Tag Archives: arts marketing

Do you know who your arts people are?

Quick thought for the day: Do you know who your arts people are in your neighborhood?  Are there people in your community that are artists from a previous life that you are not connecting with?  These are people that may have studied an art form previously and decided to do something else for their day jobs.  They might also be arts administrators now.

These types of people are out there, and it would be a fabulous idea to find them and make a special connection to them.  You see, I am one of these people.  I have a degree in music.  I know some people in my community know that I am one of the arts people, yet are they making an effort to invite me personally?  Very few are.  I usually attend when they extend this type of personal invitation too. 

Also, don’t forget the people that you have worked with in the past (and have left on good terms).  You could look up the history of who has worked at your organization in the past and rekindle the relationship. 

I know there are others like me in your community, people who have arts in their lives past and present that are not attending your events.  So, do yourself a huge favor and discover these people.  You may find them casually in a conversation at the grocery story or online when they comment on an arts article, or in your database of past employees.  Are you making note and following up with a more personal invite?  Let me know what happens when you make this an audience development effort!

-Shoshana

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2 ways to skin a cat, but please don’t skin a cat!

There seems to be a rumbling about arts marketing lately.  There are people that believe that artists and arts organizations need to step up their game or hire someone else that has more experience.

Here is the latest of the rumblings:

Cincinnati Art Museum makes cuts

The Cincinnati Art Museum recently eliminated its design team, instead opting to use a Cincinnati marketing and design company to complete its projects.

Yes, this is one way to change and step up in the game of arts marketing, that is if the company that is hired is truly a player.  However, there is another way that will allow arts folks to keep their jobs.  It’s called education!

There are many ways an arts administrator, arts marketer, etc., can obtain education.  I see a variety of workshops, classes, and seminars that are being offered to get you started.  I also know of some fantastic consultants (wink) that can teach you how to build your audiences and market more effectively.

It saddens me that the people that are truly dedicated to the arts are being cut in favor of bigger corporate companies that are paid well to get the job done.  Except in cases where the employee is a complete yahoo, there seems to be a disconnect between wanting results and being loyal to the people that you employ.  You can have both.

Wouldn’t it be better if education was supplied to help these dedicated individuals flourish and get them up to speed instead of skinning a bunch of cats in favor of spending more money with a big corporate firm?

You may get results going with those big corporate firms, yet you might be hurting our industry by not investing those dollars in the people that care more about the arts in the first place.  Remember, these are the people that took the jobs despite the decreased nonprofit salaries.

You would also be helping all the educators, consultants and arts agencies that are supplying this form of education.  It’s time to start helping the people in our own industry to get the results we want.  Wouldn’t it be best to support our own while we help ourselves?

Cheers to happy and loyal audiences,

Shoshana

Shoshana Fanizza

Audience Development Specialists

http://www.buildmyaudience.com

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

Please consider supporting ADS so we can continue our work.  Donate here! 

***Purchasing my book will help support ADS and our mission.***

My eBook

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Add a splash of Energy and Passion for arts audience development!

Your mini-podcast for the week!  If you are an email subscriber, you will need to click on the link to take you to the web blog post.

Cheers to happy and loyal audiences,

Shoshana :O)

 

 

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The balancing act of artist vs audience development

Prayforthedonkey

Pray for the Donkey by Gerda Rovetch

Today I recognize how balance is an important undertaking.  If you feel off balance, it doesn’t feel very good.  Balancing budgets are necessary for grants.  Balance is crucial for dance.  I could go on and on.  What I am thinking about right now is the balance between artist and audience development (arts marketing in general).

I have read a few blog posts recently (and have written a few in the past) about the necessity of keeping your audience in mind in all aspects of creating art and promoting art.  What do your audiences want?  How are you reaching your audiences in ways they want to be reached?  Are you speaking your audiences’ language?  Etc.

There is a point, however, that we might be taking this level of engagement with our audiences a bit too far.  When our art simply becomes a template of what the audience says it wants (mainly based on historical perspectives – do you really know your current audiences?), we can lose our artistic edge, and the audience will lose out on being challenged.

Please do not misunderstand.  I am still a big advocate for working with your audiences and getting to know their wants and needs to help you to create art that will be relevant to them. Having your audiences as partners and getting them fully entrusted in you and your art work is extremely important.

What I am thinking out loud in this moment is the fact that you can take audience information and then stretch past their boundaries too.  It is part of our duty as artists, right?

In many of the survey reports I have been scanning through again, one of the biggest reasons people go to arts events is to be challenged, to experience something new.  If all we provide is a template of what we think they want and present in ways they say they want, we might be doing them a disservice.   Yes, audiences say they want A, but in fact they may want AB or AC, something that gives them A, but pushes them slowly toward Z.  I hope this is starting to make a little sense.

