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The Nasher has done well, in terms of attendance, in its first year or so–but not as well as Ray Nasher hoped it would. You probably noticed that they took an “entertainment” tack not long ago to attract more visitors–staying open late to serve cocktails in the Café Mansion and so forth. Apparently the strategy has worked. The Nasher has set some records for itself and decided to keep on entertaining. The full release:

Nasher Sculpture Center To Build On Spring Momentum

Record-setting programs extended to entertain visitors in the Dallas Arts District

Dallas, Texas, June 24, 2005 – The Nasher Sculpture Center’s overwhelming success and unprecedented attendance numbers for its ‘Be N the Center’ spring campaign have prompted museum officials to extend the family and evening programming through the end of the year. The Center’s popular family event Together in the Center along with its evening programs Saturday Night in the City and Thursday Night in the Center will continue on a monthly basis through 2005.

“The Center realized this spring its highest attendance quarter since it opened in October 2003,” said Dr. Steven Nash, Director of the Nasher Sculpture Center. “More than 8,000 visitors have attended Saturday Night in the City to date. We are pleased to continue our momentum by extending this highly successful programming through December so more people can experience the Center and all it has to offer.”

The impact of the spring ‘Be N the Center’ campaign has been record-breaking. In April, the Center experienced the second highest attendance in its history. More members attended than in any previous month and the Center realized its third highest on-site sale of memberships since its opening.

“It is gratifying that both Dallas citizens and tourists embraced our spring campaign. We look forward to the installation of new works from the Nasher Collection and our ongoing programming to continue engaging visitors in the Center,” said Raymond Nasher, Founder and Chairman of the Center.

Beginning in July, the First Saturday of every month will offer a full day of the arts by maintaining the types of programming and events that were so highly successful in the spring campaign. During the day, visitors will continue to enjoy Together in the Center with free admission from 10 a.m. — noon, children’s art activities, story time with the Dallas Public Library, yoga in the garden, artist demonstrations, docent-led tours, musical entertainment and dining options. Come nightfall, Saturday Night in the City transforms the Café Mansion into a chic lounge offering cocktails and a special menu that celebrates a different artist each month. Guests will enjoy live music, a special dance performance presented by the Dance Council, a gallery talk, sunset viewings of the James Turrell skyspace, Tending, (Blue), and moonlight strolls in the garden until 11 p.m. Saturday Night in the City is presented by Wells Fargo and co-sponsored by PaperCity Magazine.

Thursday Night in the Center will be held on the Third Thursday of each month beginning on July 21. The popular programming resumes from 5 p.m. — 10 p.m., with live music, cocktails, dining, and sunset viewings of James Turrell’s skyspace, Tending, (Blue). In addition, culturally stimulating discussion and conversation begins again in the NasherSalon, host to past outstanding guest speakers such as Ken Downing, vice president of public relations and fashion for Neiman Marcus and Gary Cogill, film critic for WFAA-TV. The list of those to come is equally enticing for culturally-curious people.

“We know people are looking for interesting and different things to do and the Center offers something for everyone to enjoy,” said Nash. “Exciting things are happening in downtown Dallas and we are proud that our programming and our collection are part of the catalysts for cultural growth.”