7 Stages began releasing production trailers during the 2015-2016 season. The first trailer we produced was for Lauren Gunderson’s The Revolutionists. It was a production that already had a following due to the playwright’s local and national name recognition, as well as the current staging at Cincinnati Playhouse gaining rave reviews.
A Conversation with Marguerite Hannah, Associate Producer, Horizon Theatre Company
Marguerite Hannah attended the November 2016 National Arts Marketing Project Conference with a scholarship provided by the Audience Building Roundtable initiative of The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation. Marguerite shares her insights from the conference in this blog.
My biggest takeaways from the National Arts Marketing Project Conference are (1) the importance of living your brand, and (2) being empathetic to the needs of our audience.
By Caitlin Thomas White, Marketing Director, Synchronicity Theatre
Make new friends, but keep the old.
To me, this sentiment from a familiar children's folk song succinctly captures the central goal of audience building. It certainly speaks to Synchronicity Theatre's current focus, as we work to attract new audiences to our three-year-old performance space and build innovative programs without losing sight of our core mission and audience.
By Tricia Ekholm, Chief Marketing Officer, Atlanta Ballet
In August 2016, Gennadi Nedvigin joined the Atlanta Ballet as the third artistic director in its 89 year history. His arrival provided the marketing team with both a challenge and an opportunity.
The challenge: shifting our brand to reflect a new artistic vision and aesthetic.
The opportunity: put renewed energy behind our brand.
By John Turner, Board Member, DeKalb Symphony Orchestra
The DeKalb Symphony Orchestra received a “scholarship” for one person to attend the National Arts Marketing Project Conference in November 2016; the conference scholarships were a joint project of The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation and the Georgia Repertory Theatre through the Foundation’s Audience Building Roundtable initiative.
As a board member of the DeKalb Symphony Orchestra, I utilized the scholarship to attend the conference. At the time, I was relatively new to the Board of DeKalb Symphony Orchestra (DSO) and new to the Atlanta arts community.
BASED ON OUR EXPERIENCE, DOES YOUR ORGANIZATION NEED AN APP?
In Part 1 of our blog post, we gave you the beginning story on the Michael O’Neal Singers’ investment in ways to engage new and current audience members.
In October 2016, we received a grant from The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation’s Audience Building Roundtable project for audience building. We used this funding to create an app to help us attract new audiences. According to Pew Research, 77% of U.S. adults now own a smartphone.
By Cammie Stephens, The Michael O’Neal Singers
Thanks to The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation, audience engagement has become the key strategy around which our organization focuses its programming. As Sara Leonard wrote after the Foundation’s initial Art of Change Audience Building Workshop in November 2015: “How do we invite audiences in and develop relationships with them that entice them to stay with us and become our partners? The answer lies in a process of relationship building in which engaging and serving the audience is at the organization’s core.”
Guest Blogger: Jordan Simmons, Senior Account Executive, Patron Technology
We can all agree that capturing and tracking information and making data-based decisions is important for any arts organization, but how do you know which database tool to use to facilitate that? How do you choose a great system when there are so many varying options on the market these days?
By John Turner, President, Turner Research Network
As arts and culture organizations go forward with a data-driven approach to building audiences, one element of this is to generate information from your audience through surveys. We want to know who the audience members are and what they think about the performances or the exhibitions or the venues. We want to know about their experience with us.
Here are some tips about managing that process.
By John Bare, Vice President, The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation
Everybody loves storytelling.
Everybody hates evaluation.
Upon this wisdom, I issue a challenge to members of the Audience Building Roundtable: I want to see you become the best storytellers in Metro Atlanta.
An Audience Building Roundtable Blog by Greg Burbidge
Kari Mesropov reminded us in the July blog post that TRG Arts’ data shows “50% of audiences are brand new. That’s right: half of your customer base is new.” As organizations struggle to build audiences, this is no time to stay at home and wait for Balki Bartokomous’ to show up on our doorstep. We need to find innovative ways to find and invite interested non-attendees, Perfect Strangers, through our doors.
by Brad Pilcher
In Part I of this piece, I encouraged you to think of data and its relationship to audience building more in terms of a process. Rather than focus on the data, in all of its intimidating glory, focus on your circumstances, where you are in the process of connecting with the audience ...
by Brad Pilcher
Much of the discussion around how to build audiences for the arts focuses on data-driven decision-making. Figure out who your audience is. Target them carefully, and maximize the value of every marketing dollar.
By Keri Mesropov, TRG Arts
ALERT: Arts administrators in your area have been overtaken by a new obsession. Believed to be a relative of the mania induced by Pokémon Go, symptoms include an insatiable desire to find brandnew patrons for your organization.
If you’re not obsessed with new audiences, you are really behind the trend...
By Ellen Walker, Pacific Northwest Ballet (PNB)
Observing participants in a focus group dispassionately dissect your life’s work is a little like strangers disparaging your children – it’s difficult not to feel reactive. In my first such experience, the print collateral that my team had worked so hard on was described by focus group members as “boring,” “stuffy,” “elitist,” and “completely uninteresting.” My first thought: “what is wrong with these people?!” My second thought: “…uh-oh.”
Guest Blogger: Christopher R. Taylor, President, The Clay Studio, Philadelphia
Arts organizations need audiences. They bring earned and contributed revenue to your organization, and more importantly, they are an indicator of your success in fulfilling your mission. Whether you’re training young artists, presenting opera, displaying new paintings, or teaching art to children, your mission likely includes some version of “make arts accessible.”
Magda Martinez sat down with The Art of Change for an interview about audience building, portions of which are excerpted here.
THREE LESSONS EMERGE FROM THE FLEISHER’S AUDIENCE BUILDING WORK
Art of Change (AoC): What are the most important things you and your colleagues learned in your audience building work?
This post is excerpted from the plenary session of The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation’s November 2, 2015 workshop, Art of Change: Building Your Organization for Audiences. This is from an exchange among Dr. Bob Harlow, the moderator and lead researcher for the Wallace Foundation’s audience building initiative and three panelists, all of whom were participants in the Wallace initiative: Ellen Walker, Executive Director of the Pacific Northwest Ballet; Magda Martinez, Director of Programs for the Fleisher Art Memorial; and Christopher Taylor, President of The Clay Studio.
When the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation convened a workshop on November 2, 2015 to talk about audience development, I was struck by the tagline they chose: “Building Your Organization for Audiences.”
Building the organization for its audience. The phrase seems just right, and yet I don’t think I’ve ever heard it said that way before. We talk so often about how to build audiences for our arts organizations, but that seems to separate