SANTA FE — Meow Wolf opened the doors to its first permanent installation, House of Eternal Return, one year ago on March 18, 2016. In that time the 20,000 square foot immersive exhibit, which features interactive art and a discoverable science-fiction narrative, has been visited by more than 400,000 people from across the world.
Our goal for the first year was 150,000 ticket sales. We believed that this “break even” figure was realistic for a community as small as Santa Fe. Instead Santa Fe, as it so often does, far exceeded our hopes. We have more than doubled that goal. Our music venue, vital to the culture of our organization, hosted more than 75 shows. Sales from our gift shop supported more than 40 artists and our Halloween show employed 40 performers for a month.
In this first year we put $6 million back into the local economy. We regularly host visitors from abroad and our exhibit has brought in an additional $13 million of marketing value to Santa Fe and New Mexico via press coverage from visiting print, web and television journalists. We made 160 million brand impressions through things such as website hits and social media campaigns.
Additionally, feedback from our guests is extremely important to us. With their help Meow Wolf became the most Instagrammed place in New Mexico a few short months ago.This support makes it possible for us to expand. More than 100 artists and staff members, many of them full-time, work for us today. As we celebrate our first year, we are prepared to launch Meow Wolf Creative Studios to build upon the work we started with the exhibition. We are also laying the groundwork for new exhibitions in different cities and we expect to go public with those plans soon.
The artists and staff of Meow Wolf would like to thank the city of Santa Fe for making our first year a success. We are proud to call Santa Fe our home and with your support we look forward to sharing many more years with you. We're marking our first anniversary on Saturday and Sunday in grand maximalist style with music, games, performances and (of course) cake! Click here for more information. — Billiam
Photographs by Kate Russell.