Daily Archives: February 26, 2010

The 2009 Audience Development Specialists Tweets Awards!

It’s Friday, and it’s time to announce the winners for all the categories of  The 2009 Audience Development Specialists Tweets Awards!

Most Interesting Venues
The nominees are:

  • Keeping artists in the Loop Creative Showcase | Pop-Up Art program turns vacant buildings into galleries http://bit.ly/4DVbs8
    The Chicago Loop Alliance plays matchmaker with artists and landlords to beautify the vacant spaces with art.
  • Worth a repeat mention…Chiara String Quartet to Hit the Bar This Thursday http://bit.ly/8zvB3A
    The Chiara String Quartet performs in bars.
  • Audience development genius of the day…I think…Vending machine that dispenses art unveiled in Chandler http://bit.ly/582hG5
    Vision Gallery in Chandler (Arizona) unveils its newest installation, the Art-O-Mat, a vending machine that dispenses original art.
  • RT @ChicagoOpera In the cosmetics section of this Michigan Ave dept. store-with a red star in their logo– #popupopera

    Chicago Opera Theater during National Opera Week – free short performances of opera “favorites” in unexpected places in Chicago.
  • Cool idea…See your art on the side of an Asheville bus http://bit.ly/6RORxe
    The City of Asheville Parks, Recreation and Cultural Arts Department announces a juried public art competition for the first Art on Transit Bus Graphics Program.
  • Audience development genius of the day! Been a while since we had one!…Changing the World of Classical Music http://bit.ly/Wco7w
    “Music Director/Conductor John Stubbs of California Ballet has created an extraordinary multi-media performance experience where live classical music, dance, and film converge for one special evening in San Diego’s most exciting music and dining venue — Anthology supper club in Little Italy.”

Tweeples choice award for Most Interesting Venue of 2009 goes to: The Chicago Loop Alliance

ADS Award goes to: Chiara String Quartet.  My feeling is, that in order for the arts to be more accessible to younger generations, we need to start performing where these people gather.  Bringing classical music to a bar setting is a great idea, and something that was new to me.

Best Use of Mainstream
The nominees are:

  • Lively & Looney Pop entertainment crosses over with classical fare in Bugs Bunny on Broadway http://bit.ly/Bv8xh
  • Audience Development genius of the day: Chicago Museum of Science and Industry “Harry Potter” works wonders http://tinyurl.com/lq6skk

The ADS Award goes to: Star Wars: In Concert’: a coda with Yoda!  From L.A. to Chicago, this concert gave the GenX generation a chance to share with their children the joy of Star Wars and the joy of the orchestra all at the same time.  In our constant pursuit of getting GenX more involved, this was a great idea.

Best Arts Advocate
The nominees are:

  • (Gustavo Dudamel) In case you missed this :O)…Hollywood Swoons Over That Hair, That Baton http://bit.ly/1lXiQM
  • (Michael Kaiser) Kennedy Center chief  says great art is key to weathering crisis http://bit.ly/35eWF

The ADS Award goes to: Michael Kaiser.  It seemed like there wasn’t a week that went by where Kaiser was not in the papers.  Traveling from city to city to spread his word on how to save the arts from crisis, he also brought awareness of the arts to many that weren’t aware before.  Although I am still waiting for the documentary and the book, we at least had his blog posts at the Huffington Post to guide us regularly with his thoughts.

Best Use of Technology and Social Media
The nominees are:

The ADS award goes to: drum roll please, The Atlanta Symphony for their live Ustream discussion with Wynton Marsalis and Ken Meltzer.  This was one of the best representations of the use of new technology and social media rolled up into one, and there were a plethora of other audience development goodies too.  Here is the top 10 list of reasons why I chose this particular idea:

Audience Participation
The nominees are:

  • Fabulous! @davidsrebnik Vote for your favorite new piece. Last chance today: Digital- Composer-in-Residence http://tinyurl.com/yhyvtyk
  • Audience development genius of the day – Audience plays ‘Bingo’ right along with the cast http://bit.ly/1EMb1I
  • Audience participation! …Oleanna Will Allow Audiences to “Take a Side” Following Broadway Previews http://bit.ly/16Ibkb
  • This could be genus of the day…Tony Winner Jbara Hosts Kids’ Night on Broadway ‘Town Hall Meeting’ Event 9/15 http://bit.ly/pcyct
  • “Confessions of a First-Time Operagoer” host rings up big role http://bit.ly/hLuUQ – Seattle Opera
  • How did I miss this link? I’m voting! RT @cincinnatiopera We are at exactly 5,000 Opera Idol votes! http://ow.ly/griC

The ADS Award goes to: Cincinnati Opera for their Opera Idol!  From their website: “Cincinnati Opera launched Opera Idol™, the company’s search for the next great opera star, in June 2009. ­More than 160 amateur singers turned out for an open audition before a panel of professional judges. Through multiple rounds of voti­ng, six finalists were chosen. Videos of those finalists in performance were posted on the Cincinnati Opera website, and the public was invited to view the videos and vote for their favorite, for which over 10­,000 total votes were cast.”

