Every Friday Night at the de Young is an adventure! Each week, the intrepid Public Programs team puts together an evening to remember, and no one Friday Night is alike. It is huge undertaking that requires the careful orchestration of many moving parts. Navigating an endless array of logistics, including a sea of chairs, flyers, AV equipment, and feather boas (yes, boas), the Friday Nights team seamlessly works together to present museumgoers with an experience they'll never forget! We thought you'd be interested to see what goes on behind the scenes of what has become a weekly institution in San Francisco's nightlife.
Supplies for the night's events are laid out on the 7th floor of the tower, including a detailed description of the night's many events.
Rebecca Crump briefs the enthusiastic team of interns on the schedule of events; this night included live music from Orchestra Nostalgico, a showcase featuring the Artist Fellows, an Old Hollywood–style photo booth and, of course, a hands-on art-making table for kids of all ages!
The cart lineup prepares to overtake the elevators. Interns bring down tables, beverages for the hospitality room, signs, and costumes for the photo booth.
The parade of supplies, tables, and costumes moves through the museum.
The team checks in with Renee Baldocchi, director of Public Programs and the queen of Friday Nights at the de Young. You'll notice that the public is still milling about in Wilsey Court—that's becuase during the entire setup, the museum remains open.
Gregory Stock distributes flyers detailing the many performances, lectures, and activities, so that PSAs (Public Service Assistants) posted throughout the museum's "free zone" may provide information about the night's festivities to visitors. The free zone consists of areas where paid museum admission is not required: Wilsey Court, the Museum Café, the Koret Auditorium, the Kimball Education Gallery, and the Hamon Tower.
The AV department begins to set up in preparation for the arrival of the band, whose music will be recorded (and can be heard in the video at the bottom of this page).
Renee and Rebecca consider the setup for the Piazzoni Murals Room (PMR), where a digital photo booth will entertain visitors in just a few short hours.
Renee makes one of many trips in the elevator back up to the seventh floor.
These interns will stop at nothing, including moving walls, to set the mood!
Andrea Martin checks in with the Artist Fellows in the Kimball Education Gallery, where later, the Fellows will showcase and discuss their work.
Meanwhile, back in PMR, the stage is quite literally being set for the digital photo booth.
The tablecloths have finally arrived!
A bird's-eye view of the action.
Renee greets the band master of Orchestra Nostalgico.
Musician and Artist Fellow Todd T. Brown takes a moment to freestyle before the throngs arrive.
The Friday Nights team provides a secret hospitality room for the performers, interns, staff, and speakers so that they can grab a bite to eat before the festivities.
Setting out the chairs is carefully timed since the museum remains open to the public throughout the setup. As Wilsey Court begins to fill up and audience members settle in to watch the show, chairs become increasingly scarce.
Gregory reveals his stash of "Reserved" signs to place on chairs for the elderly and disabled; several rows of chairs are always reserved for use by the access community.
PMR is transformed into an Old Hollywood–style set where museumgoers can indulge their inner movie star!
The band begins to play. In keeping with the night's film theme, Orchestra Nostalgico played classic scores from the Golden Age of film.
Now all that's needed to complete the celebratory vibe is some costumes!
Friday Nights at the de Young runs through November. On these nights, the museum stays open until 8:45 p.m. Stop by to see what surprises are in store tonight!