By Kevin Collison
What started as a brainstorming session at the World War I National Museum and Memorial has been seen by almost 1.3 million people on Facebook, a 48-second time-lapse video of downtown Kansas City during last week’s total eclipse.
The dramatic video taken from the top of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City shows the Liberty Memorial and downtown Kansas City skyline beyond as the sunlight fades, then goes dark with downtown lights shining, then returns, all accompanied by swift-moving clouds.
As of Tuesday, the video had been viewed on Facebook 1,271,333 times by people in all 50 states and 70 countries, according to Mike Vietti, the museum marketing and communications director. It also had been retweeted 1,351 times and had 2,331 Likes on Twitter.
“It speaks to the power of social media,” Vietti said. “It’s probable many of these 1.2 million video views are coming from people who may not be aware there is a National World War I Museum and Memorial or of Kansas City in general.”
Vietti said the museum staff meets regularly to come up with ideas for publicizing the institution and “the eclipse had been on peoples’ radar for quite some time.
“A few weeks ago, we were talking about ways to showcase this museum and showcase downtown Kansas City with the eclipse,” he said. “We realized that none of us knew what the position of the sun would be in relation to the museum and Liberty Memorial.
“Ultimately, one of us said ‘what if we contacted the Fed to allow us on the roof to film time-lapse from that vantage point?
“We’re fortunate we have wonderful partners with the the Fed who said, ‘sure, no problem.'”
The 16-story Federal Reserve building is located south of the museum across Penn Valley Park, and offered museum videographer Jake Yadrich a panoramic view.
Vietti said the video’s success has provided great publicity not only to his museum, but Kansas City overall.
“We’re hopeful by virtue of having this experience, it’ll make people familiar with not only the museum, but Kansas City as well, a great city with so much to offer,” Vietti said.
He added the video also easily “eclipsed” the museum’s previous social media record-setter, the 2015 Kansas City Royals celebration at Union Station.