Daily Archives: February 1, 2013

Niches save the day! for arts audience development


I love when I come across an article that gets my brain moving in an interesting direction!  Today, I came across the article:

The Anachronism of the Top 100 in Classical Music
by Jura Margulis – Concert pianist, recording artist, academic professor

His essay discusses the call for the new, but how we have failed in our interpretations to get it right for our modern times.  At least, this is how I viewed his viewpoint.  A quote from the article:

We are Humans first; let’s not forget our humanity and its best creations. Why not keep the good of tradition and permit oblivion to the bad only, to serve the better New without sacrificing the excellent Old, to assist the creation of art that speaks to the souls and minds of the citizens of the 22nd century? Past Post-Contemporary Meta-Romanticism. Time will tell.

For some reason, my brain situated itself onto niches. Instead of focusing on the how, which is what the article focuses on, rather, focus on the why.

As you know, I have been fascinated with niches of late, but now I am thinking in a more definite direction for niches.  Can niches save the day?  Can niches provide the answers for our old “supply and demand” arguments?

A niche is what sets you apart from all the other artists and arts organizations.  Your niche could be the type of art you present, or it could be how you present your art.  It could be the venues you choose, or the type of engagement with your audiences.  Your niche can tell others about the moods you elicit and the themes you care to entertain.

So, here is what I am thinking.  First, be true to yourself and figure out your niche.  And, in this day and age, your niche could very well be that you stay exactly the same – to keep doing what you are doing in the way you have always presented yourself.  There is a place for groups that want to perform historically.  They don’t need to change a thing, except to embrace and communicate this desire for being a more historic version of the art form.

There will be others that want to create beyond the historical presentations and instead take the art form to a different display or manner.  This is perfectly okay too.  In fact, I am an advocate of experimentation, but only if you desire to change and attempt to reach new and wild heights.

My main point today is, you can be who you are, as long as others will do the same.  We then will see some variance, which I believe will save us all.  It is a fact that well defined niches in our industry do well.  What if we all did this?  Instead of status quo, we now will have a smorgasbord of tastes to choose from.  How delightful this would be!  A beautiful buffet of arts to choose and sample from to find our own individual arts niches.  The variety is bound to attract new audiences too.

If you want the audience to resonate with you and your art, it is best to figure out what you want them to resonate with first.  If all of us were to do the work to define our niches, I truly believe that there would be no reason to limit the supply since the demand for the arts will increase.

Pie in the sky? Can niches save the day?  What do you think?

Cheers to happy and loyal audiences,


Shoshana Fanizza

Audience Development Specialists



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

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