Best Thinking Outside the (Museum) Box - 2012
A couple of years back, the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art hosted a lecture. That's not unusual — museums do that kind of thing all the time. But this was a particularly inspiring speech, one we've remembered. Adam Lerner, director of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Denver, came to town to talk about his unconventional approach to audience development. This has included a series called Mixed Taste that brought together disparate interests — imagine, for example, a lecture that combines the topics of absinthe and Arctic ice caps. Or video art and migratory birds. People in Colorado flocked to the programs and stayed to see the art.Super, we thought, but how can that happen here? Two years later, we're pretty sure our own SMoCA is setting the bar. Led by writer and performer Tania Katan, SMoCA Lounge is now putting on creative programming that would make Adam Lerner proud — like artists arm-wrestling to earn grant money, a video series about what Katan does at work (tongue firmly in cheek), and the cherry on the sundae, a series called Lit Lounge, featuring terrific local writers (including New Times' Robrt L. Pela and Sativa Peterson) reading their work along with performances by bands like The Pübes. We can't wait to see what you do next, Tania.