Hey Jeremy thanks for chatting with us! Introduce yourself and tell us what you do for the Art Institute of Chicago.
Jeremy Rothschild: Chairman of the Evening Associates Board of Directors at the Art Institute of Chicago
What is After Dark, what does it offer for audiences of the Art Institute of Chicago?
After Dark is an event series hosted by the Evening Associates Board of directors that highlights art exhibitions at the Art Institute of Chicago while featuring musical acts, cocktails, interactive theatrical performances, and occasionally art making activities all focused on engaging Chicago’s young professional audience.
The Evening Associates Board is a diverse group of young art-inspired professionals, innovators, and philanthropists committed to engaging Chicago’s under-40 community with the Art Institute of Chicago, driving Evening Associates membership, and promoting an understanding and appreciation of the arts. They were named the 2015 Associate Board of the Year by Young Nonprofit Professionals Network of Chicago (YNPN Chicago).
ReverbNation CONNECT has been curating talent for After Dark for a little over a year and we love how the event combines music, art, and culture. How did After Dark start and what’s the story behind it?
After Dark started as a collaboration between Katie Rahn in the Art Institute’s marketing department, Alicia Faulkner from Bon Appetit – the museum’s catering company, and Matt’s production company. I was actually living overseas at the conception of After Dark and returned to Chicago to find an event and group that really connected for me and stimulated my interest in becoming more deeply involved with the Art Institute. For a bit of further background – the Evening Associates group has been around for over 25 years and through this time has offered various iterations of nighttime programming for young professionals – we have hosted everything from evening cocktail receptions with different artists to Glamorama with Macy’s to the opening of Shepard Fariey’s Provocateurs, to the ArtFEED dining and lecture series. We were not originally one of the hosts of After Dark, but as our place at the museum grew and evolved it was a clearly natural fit to have the Evening Associates serve as the group tied to the After Dark events. This is now one of the signature events hosted by the Evening Associates, and truly does introduce guests to experience the Art Institute of Chicago in a new light.
After Dark gives us a unique opportunity to expose some of our best emerging artists to a new crowd. How has ReverbNation CONNECT’s involvement enhanced the music aspect of After Dark?
The visual art at the museum has always been world class and this proves out with consistent TripAdvisor rankings as one of the top 3 museums in the world. We’re talking about a museum from Chicago competing with the likes of The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the d’Orsay in Paris, The Prado in Madrid, The Hermitage in St. Petersburg, Russia. That really speaks to the tremendous effort by the entire team at the Art Institute of Chicago.
To the music – ReverbNation CONNECT’S involvement has been a wonderful new asset in allowing us to enhance the musical programming while exposing our growing audience to new up-and-coming musical acts from a wide variety of genres. To be able to see amazing art AND hear awesome new music really elevates the experience to a whole new level of greatness.
What were some of last year’s highlights?
The After Dark events surrounding Van Gogh’s Bedrooms exhibition were extremely popular – selling out in a matter of hours. What we were able to do is create a fun atmosphere around the exhibition by offering a unique experience for our members as well as newcomers. After Dark is often the first time many of our members meet and get involved at the museum. ReverbNation CONNECT artist Gavin Turek played an After Dark at the end of 2015 featuring the architecture of David Adjaye that was so well-received that the Evening Associates invited her back to headline the kick-off party at 1st Ward Events for our annual Night Heist Gala.
What do attribute to the success of the series?
The core formula for After Dark is a combination of: world-class art, great performances by up-and-coming musicians, intriguing craft cocktails (how many other museums do you know of that have an official mixologist like the Art Institute’s Adam Seger?), vibrant and diverse audience (the Evening Associates Board of Directors works diligently to attract and retain this amazing audience base).
What’s currently on your playlist?
Skela (new singer from NYC), Bob Moses (Canadian Electronic Live Act), Chance the Rapper, Rufus du Sol, Février (new group from Norway), Jamie N Commons (British Singer / Songwriter / Producer based in Los Angeles), David Bowie, Nicholas Jaar, Disclosure, Uncle Murda, Drake, The Black Keys, LCD Soundsystem, Claptone, M83, Kungs, Soul Clap, Flight Facilities, Majid Jordan, The Cool Kids, KAYTARANDA, Da Internz (Grammy-Nominated Production Duo from Chicago). Giorgio Moroder, Uclusu & Aysegul Aldnic (1970’s Turkish Pysch Disco), Donna Summer, AlunaGeorge, The Meters.
What can we expect in the next year for After Dark? Can you give us a preview?
One of the by-products of successful events is the pressure to continually evolve and elevate our After Dark programming. The Art Institute’s curatorial department does a phenomenal job putting together consistently amazing exhibitions (everything from well-known artists such as Picasso, Van Gogh, and Magritte, to up-and-coming contemporary artists) and we can use these exhibitions to serve as both the centerpiece of the event and what we are trying to highlight as well as the inspiration for other programming for the events (from the cocktail menu, to music programming, to suggested attire for the attendees).
We’ve streamlined the number of After Dark events that we will be hosting in 2017 to focus on further enhancing the guest experience at every event. Additionally, the Evening Associates are always looking for new ways to connect with our young professional audience and will continue to evolve After Dark, our gala Night Heist, as well at other young professional focused programming.
The Evening Associates of the Art Institute of Chicago will be selecting one (1) ReverbNation artist for the chance to open for the influential hip-hop duo The Cool Kids at its exclusive After Dark event live at the Art Institute of Chicago. Taking place at one of the Windy City’s most prestigious institutions, this long-running event series invites over 1,200 attendees to experience emerging music, engaging gallery tours, and tons of fun.