I was extremely impressed with the results and how streamlined this idea was.  There was audience participation with the opera hopefuls, 160 of them,  and with the general audience, 10,000 votes casted via YouTubes and the ability to vote at their website.  This audience participation covered all the bases for getting people involved!

Best Collaborations
The nominees are:

  • Another way to collaborate with your library! … Listen to past City Arts & Lectures programs http://bit.ly/V40LN
  • Interesting collaboration! …The Harley-Davidson Museum and MIAD Partner to Retool the Art and Design of Helmets http://bit.ly/1xKAvc
  • Collaboration galas – great idea!!! Especially if you have a crosslist of donors. Costs are shared http://bit.ly/MvCYg

The ADS Award goes to: Atlanta Art à la Carte – “a new partnership among Atlanta arts organizations lets audiences create their own subscription from a mix of family performances. With this program, families can get a lower-cost look at different organization’s offerings without singing up for a membership.”  In a time where getting families and the younger generation more involved with the arts, this is a great collaborative idea that can be a win-win situation for all involved.  Getting families to sample what your city has to offer is fantastic!

Best Festivals
The nominees are:

  • When it comes to music, just remember the passion…Columbia University 10-day classical music and opera binge http://bit.ly/1m6rzf
  • I call it enthusiasm…Kennedy Center president says ArtPrize has built what non-profit arts needs: Excitement http://bit.ly/4Gb9t
  • Still hoping that there will be more of these types of events happening – ‘Culture Olympics’ open in South Korea http://bit.ly/X0irm

The ADS Award goes to: ArtPrize – this festival had the arts world buzzing.  Artists from around the world participated, they had an entire community get involved with the venue match-up for the artists, the ability to vote, and all of the social aspects through social media and local networking events were fabulously engaging, and they awarded big prizes to the winners.  Rick Devos and Jeffrey Meeuwsen of Grand Rapids, Michigan had a great idea, made it a reality, and the world was watching.

Best Use of Going Informal
The nominees are:

  • Love it! @palmbeachopera open mojito, prosecco, and wine bar with hor’s doeuvre by a celebrity chef for $25 http://bit.ly/3TXnkr

The ADS award goes to: The Cleveland Orchestra for their new informal series.  From the article: “Was it the earlier start? The informal dress of the players? The short, all-Beethoven program? Or was it the prospect of a post-concert reception and appearance by world percussion ensemble Beat the Donkey?”  Seeing that this series is selling out, perhaps the classical music world really does need to relax a little, take their bow ties off once in a while, and really jam with the audience before, during, and after the show!

Best New Programs
The nominees are:

  • Been waiting for someone to try this! RT @HouGrandOpera Going to the opera alone? Join the HGO Meet-up group! http://bit.ly/J1Vy8
  • Audience Development Genius of the day! “Internship: Summer Family Programs Volunteer Internship” http://bit.ly/btSveA

The ADS award goes to: Art-Reach, “Independence Starts Here,” and the Pennsylvania Ballet for bringing the Nutcracker alive for blind people.  This story really touched my heart.  From the article: “In a dressing room off a hallway to one side of the stage, a woman named Ermyn King will watch a TV monitor beaming the show live from the stage. She’ll wear a headset-microphone and will straightforwardly describe the dancing – how many performers are onstage, what they’re wearing, what they’re doing, how they’re interacting – as well as the scenery, the storyline, even the lighting…Just before the curtain – as in most audio-described shows, including Sunday’s Nutcracker – those using the service were invited onstage for what’s called a ‘touch tour’.”   Making your art accessible to those who never were able to enjoy it before, in my opinion, wins new program of the year!

Best Discussions
The nominees are:

  • Seems like a reply from Kaiser to last week’s discussion on catch 22…Are We Forgetting the Mission of the Arts? http://bit.ly/5ArH5d
  • RT @stagedirections Part of a boo-ed speech from @StolenChairTC: “I don’t want to be a charity.” http://bit.ly/1wz44K
  • Young audiences and the future of film and tv …Tomorrow’s hit movies won’t rely on stars or studios, film forum told http://bit.ly/am5sN
  • Very cool conversation – transcript of live discussion for “New Ways for Arts Organizations to Finance Their Operations” http://bit.ly/btxXLm
  • New Honesty: A symphony telling the public the real facts! …Backstage: Symphony ticket prices in line with other events http://bit.ly/2OngVA

The ADS Award goes to: This was one of the more challenging decisions.  I wish I could choose all of them since I’m excited about all of these discussions.  If you don’t know me yet, I am a big advocate for getting the chat going!  In the end, for choosing only one… New Ways for Arts Organizations to  Finance Their Operations is the winner.  This was a live discussion with various arts organizations of the New York area discussing the majority of issues and solutions surrounding audience development.  I highly recommend reading this discussion and perhaps forming your own arts community discussion involving these same questions.

