mixed Media
- Award of Excellence