What is the best path for you for audience development for the arts?

I will be searching for more guest bloggers.  In the meantime, my brain has been buzzing with new activity.  What a difference some time off makes!  I will be in “time off” mode for a little while longer.  My batteries need charging big time.

I am still constantly thinking about audience development for the arts.  The good news is that the topic is taking off in the arts world these days more than I have ever seen before.  There is a “how to save classical music” conversation with people finally coming to the conclusion that focusing on building audiences (and relationships with their audiences) is an answer.  Using social media for audience development is a mainstay topic these days.  Also, discussion about programming for audiences and how to get them more involved before, during and after is popping up more frequently.  I am happy to see these discussions!

I want to point out, once again, that you will want to take the discussion to the next level, which is action.  All the thoughts in the world are not going to create the change.  You still need to design your audience development plan, create your programs and then go for it!

I am here to help you do this, and I am delighted to share with you that ADS is evolving more toward this direction.  In the works is a new level of commitment on my part, and the part of my colleagues, for taking action to create the change we need in the arts.

I have come to realize during my breather that being ahead of the curve had its drawbacks, or so I thought.  I have been waiting for my phone to ring.  This means I was “unable” to take action.  I was dead wrong.  I was spending my energy attempting to get noticed and hired, but in reality, I could have been focusing on projects that will build audiences despite being “hired.”  I hope this makes sense since this was a big lesson I have learned over the past few months.  I needed to shift my thinking from the old to the new. Sound familiar?  The arts in general are stuck in this mode – using old methods over and over again instead of being brave to try new methods like audience development.

It takes energy to create energy, and further, it takes the right concentrated energy to create positive changes.  If your energy is unused or wasted on the wrong focus, you will end up burning yourself out and not accomplishing what you want in the first place.  No wonder many of us are burning out.  We are spinning our wheels and creating wasted energy!

Lastly, since I was burned out, I wasn’t enjoying myself as much.  This should have been a major alert for me.  If you find yourself not having fun in the process, you are in the wrong process, on the wrong path.  Many of us in the arts have lost our mojo due to missing the element of fun.

To tie up this random post, here is the executive summary:

  • Discuss and get the ideas out
  • Take the ideas to the next level and create your plan with programs to make it happen – ADS is here to help
  • Take action!!!
  • Focus your energy on what will work (at least try something new) rather than what is not working (so you don’t burn out)
  • Enjoy the ride –  and if you are not having fun, go back to step 1

Thank you again to all my email subscribers and blog followers.  I am very grateful to share this journey with you! Have a Wonderful Wednesday!

Cheers to happy and loyal audiences,


Shoshana Fanizza

Audience Development Specialists



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

Although we are not a non-profit, if you would like to support ADS to continue our work, you can donate here.

My eBook

New eBook!  The How of  Audience Development for the Arts: Learn the Basics, Create Your Plan


1 Comment

Filed under Arts, Audience Development

One response to “What is the best path for you for audience development for the arts?

  1. PS This was my 200th post! Let’s celebrate! If you have been considering hiring me, I will give you 20% off my regular rate as long as you book me in June with services rendered within a year.

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