PROMOTING THE ARTISANS WHO ARE TRANSFORMING AFGHANISTAN (SMITHSONIAN’S FREER AND SACKLER GALLERIES)
A non-profit NGO, Turquoise Mountain was established in 2006 at the request of HRH The Prince of Wales and the former President of Afghanistan, HE Hamid Karzai. Its charter was to regenerate the old city of Kabul and revive Afghanistan’s traditional crafts. Today, Turquoise Mountain has transformed Murad Khane — a historic area of Kabul’s Old City known for its rich cultural heritage — from a slum into a vibrant cultural, educational and economic hub.
The Turquoise Mountain Institution was established to train several hundred Afghan artisans in woodwork, calligraphy, ceramics, jewelry and miniature painting. Since its establishment, the institution has trained more than 450 artisans in traditional arts, restored 112 historic buildings, and set up a local primary school and family health clinic. In addition, it has organized major international exhibitions including the Venice Bienalle and the Museum of Islamic Art in Doha.
“Artists Transforming Afghanistan” is Turquoise Mountain’s latest exhibition at the Smithsonian’s Freer and Sackler Galleries in Washington, DC. It tells the story of Afghanistan’s contemporary artistic culture through the voices of Afghan artisans leading its revival.
To promote and build awareness for the exhibition and its open house, the Beacon team — spearheaded by our marketing and production partner, TriVision — conducted an aggressive marketing and public relations campaign that included powerful digital media, TV and print collateral content.
Using a targeted strategy to reach a specific ethnic audience, we developed a powerful social media buzz, a compelling TV commercial, emails blasts, press releases, blogs, and collateral marketing materials (such as posters and postcards) that were distributed to local stores. The TV commercial which showcased the exhibition was broadcast on local Washington, DC news channels.
The marketing and PR campaign helped bring packed crowds to the open house – nearly 1,800 visitors came in just one day, and 70% of them were first-time visitors! Most visitors said they heard about the exhibition through social media — thus proving the advertising reach of digital media and the internet.
Beacon will continue to serve as Turquoise Mountain’s strategic consultant on the exhibition it concludes in February 2017. We look forward to deepening our relationship with Turquoise Mountain and collaborating on future projects.