Race, Equity & Advocacy in the Arts: Attracting Diverse Audiences

By Adam Fristoe, Out of Hand Theater

Thanks to a scholarship provided by the Arthur Blank Family Foundation’s Audience Building Roundtable, Out of Hand Theater’s Co-Artistic and Marketing Director Adam Fristoe was able to attend the 2018 National Arts Marketing Conference in Seattle, Washington.

Over the past five years, Out of Hand has focused our work toward social justice, civic engagement and community building in Metro Atlanta. In Seattle, Washington, both the city and King County have policies in place that make a commitment to equity, in particular to racial equity, including taking into account historical inequities. In Seattle, I was specifically looking for guidance and best practices in implementing such a commitment at Out of Hand, as well as for strategies to advance advocacy for these policies in Atlanta.

What is the Price of Being Stubborn?

By Joy Johnson, The Georgia Ballet

Are you responsible for the financial health of your organization?

Have you been through some hard financial years in your organization? Well, I certainly have.

When I arrived at The Georgia Ballet (GAB) in early 2013, the organization had been through an entire management change with most of the staff leaving. Why this happened is a story for another day. Suffice to say that there were many past due invoices and no documentation. At that point, money was everything — we were just trying to keep the doors open.

Audience Building Innovation on Display at the Alliance Theatre

By Gevin Reynolds, Fellow, The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation

 At the Audience Building Roundtable workshop on July 27, 2018, the Alliance Theatre presented the results of their Audience Building Innovation Grant, awarded by the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation to fund innovative audience building initiatives in their 48th, 49th, and 50thseasons. Below is a summary of their presentation.

Audience Building Practices That Work: A Recap

By Gevin Reynolds, Fellow, The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation

The Audience Building Roundtable (ABR) workshop on May 17, 2018 was “A Refresher on Audience Building Practices that Work” presented by TRG Arts, a national arts and culture consulting firm that has been presenting workshops to the ABR since the inaugural summit in November 2015. At the close of the workshop, 76 of the 103 attendees from ABR member organizations completed a survey with the following prompt: The workshop by TRG Arts provided me with at least one audience building idea that I can adapt for use in my organization.

The National Arts Marketing Project Conference: What Grabbed Our Organization’s Attention (Other than the Marching Ducks)

By Hollie Rivers, Georgia Ensemble Theatre

So much grabbed my attention at the National Arts Marketing Conference in Memphis in November 2017, which I attended on a scholarship provided by The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation’s Audience Building Roundtable initiative.

First of all, MEMPHIS—what a city! This city was buzzing with arts and culture anywhere you looked: from the colorful mural-lined streets, marching Peabody Ducks, Beale Street blues, and barbeque EVERYWHERE.

Strategies that Succeed

By Sara R. Leonard, Founder and CEO, Sara Leonard Consulting

As any client of mine and any attendee of the February 2018 Audience Building Roundtable (ABR) meeting will attest, I always remind organizations I’m working with that there is no silver bullet in audience building. If there were, all of the brilliant and diligent nonprofit arts administrators I see would have found it and put it to use. There is no single strategy or tactic that will be successful for all organizations. Each has a different identity: different missions, different values, and – of course – different audiences. But it occurs to me that when we make the time to create really good audience development plans, we’re equipping ourselves about as well as we possibly can.

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