Things to Do

DC’s Arts Institutions Are Doing Crazy Things to Lure Millennials

Yep, the Kennedy Center installed a half-pipe.

Photograph courtesy of Museum Hack.

Washington’s glut of ambitious millennials may be great for the tax base, but they challenge cultural institutions looking to lure future benefactors. Here’s what the places are trying instead of black-tie galas.

Interactive tours of the National Gallery of Art by Museum Hack

Saturdays and Sundays

Photograph courtesy of Museum Hack.

The pitch: Bow-tied guides encourage selfies and dish more Impressionist-era gossip than art history. (The company’s motto: “This museum is f***ing awesome.”)

“Finding a Line: Skateboarding, Music, and Media”

Kennedy Center, September 11 and 12

Skating at Blind Whino by Jati Lindsay.

The pitch: Skateboarders shred on a half-pipe on the KenCen plaza to the music of jazz pianist Jason Moran.

“History of the Cocktail: Tiki & Exotic Drinks”

National Archives, September 26

Photograph courtesy of U.S. National Archives and Records Administration.

The pitch: Alcohol-fueled seminars show “a new generation . . . how the Archives Museum is a fun and buzz-worthy destination.”

Capital City Symphony and Gourmet Symphony’s “Taste Your Music”

The Hamilton, September 3

Photograph by Suhail Mir.

The pitch: “Culinary-inspired concerts” by a 53-piece ensemble, with food-and-drink pairings to match the musical selections.

National Symphony Orchestra “Declassified” series

Kennedy Center, selected Fridays starting in December

Ben Folds. Photograph courtesy of the Kennedy Center.

The pitch: Allowing food and drink in the Concert Hall helps youths “let go of traditional classical connotations,” says the NSO’s Nigel Boon.

This article appears in our September 2015 issue.