MOCA launches 'Art is for You,' a digitally driven membership campaign

Building on the success of its YouTube channel, MOCAtv -- which features original documentaries, interviews with artists and an animated series and has more than 150,000 subscribers internationally -- the Museum of Contemporary Art is broadening its digital reach.

On Wednesday, MOCA launched a new membership campaign, “Art is for You,” aimed at a digitally savvy audience. The campaign “is designed to appeal directly to a broad local and international audience actively participating in contemporary visual culture through social media channels,” the museum said in a statement.

In June, MOCA installed a video booth at its Grand Avenue location in which guests -- both casual passersby and artists such as Gary Baseman, Cai Guo-Qiang and Shepard Fairey -- could talk about their experiences with contemporary art, from exhibitions that moved them to their hopes for the future of contemporary-art museums.

VIDEO: Highlights from MOCAtv

The results were edited into three short videos that form the crux of the new campaign. The first video was released on Wednesday morning and links to a dedicated site where viewers can sign up for a MOCA membership. 

MOCA says it is now more than $80 million into its fundraising goal of building its endowment from about $20 million to $100 million. Membership, however, has declined in recent years. In 2011, as a result of record attendance at the exhibition "Art in the Streets," membership peaked at around 13,000. MOCA currently has about 10,000 members.

The museum is also taking a financial hit now that Eli Broad, previously its primary funder, won’t be renewing his pledge of $3 million a year for five years. In the 2012-13 fiscal year that ended June 30, Broad's pledge money made up more than a fifth of MOCA's overall operating budget of $14.3 million.


In addition, The Broad museum is expected to open in late 2014 directly across the street from MOCA -- and unlike MOCA, which charges $12 per visit (except on Thursday nights, when admission is free), entry to the main collection at The Broad is to be free.

Both Broad and MOCA, however, have said they expect The Broad to boost foot traffic to the area and, therefore, help boost MOCA’s attendance.

A new social-media-oriented membership campaign with videos featuring artists such as Aaron Young, Bec Stupak, Kenny Scharf, Guo-Qiang and Fairey can’t hurt either.


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