Meow Wolf kicked off the year with back-to-back January announcements of new installations in Las Vegas and Denver, and the company is rounding out 2018 with plans of yet another expansion—for a new three-level, 75,000-square-foot permanent installation in Washington, DC, set to open in 2022.
The Santa Fe-based arts and entertainment company behind The House of Eternal Return on Rufina Circle won't talk numbers just yet, but CEO Vince Kadlubek says that Meow Wolf's fast-paced growth—the Las Vegas installation is planned to open in late 2019 and the Denver installation in 2020—is the result of careful planning.
"It's all about developing a strategy for growth and hiring our team based on the money we raised, and then the team delivers on the strategy," Kadlubek tells SFR.
Meow Wolf, which has received both state and local economic development funding, is partnering with the DC-based Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation for the project. According to its website, the Cafritz Foundation has in the last 10 years granted awards totaling $185 million to more than 961 organizations supporting community services, the arts, education, health and the environment.
"Partnering with Cafritz was a total home run," Kadlubek says. "Really we couldn't be happier when it comes to developers. They are totally aligned with Meow Wolf."
The new installation will be located in DC's Fort Totten neighborhood, and will feature a new immersive art narrative.
"We've started to sketch out ideas around what the exhibition is going to be and what the theme of it's going to be, and how it ties into the rest of our story universe," Kadlubek says. "Those ideas are going from concept to kind of early-stage layout design as we speak, but it's fairly early in the process."
Collaboration with local DC artists will be central to the project.
"That's very high on our list," Kadlubek tells SFR. "And we're especially interested in working with Native American artists and writers and creators with a pretty diverse background. There's such a strong relationship to Native American and Indigenous cultures in DC, and it's definitely a topic of issue when you think about the football team that's there and the disgusting mascot that they have. So it's an intention of ours to have the Washington, DC, project be a continuation of our diversity efforts."