Gregory Moreno

The John Santos Sextet performs during Fiesta Friday Nights, a free event aimed at connecting the community with the Museum, on Sept. 9. Photo by Gregory Moreno.

Next week, the Mads Tolling Quartet will be performing in one room while the film “Mistura: The Power of Food” is screened in the Koret Auditorium and an opening for a mixed media artist is presented in the Kimball Artist Studio.

Every week is different, and a list of the events is updated on the museum website.

“We like to base our Friday nights off of whatever we have in the museum,” said Danica Gomes who works for Public Programs at the museum. “We have Picasso right now, so we have a lot of Spanish stuff.”

And unlike their neighbor the California Academy of Sciences, who hosts Thursday nights for people 21 and over, the de Young event is open to everyone.

“We want to make it fun for all ages,” said Andrea Martin, a spokesperson who is on the museum’s public relations team. “The event aims to bring the art we have here to life. It’s important to get the community involved from all over the Bay Area and create a party-like atmosphere.”

Last week in the lobby there was a crafting table where children and their parents got creative. Meanwhile, the full bar near the ticket counter entertained a group of business people laughing while they enjoyed five to eight dollar drinks at the bar. Visitors ranging in age were scattered throughout the museum, and while some left early, there were people who stayed until the very end.

“We want people to engage with the art instead of (being) spectators,” Gomes said.

The event has grown in popularity in the past six years, relying heavily on the word of mouth from the bands and artists who showed there, as well as the people who attended spreading the word about the event.

“The Friday nights became a grassroots movement in a large institution,” said Baldocci. “It’s something I like to brag about.”

The museum also holds events where they work with student artists. One Friday night each April, the museum showcases more than 100 college art students, which Baldocci hopes to make an all-weekend event next year.

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