What Does ‘Connect BTS’ Mean? Here’s How Some Armys are Preparing for ‘Map of the Soul: 7’

This K-pop group isn’t just into music. Recently, BTS funded 22 art installations across 5 cities, with their “Connect, BTS” initiative. What exactly is Connect, BTS? Here’s what fans are saying about this boy band and their latest project, which debutted ahead of Map of the Soul: 7.

BTS announced their upcoming album, ‘Map of the Soul: 7’

After months of waiting, BTS fans are about to have new music to rock out to. Map of the Soul: 7 is the K-pop group’s first album of the new year, complete with two comeback trailers, one of which is already available on YouTube.

While this album was originally thought to be titled “Shadow” or “Ego,” some fans speculate Map of the Soul: 7 could have something to do with the number of members in this boy band. They’ve been together for 7 years, this is their 7th album, and the album was announced on Jan. 7, 2020. Ahead of its official release, BTS is funding 22 art exhibits across 5 cities, with a project entitled “Connect, BTS.”

BTS is posing at a press conference marking the release of 'Map of the Soul Persona'
BTS is posing at a press conference marking the release of ‘Map of the Soul Persona’ | JTBC PLUS/Imazins via Getty Images

Listed on the BTS release schedule are multiple ‘Connect, BTS’ launches

BTS, in addition to their music, uses their influence to support other artists. To celebrate the upcoming album, Map of the Soul: 7, they’re funding a handful of exhibitions in popular cities. According to its website, Connect, BTS is “a global project to connect five cities and twenty-two artists, each of whom contributes their unique philosophy and imagination to it.”

“This project aims to redefine the relationships between art and music, the material and immaterial, artists and their audiences, artists and artists, theory and practice,” it continues. “Connect, BTS may be described in terms of a collective curatorial practice by curators around the world who resonated with BTS’ philosophy.”

Pop-up galleries will be available in London, Berlin, Buenos Aires, Seoul, and New York. They open on select dates from January through March. According to Billboard, the Connect, BTS project launched on Jan. 14 at London’s Serpentine Galleries, with Jakob Kudsk Steensen’ “Catharsis.” This exhibit will run through March 6.

Fans shared their love for this K-pop group, ‘Connect, BTS,’ and their outreach

This group already launched their Connect, BTS website and the first art installation of the series. After that, some fans took to social media, sharing their support of the art and the artists behind it.

“Apparently the cost of the events for Connect BTS in the five cities will be covered by the members? It’s their idea and they did this for us and not to mention the entry fee is literally free? [BTS is] paying for our art education,” said one Twitter user.

“[I don’t know,] if it’s been mentioned already, but especially for the Army in the five host cities who are in school, I really hope you let your school’s art departments and art teachers know about this project being free so that they can help further spread the word,” wrote another Twitter user.

Music by BTS, including Map of the Soul: Persona, is available on Spotify, Apple Music, and most major streaming platforms. Map of the Soul: 7 premieres on Feb. 21, 2020.