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BUTTER: America's Most Equitable Art Fair

Entered in Local Campaign


BUTTER is America’s equitable art fair, anchored in Indianapolis and advocating for the care and economic viability of Black, visual artists. It has become a place for the powerful and positive transformation of artists' mindset and careers, visiting audiences, and the art industry at large. The multi-day fine art fair is organized by GANGGANG to feature artwork made by Black visual artists from Indiana and across the country.

In 2020, exhibitions turned their attention to new voices and institutions considered artwork made by Black artists from new, more interested perspectives. GANGGANG sought to make a proper art fair that maintained the integrity of the Black arts movement doing it in a more empowering way than existing fairs. 

GANGGANG works to reserve at least 50% of exhibition space for artists from Indiana as a commitment to growing the arts ecosystem in central Indiana. Additionally, they seek to sell 100% of inventory at BUTTER offering 100% of sales profit to each of the participating artists. BUTTER is considered an innovative experiment and equitable model within the arts. For many artists, BUTTER has been the catalyst to full-time art careers, a new body of collectors and the confidence to take risks. 

It is the creative economy in Indianapolis that comes together to make BUTTER happen through a combination of 200 creative entrepreneurs and volunteers. For BUTTER III, GANGGANG desired to:

  1. Attract more local residents to the event
  2. Exceed prior year's art sales of $250,000
  3. Growing the social community by 3K followers on Instagram


In an effort to galvanize local residents and drive buzz for BUTTER III, we implemented an integrated communications strategy that tapped earned media, paid media, OOH, social/digital and word of mouth.

Our creative narrative was a response to how the evil in the world could even be seen permeating in our local communities. This evil had stolen so much. No matter how dark and deceitful, it can be cast away through love. Love is a force of good and joy which is essentially the core of BUTTER. The event is a safe and joyful world that is outside of time and reality. A space where evil can be addressed. Where evil has no power.

Ultimately, our goal was to drive visibility of the multi-day event leveraging our narrative to attract more of Indianapolis to attend a unique and alternative art fair that could be experienced in their own backyard without having to travel to larger market.

Earned Media: Our media strategy incorporated broadcast in-studio interviews and long-form features with GANGGANG founders and the art fair curatorial team. The team shared with journalists the message of joy, the various artist works and consumer experiences that would be available to attendees throughout the Labor Day weekend. Beginning with the announcement of the fair in early summer, mid-summer touchpoints offered the opportunity for media to connect with exhibiting local artists to share their experience of how BUTTER had helped them on a national level. As the date approached, media received a BTS look at the art fair that would drive excitement for the third installment.

Influencer Media: We sought to collaborate with 10-15 local influencers spanning food, parenting, lifestyle and art. With their community reach ranging between 5,000- to 25,000 followers, we researched their engagement rates to ensure their content would drive comments and shares leading up to the event. 

Paid Media: We implemented buys through local media to run print and digital ads using creative that would drive readers to the BUTTER website that essentially would lead to purchase of tickets including the Indy Star. Additionally, spots were bought on community and adult radio stations in the market. 

OOH: Implementing our OOH strategy, we sought to capture local consumers' attention around the city as they attending major events throughout the summer. From Indianapolis Black Expo to the state fair, we promoted BUTTER III and its dates through bus wrapping on Indy Go, the local transit system, parking structures and billbaords. We strategically placed lawn and pole signage in high-traffic neighborhoods such as Monument Circle (downtown).

Social/Digital: Our social strategy leaned into giving our community an understanding of the "Making of BUTTER." Highlighting exhibiting artists through profiles, Q&A's with the founders and BTS of producing the fair, we wanted to give our followers an inside of look at the magic and joy they would encounter during the weekend. Additionally, paid ads on Facebook and Instagram drove consumers to the website to purchase tickets.


As a result of the integrated marketing communications strategy for BUTTER III, we surpassed each goal for the event. With more than 11,000 people in attendance over four days, 76 pieces of artwork sold for more than $286,000. That is a 25 percent increase in attendance with a 14% increase in profits from artorks sold. 

Through local media outreach and OOH media placed strategically throughout the summer at key Indianapolis events, GANGGANG was able to increase awareness of BUTTER staying top-of-mind for existing consumers while attracting new attendess to the multi-day event.

In comparison to 2022, 109 artworks sold totaling $250,005 with over 8,000 attendees across the multi-day art fair. While there were more artworks sold the prior year, BUTTER III highlighted the substantial value attendees saw in Black artists and their creative works being more open to increasing their budgets for purchasing. 

The local influencer strategy tapping new and existing content creator partners essentially drove buzz on Instagram. Through original and authentic Reel content highlighting the influencers' experinces at BUTTER II, BUTTER III ticket giveaway opportunities and providing influencers VIP access, social engagement led to more than 5,000 amassed followers to BUTTER's Instagram page over a two month period (July 4 through September 3). 

These results show the impact of a streamlined local communications strategy tailored to meet the objectives for an event that supports the intended market. 




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