Buffalo Bill Center of the West Holds Free Summer Block Party & Launches TikTok
Written by Caleb Nelson on June 8, 2022
To celebrate the beginning of summer, the Buffalo Bill Center of the West, a Smithsonian Affiliate and Partner, is holding a free Block Party Friday, June 17th from 6 to 9 p.m. As part of Museum Week, the Center is launching official TikTok accounts for the first time to promote the museum and reach a younger audience.
The event is a chance to rediscover the museum with all five museum Centers open for free admission during the Block Party. Throughout the summer, each museum will have its own events. This year, three of the five museums have “artists-in-residence,” Buffalo Bill Center of the West Marketing Manager Ken Straniere says.
Regarding the artist residencies, “It’s really cool, the public gets to see hands-on creations right then and there, the artists will actually make paintings or whatever it might be,” Straniere states.
The Cody Firearms Museum, for example, is having an expert “stock engraver” come down to demonstrate the technique of carving stocks in a “checkered pattern.” This will be an interactive event, where the public can participate, learn, and practice.
The Block Party, as Straniere explains, will take place during “Museum Week.” “This is the first time we’re celebrating this – that we’re doing anything with Museum Week,” Straniere adds.
According to Straniere, Museum week includes “7 days, 7 topics, 7 hastags.” “Each of the five museums will be launching TikTok for Museum Week – we’ve never had an account before,” Straniere says.
By launching TikTok as part of Museum Week and the upcoming summer programs, the museum is hoping to reach a younger audience through video and humor. “All the curators get to do quirky, fun stuff – and the PR interns, they’re going to be doing the video shoots – so it’s going to be fun…it brings out the personality of the curators,” Straniere remarks.
The Block Party is being sponsored by Wells Fargo and will take place near the entrance and front lawn with live music, games, activities, beer, a wine bar, and more.
Free Spirit SOUL, a nine-piece soul, funk, blues, and reggae band from Billings, Montana will provide music throughout the evening. This is their second appearance at the museum as the group played at last year’s Block Party as well.
Seven food trucks plan to attend the block party. Participating trucks include: 307 Pizza, The Box (ice cream vendor), CRAV (sushi bowls), Lemonade Stand, Wicked Eats, Topp Dawg Concessions, and Bean Baron BBQ.
Big Horn Radio Network will broadcast the event live from the Center from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. and attendees will be given the chance to win one of two Family Memberships. Also, during the Block Party, the Center will offer new members a “Family Membership” for just “$100,” which is $25 dollars off the regular price.
Points West Market, the Center’s store, will have special deals during the event where shoppers can enjoy a 10% discount – Center members will receive a 20% discount (some exclusions apply).
Three Native American artists will demonstrate and sell their work in a “trunk show” in front of Points West Market. These artists include: Crow artist Della BigHair-Stump, owner and creative designer of Designs by Della; Crow artist Rose Williamson, owner and designer of Lady Pompadour Beadwork and Design; and Little Shell Chippewa fashion designer Carrie Moran McCleary, founder, and owner of Plains Soul.