A Night at the Museum: the Magic of Museum Night Fever

A Night at the Museum: the Magic of Museum Night Fever

Text: Isla Howie

A night at the museum was always a dream of mine: to secretly sneak around and admire the art in the twilight. For the last couple of years, Museum Night Fever has made my dream come true. From the dancers to the singers and the lights, it made for a magical night. Boasting more than 17 thousand visitors, it was the most successful edition to date. Communications manager Mathilde Oechsner  tells us about the ins and outs of organising an event of this scale: “Each year, we reach out to newer artists in art schools and beyond.”

How do you find the balance between these, often experimental, performances and the art and artefacts that are already in the museums?

“We work with young up-and-coming artists; the event itself is a result of a collaboration. Every artist is informed about the theme of a particular exhibition on which they can base their performance. It does happen that an artist contacts us regarding a particular museum that inspires them. So, the balance is always different. Some museums have permanent collections, whereas others focus more on temporary exhibitions or particular themes. Those differences also make for totally different feelings in each museum.

So, the balance between performances and visual art differs in each of our museums. But overall, artists always find some sort of inspiration that can spark a performance.”

How does Museum Night Fever aim to reach these young artists?

We have a different program every year. Some artists return multiple years in a row, but each year we send out a letter to newer artists in art schools and beyond. That way, our program stays fresh and close to the young art scene.

We give the artists ideas and contacts, but the programme is mostly chosen by them and the museums, so they have lots of creative freedom.

How does Museum Night Fever aim to lessen their ecological footprint?

We find it very important for us and other cultural events to be more ecologically conscious. For example, we worked with EventChange, a consulting non-profit organisation which specialises in making events more ecological. Each museum signed a charter, as well as our partners. We try to be more conscious on every level of the event. For example, we printed less posters, and for the posters that were printed, less ink was used.  

Do the aforementioned young artists create your promotional content, such as the posters?

The poster was designed by a recent graphic design graduate. In that way, we still tried to use young talent to create our designs.

After our conversation with Mathilde, we were lucky enough to enjoy the event ourselves. Each Museum had a very different vibe, and the performances gave new perspectives on the museum’s collections. A personal favourite of mine was the choir singing in the Art & History Museum. The acoustics of the room combined with voices of all ages made for an almost hypnotic sound palette. This is a unique event, and we are already eagerly looking forward to next year’s edition.

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