Although a number of events had to be canceled this summer due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Tacoma Art Museum managed to keep the party alive virtually with their second annual PRIDE Party!
The event took place on July 16, 2019 on the museum’s website (tacomaartmuseum.org) and attendance was free. Included were two YouTube videos crafted exclusively for the occasion, and an art hashtag for anyone in attendance to use in a social media post that has a photo/video of their art attached. Many different types of mediums were encouraged for the hashtag, ranging from a painting, drawing, creative makeup look, song, dance or poem.
The first YouTube video was a six-minute DIY cocktail tutorial by local bartenders Chandler Crite and Shelby Stewart. The pair demonstrated how to make two drinks, one being a rosemary cocktail and the other a mocktail version of the first drink. Only simple ingredients people would typically have in their homes were required for the drinks.
The second video was a 20 min. gallery tour led by local drag queens Indika Haze and Patsy De Cline. The drag performers provided an interesting and humorous tour for viewers while going around the entire museum, introducing art pieces and giving commentary. The video is a delight to any big fans of the Tacoma Art Museum who’ve been missing going back.
Like a number of events planned for 2020, the PRIDE Party! was meant to take place in person at the Tacoma Art Museum, as it did last year. Amelia Layton, the public programs manager for the Tacoma Art Museum who helped organize this, and last, year’s PRIDE Party!, had to craft a completely different plan once the pandemic hit.
“Planning actually started in January where we just brainstormed and had basic outlines for what we wanted,” says Layton.
Layton explained how planning wasn’t too hard for the planning committee since they had a successful party last year and were able to recreate it. However, the stay at home order resulted in the cancelation of any in-person chances the party had for this year.
“The heavy lifting aspect of planning on my end would’ve just started right before we all had to quarantine,” says Layton.
Indika Haze was reached out to by Layton after she was informed that any form of pride party would have to be online. Haze gave a tour of the museum during last year’s pride party, so Layton wanted to see what she’d be able to do for any sort of online event.
After attending a number of virtual events on Zoom, Layton decided not to go with that platform for the pride party. Instead, she decided to go for creating digital content for the website so people could engage in it any time that works for them.
“The way we did it allows for people to choose when they want to attend it, so the chance of losing our audience from inaccessible time frames was slim,” says Layton.
So far, Layton has only received positive feedback from those who choose to attend this year’s PRIDE Party!. She pointed out how the drag tour was the main aspect people really seemed to enjoy.
“It was a really great learning opportunity for me as I go on to organize more events online this year,” says Layton.
The Tacoma Art Museum proves that being stuck at home can’t stop a true celebration with their second annual, PRIDE Party! Layton will also be holding digital Tacoma Art Museum events in October/November for the Day of the Dead festival.
Planning for fall events right now is in early stages, but Layton will use the pride event as an example for future online events due to the success.
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