As states start to reopen, nonprofits around the U.S. continue to offer virtual options for accessing their collections and programming. Here’s the latest update of good work we’d like to share with you.
The Cleveland Zoological Society
"Cruise the Zoo" is a new fundraising event which lets people visit the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo while maintaining social distancing. Visitors can purchase a ticket to drive through the Zoo to see the animals. Within hours, hundreds of patrons purchased tickets, with new orders coming in every few seconds. Within three days, more than half of the available time slots had sold-out. In addition, nearly 20% of the orders included an additional supporting donation resulting in an 8.4% increase in overall revenue. Kudos to the Zoo for inventing an all new (and safe) way for Clevelanders to continue to enjoy this community treasure.
The Westmoreland Museum of American Art
After canceling in-person summer camps, The Westmoreland Museum of American Art moved their camps online in the form of virtual programming. All of the virtual camps sold out in less than a day. Despite the pandemic, The Westmoreland has devised a new way to continue meaningful patron engagement throughout the summer.
Invertigo Dance Theatre
This LA-based dance company is using their craft to spread beauty and joy through their Digital Dance Care Packages. For a nominal donation, patrons can purchase a customized virtual performance "Care Package" and gift it to family and friends. Invertigo will choreograph a dance based on prompts that donors supply, then send it along to a lucky recipient. The Digital Dance Care Packages also include several exclusive dance films, recorded excerpts, and other visual treats for dance fans. To date, they've raised hundreds of dollars to support their local dancers during the pandemic. Bravo to Invertigo for inventing new ways to raise funds and remain engaged with the community.
Oberlin Center for the Arts
The Oberlin Center for the Arts has found a new way to safely bring the arts to those who are especially isolated during the pandemic. Through OCA's Digital Postcards initiative, local artists are asked to submit a short piece of music, dance, film/animation, visual art, comedy, short story, spoken word, or poetry through a simple web form. OCA then deliveres the works digitally to recipients in area nursing homes and medical facilities. Contributors don't have to be professional artists to join in, they only need to have a heartfelt message to share.
National Steinbeck Center
The National Steinbeck Center has created a way to continue engaging their members by offering exclusive access to virtual content. Their new Virtual Memberships offer a way for people all over the world to interact with their content, from new exhibitions and historical photos to an audio-video library and more. When they reopen, they plan to continue to offer this new membership level. At less than $3 per month, the program has been a huge success and has made membership accessible to a whole new market.