As mentioned in a past post, the arts are a living, breathing, organism.  For us to continue to work by a template is choking the living daylights out of art.  For us not to program new and exciting developments to challenge our audiences is showing severe consequences.  New audiences rather not be boxed into old templates and older audiences, even though they say they are comfortable with templates are also showing up less due to boredom of the same old programs.

It has been discussed as a delicate balancing act.  The integrity of the artist vs. what the audiences want.  Yet I don’t think we have to continue to view it this way.  We can allow ourselves to be creative again in consultation with our audiences.  We can reach them in ways they desire to be reached and then stretch both ourselves and our audiences to a new reaching point.  This will allow both us and our audiences to grow, end the cycle of templates and of stifling ourselves as artists.

So consider your audiences in all that you do, and also consider how you can take them to newer artistic heights.  I am sure your audiences will be very thankful to you.

Thoughts?

Cheers to happy and loyal audiences,

Shoshana

Shoshana Fanizza

Audience Development Specialists

http://www.buildmyaudience.com

FacebookTwitterLinkedin

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

Please consider supporting ADS so we can continue our work.  Donate here! 

***Purchasing my book will help support ADS and our mission.***

My eBook

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The Knights Who Say Niche for arts audience development

niche

noun

1. an ornamental recess in a wall or the like, usually semicircular in plan and arched, as for a statue or other decorative object.
2. a place or position suitable or appropriate for a person or thing: to find one’s niche in the business world.
3. a distinct segment of a market.
4. Ecology . the position or function of an organism in a community of plants and animals.
adjective5. pertaining to or intended for a market niche; having specific appeal: niche advertising.

All Monty Python kidding aside, I would like to see more artists and arts organizations say niche.  I was looking at a theatre organization’s website yesterday, and despite the photos and marketing jargon being of a unique quality, the description and the overall look and feel of the organization did not separate them from everyone else.  In a time where it seems like there is an arts organization born every minute and a deep ended pool of individual artists of all kinds, having a niche should be mandatory.What makes you unique or different could make the difference in obtaining the right audiences for you and your art.  Taking the time, money and energy to create your niche brand is the best way to put your money and hard work to good use.  You can still be a theatre, orchestra, dance company, visual artist, film organization, etc., etc., without being exactly like another.  People will still recognize the type of art that you do, and they will also recognize why you are special in our world of art.

Take a look around you.  What arts brands stand out for you?  What arts organizations and artists grab the spotlight and are gaining the best audiences for themselves?  I assure you that these are the organizations and artists that are part of the fantastic group of The Knights Who Say Niche!

Cheers to happy and loyal audiences,

Shoshana

Shoshana Fanizza

Audience Development Specialists

http://www.buildmyaudience.com

FacebookTwitterLinkedin

“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.

***Purchasing my book will help support ADS and our mission.***

My eBook

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Filed under arts management, arts marketing, Audience Development

Happy New Year for arts audience development

Happy New Year
This is a quick post to ring in the new year.  I am busily working on plans for 2013, and I hope to have some announcements by the end of next week.  I can mention that I am working on:

  • Quarterly Webinars
  • Monthly #Auddev chats
  • Podcast Projects
  • Video Sessions and Slidecasts
  • More audience development books
  • New services
  • And a few other exciting learning opportunities

I plan on making 2013 the year of content and connection.  What are your plans for 2013?  Any arts business resolutions, or better yet, commitments?

Cheers to happy and loyal audiences,

Shoshana

Shoshana Fanizza

Audience Development Specialists

http://www.buildmyaudience.com

FacebookTwitterLinkedin

“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.

***Purchasing my book will help support ADS and our mission.***

My eBook

2 Comments

Filed under Arts, arts management, arts marketing, Audience Development

Are you participating? Arts Audience Development

I have a quick thought today.  Are you participating in the arts as an audience member?  Yes, you might be the artist or the behind the scenes administrator, so you are participating in the arts.  However, I feel one of the reasons the audience is getting less and less is because some of us are not being good audience members to other artists and arts organizations.

We are also not participating enough in spreading the word.  It is rare when I receive an email from an artist about something other than their own personal e-Newsletter.  When was the last time you as a musician (hi musicians), spread the word about an upcoming performance for your own group or another group you are not performing in?  Theatre people, you happen to be better than most of us, but you could also share more.  Dance people, you are also becoming better at spreading the word, but you all could share in the responsibility. Museum folks, yes, you can be more enthusiastic about sharing word about an exhibit.

It is not so cut and dry anymore.  Share the enthusiasm for your art and for others’ art!  Become an audience for other artists and arts organizations.  Artists and the arts administrators could be more a part of the audience development game.  Instead of simply relying on the few arts marketers out there, maybe we all could start participating more.

-Shoshana
Matchmaker for the Arts

 

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