Holiday Museum Crawl
Cultural shopping spree: Ditch the malls for museums this Saturday
Just like New York’s Museum Mile and Chicago’s Cultural Mile, Austin also boasts an array of cultural experiences in one concentrated area.
Austin’s Cultural Campus, formed in 2009, includes the Blanton Museum of Art, The Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum, the Harry Ransom Center, the LBJ Library and Museum, Texas Memorial Museum and the Visual Arts Center. All of them are located downtown, within walking distance from each other.
On Saturday, November 26, you can explore campus during their collective Holiday Museum Crawl. Each of the museums (except the Visual Arts Center and Texas Memorial Museum) will be open and offering free or discounted admission to exhibitions, hot beverages, discounted shopping and, in some cases, live music.
“We are encouraging people to kick off their holiday shopping and get a bit of culture too,” said Kathleen Brady Stimpert, Director of Public Relations and Marketing for the Blanton Museum of Art.
Stimpert and Timothy Dillon, Director of Marketing and Media Relations at the Bob Bullock Museum, can be thanked for the creation of Austin’s Cultural Campus. A few years ago they came together to brainstorm ways to help promote each other and decided to mimic cities like New York and Chicago and create a cultural destination in Austin.
“We wanted to try and position ourselves as a museum district. We were looking at those institutions that were in the vicinity and discovered all of us offered something different like a campus. There is art, history, science and humanities all within walking distance,” Stimpert said.
Today the museums work together to promote and celebrate each others exhibitions and events. The group recently launched a blog and Facebook page and have also teamed up with Mellow Johnny's Bike Shop and the Austin Cycling Association to provide periodic bike tours.
While the Austin Cultural Campus is a great tool for marketing, Stimpert said their ultimate goal is to create collaborative programming and host more fun events like the bike tours and upcoming holiday museum crawl.