Best “Arts Make a Difference”
The nominees are:

  • Proving once again the arts help local economy! Durham’s arts center earns $400K for city in first eight months http://bit.ly/2wXCy8
  • Exciting!…Playing For Change & eTown – Live Show: Sunday, Nov 08, 2009,7:30 pm,Location:Paramount Theatre http://bit.ly/2eSbcn
  • The arts heal us! RT @lizajlee 17-year old girl recovers from cancer through art as therapy  one example: http://bit.ly/9JF0U5
  • RT@cincinnatiopera @EmcArts @spokanesymphony Arts helped save psyche in Great Depression. http://bit.ly/Bjd8x

The ADS award goes to: Playing for Change.  “Playing for Change is a multimedia movement created to inspire, connect, and bring peace to the world through music. The idea for this project arose from a common belief that music has the power to break down boundaries and overcome distances between people. No matter whether people come from different geographic, political, economic, spiritual or ideological backgrounds, music has the universal power to transcend and unite us as one human race. And with this truth firmly fixed in our minds, we set out to share it with the world.”  In a world full of distances, it’s nice to see the universal language of music used as a power to unite!

Best Audience Development Quotes
The nominees are:

  • “There is a fundamental change happening in our lives. There’s a sense that we have an old way of defining participating in the arts and that the public is redefining what participation means,” Rosen said. “The challenge for us is to see where the public is and engage with them and adapt.” Jesse Rosen, president and CEO of the League of American Orchestras http://bit.ly/4re6E2
  • “The arts are not just a nice thing to have or to do if there is free time or if one can afford it.  Rather, paintings and poetry, music and fashion, design and dialogue, they all define who we are as a people and provide an account of our history for the next generation. “
    Michelle Obama http://tinyurl.com/qfvhd2
  • “It becomes an active listening experience [for the audience] when you’re allowed to stand up or clap your hands,” Music Director Marin Alsop, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra http://bit.ly/5YfguZ
  • “We all need the occasional reminder that there is nothing like the power of art to destroy artificial barriers of race and doctrine” ‘Opera Goes to Church’ a moving experience http://bit.ly/4uvL8Y
  • Love this quote from the he(art) article: “Art has changed the way I look at things in the world. That change is profound and forever,” Buster Medeiros – Gotta have he(art) A hospital’s painting class places the focus on abilities, not disabilities http://bit.ly/1dK8Xo
  • Storytellers enchant audiences http://bit.ly/4wm4rg “The most important part of the story, is the listener’s imagination,” storyteller Beth Horner
  • From the Archive: Bronx Street Art “The Bronx may have been burning, and city budgets busted, yet En Foco embraced the idea that the arts were not a luxury, but a necessary part of life — perhaps even more so in tough times. ” http://bit.ly/HaN4j
  • “When you look at the realities of audiences, of marketing, of trying to fill a large hall, then it becomes obvious quickly that the best way to reinvest the resources you have is through collaborating with other groups.” Tim Sharp, Artistic Director Tulsa Oratorio Chorus
  • “I filled the house purely based on Facebook,” says da Cunha, one of the founders of Rage Productions.http://tinyurl.com/nk46hc “Mentally, we were all being too lazy. Let’s not market in the traditional way any longer with an advertisement… Students may not get the paper, but they will be on the Internet…We’re mentally starting to seek new ways to get out there because if we continue with the old way of marketing, then we will die,” da Cunha (Rahul da Cunha)

The ADS award goes to: Rahul da Cunha.  Simply put, if we want to see different results and live to see another day, we need to stop with the old way of marketing and begin a new journey of reaching out to our audiences – which is what audience development is all about.

Special mention goes to: the En Foco quote.  It was a quote with  a great deal of heart, and people came here to comment about it.

Best Audience Development Studies
The nominees are:

  • Arts Participation 2008: Highlights from a National Survey (June 2009) – NEA http://bit.ly/aEEfly
  • State and Regional Differences in Arts Participation: A Geographic Analysis of the 2008 SPPA (December 2009) NEA
  • NYC study links arts, high school graduation http://bit.ly/36xgxP

The ADS Award goes to: Another big challenge for me to choose just one.  To me, any study about audience development is a winner.  If I have to choose just one, it would have to be the Wallace Foundation’s Engaging Audiences. This report presented the challenges and some of the potential solutions to building our audiences. I love reports that state the current statistics, but now more than ever, we need to be current with new and innovative ideas.

Special mention goes to: NEA’s State and Regional Differences in Arts Participation: A Geographic Analysis of the 2008 SPPA (December 2009).  I had the best time looking at all of the facts and figures with many moments of pleasant and unexpected surprises.

So there you have it.  If any of the winners are interested in receiving their official ADS certificate, please feel free to contact me.  Until next year, I’ll be scanning for more of the best Audience Development news to tweet.

Cheers to happy and loyal audiences,


Shoshana Fanizza
Audience Development Specialists
Facebook/twitter /E-mazing Newsletter /Blog

“Never treat your audience as customers, always as partners.”
~James Stewart

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