On Thursday, October 19, 2017, Washington’s art enthusiasts packed the Georgetown, DC offices of Hickok Cole for Art Night 2017 – our annual fundraiser in support of Washington Project for the Arts (WPA). Each year Hickok Cole works with WPA to host a juried art show with all proceeds going to further WPA’s mission of providing essential resources to support the creative spirit and success of regional artists. All artists receive 50% of sales, with the other 50% donated to WPA. Hickok Cole sponsors event expenses, allowing all proceeds to benefit the DC art community. Now in its seventeenth year, the event has raised over one million dollars for WPA and local artists.

Art Night is known for drawing a big crowd, but this year we wanted to put the emphasis back on fundraising. To do this, we developed a new sponsorship category, Art Cherubs, to complement our Art Angels program and attract the next generation of art lovers and supporters. Art Cherubs were asked to commit $500 to the purchase of artwork, and event curators were challenged to increase the number of $100-$500 pieces to accommodate the new audience. Invite and advertising content, as well as event signage, was updated to emphasize the purchase of artwork. The Art Cherub program attracted eight new supporters, resulting in an additional $4,000 towards our grand total. With fewer but more targeted guests thanks to a scrubbed list, and a refocused emphasis on buying art, Art Night 2017 raised a record-breaking $120,000 for WPA.


INVITATIONS

General Invite. Click here to view Email Invitation

VIP Invite Package

Print invitations were mailed to a targeted list of 2,200, and reinforced by a digital invite sent via EventBrite.com to 7,000 emails.


MARKETING OBJECTIVES

  • Support the Washington, DC arts community by raising at least $100,000 – which equates to art sold and donations.
  • Garner press coverage of Art Night to equal at least $50,000 worth of advertising and exposure.
  • Raise at least $50,000 in pre-event art sales through Art Angel/Art Cherub sponsorship programs.
  • Attract new generation of donors.
  • Control event attendance through a targeted scrub of the guest list.
  • Simplify RSVP process through digital invite system.
  • Maintain $40,000 event budget.

Hickok Cole is committed to keeping art and design alive in our communities, partnering with like-minded colleagues, friends, and neighbors in support of WPA’s mission to support artists at all stages of their careers and stimulate public dialogue on art and culture.


SIGNAGE


RESULTS

  • Art Night generated more than $115,000 in artwork sales the night of the event and $120,000 over the show’s two week period—exceeding the event’s $100,000 goal by 20%.
  • 2,200 invitations were mailed; 600 RSVPs were received; and 900 attended the event.
  • Website hit rates spiked 35-40% around Art Night.
  • Hickok Cole enlisted 31 Art Angel and 8 Art Cherub sponsors, generating $72,200 in advance artwork sales—a 44% over the $50,000 goal.
  • Coverage from post Art Night press releases in national and local publications equated to over $75,000 worth of ad placement.
  • Actual Expenses: $38,900, including in-kind donations.