Get Ready for More Random Acts of Culture in Your Life!

November 18, 2010 § Leave a comment

During our class on viral marketing last evening, I was reminded of the email my future mother in law recently sent me containing a video of the Opera Company of Philadelphia surprising shoppers at a Macy’s by performing the Hallelujah chorus from Handel’s Messiah. When I delved deeper into the background of this project, I found something extremely interesting – the Knight Foundation is funding these types of viral marketing activities through their "1,000 Random Acts of Culture" grant program!

The Knight Foundation’s 1,000 Random Acts of Culture Program is funding 1,000 projects over the next three years in eight resident Knight communities: Akron, Ohio; Charlotte, NC; Detroit, Mich; Macon, GA; Miami, FL; Philadelphia, PA; San Jose, CA; and St. Paul, MN. The grants will be given to projects that enrich and engage the communities through collective cultural experiences. The goal is to bring art out of the performance halls and into the streets as a reminder of how the arts bring vibrancy and connection to a community.

I think that the Knight Foundation’s commitment to supporting art out in the community is truly inspiring. Not only will these "random acts" bring national attention to the involved artists and organizations through viral marketing, but they will also push organizations to bring their art forms "outside the box". I LOVE whenever I see an arts organization do a FlashMob or "pop-up performance". And apparently I’m not alone, because the Opera Company of Philadelphia’s "pop-up performance" from April 2010 has over 3 million hits on YouTube. The video of the Hallelujah performance, posted only two weeks ago, has already garnered more views than the first pop-up performance! So not only do these performances bring communities together to enjoy the arts, they are POWERFUL marketing tools! I can’t wait to see where the next Random Act of Culture will turn up next!

Opera Company of Philadelphia’s 1st "Pop-Up" Performance

"Hallelujah Chorus" at Macy’s



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