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Experience Music Project is now MoPOP

Museum of Pop Culture and Frank Gehry, a good mix

Out goes EMP and in comes MoPOP. Experience Music Project has evolved so much since its founding in 2000 that they’ve decided to evolve the name, too. The (too?) distinctive Frank Gehry building that began by housing rock and roll history, that added a science fiction collection, and then hosted a wide variety of events has now decided to embrace all of it as the Museum of Pop Culture, MoPOP. (Which sounds a bit like a pitch for drinking more soda.)

They announced the shift on Tuesday, and are celebrating it on Saturday with a “full day fandom fest” (10am-5pm) that includes free admission, a photo hunt, live performances, games, screenings of past performances, manicures, airbrush tattoos (no need for a lifetime commitment), tours, and various discounts.

The change may come as a surprise, but makes a lot of sense considering that a lot of people have had problems making sense of the building. Now, even the architecture matches the name because few, if any, buildings are better representations of pop culture than something that was supposed to look like a smashed guitar. However long they’ve worked on the rebranding, there’s more work to do because the web sites continue to use both names. Don’t be surprised if you find the old and new names mixed for a while.

As a conversation starter, it’s big, colorful, and hard to miss. As a traffic draw, it annually pulls in about as many visitors as Seattle’s population. It will be interesting to see if matching the name to the space and how it’s used makes their traffic grow as quickly as Seattle is growing.