Facebook, Alternative Bands and Acoustic Sessions @ the MFA

To me, this just about sums up the 21st century Millennial: Facebook invitations, exclusive access to acoustic sessions, alternative bands, behind the scenes privileges, access granted only through social media and a little culture via the fine arts. To what pray tell could I be referring? Why, Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts’ (MFA) partnership with radio station WFNX, of course. Since May 2011, the MFA Boston has been showcasing nationally acclaimed acoustic bands in its galleries. Each month, an alternative band and 35-50 lucky winners are selected to participate in the exclusive Acoustic Sessions series.

How does one get selected to attend? Here’s where the Millennial wins. The concerts are announced on the MFA’s Facebook page and live on WFNX Radio (tune in on 101.7 FM in the Boston area). Interested followers can submit an entry form on the MFA’s Facebook page or call in to the radio station to be selected.

How does it work? The MFA’s upcoming Acoustic Series concert on March 27th is advertised on its Facebook page in the following post:

The MFA and WFNX have teamed up to present some of the best alternative bands, live in the galleries and Kasabian plays next on March 27. You can only see them by “liking” us and entering to win tickets here or listening to WFNX.

According the program’s press release, the artists perform in various galleries- from the European Paintings to the Contemporary American Art room. Their performances are sound and video recorded. They are then shared online, both on the MFA’s Facebook page and WFNX’s webpage.

Just when you thought it couldn’t get any more Millennial friendly, the MFA throws in this added exclusive- the performing musicians’ participate in the Museum’s “Art We Love”

program. The musicians select their favorite work of art in the museum, explain why they chose it or its significance to them and are then photographed beside the work. The photographs are uploaded to the MFA’s Facebook page for all to enjoy

and explore, providing unique insight and exclusive information on the musicians.

It is a perfect example of how the collaboration between social media, the visual and the performing arts can enhance the public's artistic experience and engage even those difficult Millennials. Originally from the Boston area, I am proud to share the MFA’s innovative programming with those from away. But I am sure other museums and galleries are up to similar projects. What other museums and galleries have similar, or completely unique, social-media driven, collaborative programs?