Daily Archives: March 18, 2013

Random thoughts III for arts audience development


At least, I think I am on number 3 for my random thoughts posts.  I had a nice weekend to stew on a few thoughts that I wish to share with you.

  • We could use more adult education classes to get adults appreciating the arts again.  I see a slow trend toward developing these types of classes, but they can’t come soon enough.  If adults can see how the arts apply to them too, we will all be better off.  One slight problem is when the community centers are the only places offering “adult” classes, and they typically start at 13 or 16 years of age.  This can be quite off-putting to adults that do want to learn, but without being lumped in with teenagers.
  • Speaking of education, I’ve been amazed at the low attendance figures for business of arts workshops in general.  These workshops are mainly an inexpensive way to learn what we need to know, however, not many people are signing up for these opportunities.  These workshops/classes should be bursting at the seams!
  • Audience development can promote a show and it can be used for current and future shows.   This simply means that you are researching for the best audiences and working with your current audiences to build bigger and better audiences for your current and future shows.  It’s a momentum game to keep up!  I hope this makes sense.
  • Be the change you wish to see, specifically for the help you need.  Sometimes I am amazed at people asking for favors of another person when it has been a long time since they have helped that other person themselves.  We all need support.  Instead of out of the blue asking someone to help you, why not help that other person first to get the ball rolling?
  • When you have someone new follow you on a social media network, do not slam them with a marketing message at first.  Take the time to get to know them as a person first, then share a bit about what you have to offer them.   Otherwise, it simply is what I call a distasteful direct spam message.
  • This one might get me in trouble, but I feel the U.S. has it backwards.  Audience Development should not be put under the umbrella of marketing.  We would all function better if Audience Development as a department would oversee marketing and development, or at least be an EQUAL department in and of itself.  It’s too important to have it shoved under a different department.  Audience Development should not be an additional or after thought.  It really needs to be front and center.  If we can change this mentality, there is huge hope for finally getting our audiences fully involved again.
  • Customer service rules!  Or at least it should.  I had two restaurant experiences which I will talk about more later, but in a nutshell, both places were asking questions to find the best service for their customers.  These questions were asked before the customer could ask them, meaning the restaurants took the initiative to get it right in the first place!
  • If you post an email on your website, and people use it to contact you, try to get back to them sooner than later (or sooner than never).  I have contacted a few organizations and artists about their work, and they never got back to me.  You never know if one of these people that contact you, regardless of what they were seeking from you in the first place, will be the next super supporter for you.
  • Recharging your batteries once in a while is important!  I finally had a weekend of laziness where I could just be.  I’m thinking I might need a little bit more of this type of time out and time off to charge myself for another phase of being.  Stay tuned on this one.

Did you have any random thoughts come to you this past weekend?  Please feel free to share with everyone by replying. 

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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