Our Year in Impact: 2019

From funding small-scale arts spaces to raising environmental awareness and increasing transparency in social initiatives, this was our year in community impact.

It’s been another big year for Meow Wolf.

With lots of projects in development and the energy new leadership brings, our ethos and commitment to community remain steadfast. We know we would not be where we are today without tremendous support from our community of locals, visitors, and artists. As a company, we value reciprocating these efforts by being a good neighbor and providing strong support to our creative community.

Meow Wolf is proud to be one of the 3,000 businesses “Doing Business for Good” as a certified B Corporation. As a B Corp, we focus our support on four areas where our commitment and scale can make the greatest impact:

  • Respect for Creative Communities - collaborating with and supporting local artists and nonprofit groups.
  • Respect for Artists - creating training and development pathways, employment opportunities, and livable wages.
  • Respect for the Environment - operating an eco-friendly business model.
  • Respect for Our Employees - providing employment benefits and maintaining thoughtful hiring practices.

Our social impact and community engagement efforts focus on these areas so that we can better track our engagements, as well as set benchmarks and metrics as we grow. We’ve accomplished so much this year with our local communities that we are sharing our work through our 2019 Impact Report

A community conversation in Las Vegas, Barrick Museum of Art. Photo by Kate Russell

We started the year with more transparency and thoughtful intention in our social impact initiatives. Our team developed several pages on our website dedicated towards Community, Artists, and our Philanthropy Priorities. Together, these pages bring transparency to our engagements along with the process for requesting support or collaborating with Meow Wolf. 

Meow Wolf’s House of Eternal Return in Santa Fe saw over 500,000 visitors of all ages go through our doors for their own mind-bending, immersive journey. We had 51,000 visitors attend a concert or show at the House, 12,000 people attend Dark Palace in Denver, and 5,000 people attend our weekend music experience, Taos Vortex.

Throughout 2019, we supported more than 409 different organizations and groups in creative ways, including donations, passes, and collaborative projects. We contributed more than $635,000 in funding, and gave away more than 3,300 free passes to Meow Wolf’s House of Eternal Return. We also hosted 55,000 visitors in the David Loughridge Learning Center space for more than 10,000 hours of free-choice-based art making. 

Participants of July’s Slime Time Workshop at our Learning Center. Photo by Kate Russell

Our artist collaboration team worked overtime, and we’re proud to report that Meow Wolf collaborated with more than 253 outside artists in 2019. This includes artists of all kinds in each of our communities, with the majority of collaborations taking place in Santa Fe, Las Vegas, Denver, and Washington, D.C.

In Denver, we produced Art & Sol, a community event for Sun Valley centering on artists and creativity, and held 6 community Maker Days to provide hands-on programs to students across the metro area. We also had the third year of our annual DIY Fund - providing $160,000 to 132 small-scale art spaces across the country and supporting hundreds of artists. 

Faatma Be Oné in front of the mural she designed for Art + Sol. Photo by Ken Hamblin III

We partnered with Santa Fe Community College to introduce a life-size, 82-foot-long blue whale, Ethyl, to their campus. Ethyl is made entirely of hand-recycled plastic trash and steel, and brings awareness to our planet’s massive issue with consumption, waste, and plastic pollution.

Together, Meow Wolf and SFCC will use Ethyl for years to come to increase educational programs for local students.

Ethyl the Whale being installed at Santa Fe Community College. Photo by Kate Russell

In all, 2019 was a year of big changes for Meow Wolf. We saw tremendous growth and change from the number of projects we’re taking on to the number of staff on our team. This change has not altered our ethos, though, and we are continually grateful for the opportunity to invest in and provide targeted support to our community.

Meow Wolf continued to make strong financial investments in local communities by contributing over $635,000 in funding to local groups and arts nonprofit organizations, and providing over 3,300 passes — granting free entry — to nonprofit organizations, families, groups, and schools. 

With all of this being said, we’ve got a big year ahead of us in 2020! With the opening of our Las Vegas exhibition and the constant changes of a growing startup, we look forward to continuing our support of the local arts community and continually pushing the needle forward on the importance of supporting artists.

Read more about our 2019 Impact in the 2019 Impact Report

Danika Padilla is the Sr. Director of Social Impact at Meow Wolf.