Across the United States and around the world, The Kinsey African American Art & History Collection had attracted millions of visitors. Its long-planned visit to Tacoma Art Museum in the summer of 2021 coincided with a time when the city and the museum were confronting the painful truth of racism in Tacoma. The exhibition’s 150 artifacts and art pieces, never before been seen in the Northwest, promised to be a catalyst for understanding and celebration. And TAM’s marketing director had just departed.
TAM engaged JayRay to tell the story of the collection and turn out the media just three weeks before opening weekend. Opening events included the press preview with collectors Bernard and Shirley Kinsey, an all-day community block party featuring curator Khalil Kinsey and the kickoff of programming featuring partnerships with numerous Black businesses.
JayRay created a media outreach plan, managed dozens of media visits, and coordinated in-person and virtual interviews. More than 40 media outlets published features about the exhibition, including the Seattle Times, Crosscut.com, the Daily Olympian, KING 5 “Evening” and NBC’s “Today” show. TAM welcomed an average of 100 new visitors each day despite the pandemic.
JayRay continues working with TAM to build awareness and secure news coverage for the exhibition’s community programming, lectures and other partnerships. Affiliated activities include a pop-up apparel shop with Tacoma-based eTceTera, and local guest chef takeovers at the TAM café.