Tag Archives: Arts

Random thoughts III for arts audience development

Carwash1

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

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

Advertisements

1 Comment

Filed under Arts, Audience Development

‘SEE’ the power of music for arts audience development!

We are leading up to the Classical Music Webinar on Friday! Today we have a guest post by Catherine Starek.  Catherine is a graduate student with the desire to promote the arts to younger audiences.  She came across a particular type of program, symphonic photochoreography, that is being used by some orchestras with great results.  The following is her personal experience and opinions about this presentation and how it might be one answer for reaching out to new and younger audiences.  Enjoy!

***************************************************************************

Do you ever wish you could ‘SEE’ the power of music?
bv Catherine Starek

If you answered yes, you aren’t alone. Some symphony orchestras are exploring innovative audio-visual performance options, such as James Westwater‘s symphonic photochoreography.

What is symphonic photochoreography? James Westwater explains: “Symphonic photochoreography is an innovative art form that engages audiences worldwide with evocative, multi-image photographic essays choreographed and performed live to selected works of classical music.” Learn more>>

bso_WestwaterKCC_grid

Baltimore Symphony performs a Westwater KCC piece.

I have attended two such performances, combining video and live orchestra.  The first was a performance of the Wizard of Oz by the North Carolina Symphony.

Every summer, the NC Symphony performs in Cary’s beautiful Koka Booth Amphitheatre. It is a lovely space with an expansive lawn, acres of surrounding forest, and a uniquely designed wooden stage situated next to Symphony Lake.  Members of the NCS staff roamed throughout the crowd, dressed as various Oz characters for the concert and screening of the Wizard of Oz.  The children’s  faces lit up with glee at the opportunity to meet Glinda the good witch, participate in the pre-concert “instrument zoo,” and stretch out on the lawn with their family for a picnic.  It was absolutely delightful.

North Carolina Symphony at Koka Booth (or Emerald City), July 10, 2010

Once the concert began, familiar sights and sounds flooded my senses. Hearing the music live was so exciting and the North Carolina Symphony performed with excellent precision and dynamic passion. The music coordinated perfectly with the moving images on the screen (sound track removed, of course). This was not only one of the most memorable concert experiences I have ever had, it made me appreciate the great talent, musical expression, and dynamism of the North Carolina Symphony musicians even more.

Video Games Live was another spectacular audio-visual performance experience. The Music Center at Strathmore located in North Bethesda, MD presented Video Games Live during their 2010-2011 concert season.  The multi-media extravaganza featured renowned video game composer, Tommy Tallarico, and incorporated members of the National Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorale.  This too was an interactive audience experience.  Some of the highlights included Guitar Hero play-offs, an audience costume contest — although this time, instead of mini Dorothy’s and flying monkeys, Nintendo characters such as the Mario Bros and even Tingle from the Legend of Zelda co-mingled in the hall — and a Video Games Live soundtrack and poster raffle.

Tingle, missing his balloon – Strathmore presents Video Games Live on April 7, 2012

The concert itself incorporated dynamic, rock concert lighting, video game screen shots projected on three enormous screens on stage, and the National Philharmonic performing video game music live.  Members of the audience ranged across all generations and people young and old found common ground with video games they had grown up with and loved.  I felt like I was in a sports stadium.  As the concert progressed, the audience would interact with the performance onstage (without the fear that normally accompanies the interruption of an orchestra).  People would laugh, cheer, clap and outright holler with approval. You could tell everyone was having a great time.  It was another exciting concert that I will never forget. (Read about the entire experience here>>)

What does this mean in terms of audience development,especially among younger audiences?

The themes running throughout the majority of comments about this type of format run from interactive and intergenerational, to dynamic, exciting, and more.  Concerts that stimulate both the visual and audio senses, at least in my opinion, seem stickier.  Highly memorable and interactive.  Finding common ground with so many members of your community is exciting in itself and I think these concerts provide a forum that makes this possible.  It’s not just music, it’s a concert experience...a shared concert experience that becomes a story that audiences want to share with their family and friends.

With innovative partnerships, dynamic multimedia, and exciting, multi-sensory audience experiences such as these, I encourage symphony orchestras to continue thinking outside of tradition, push their creative boundaries, and connect with their audiences in a variety of ways that are relevant and interesting to them.  This means you have to know your audience, which takes time and stems from strong relationships.  With audio-visual performances to facilitate social interaction and common ground, and enthusiastic, dedicated arts organizations, I think symphony orchestras in the U.S. and abroad have a lot to look forward to on the audience development horizon.

As Ms. Fanizza of Audience Development Specialists would say:“Cheers to happy and loyal audiences!”

What do you think of these “unconventional” performances? Do you think multi-sensory performances are distracting or enhancing to the symphony orchestra experience?

*     *     *

Recommended Reading

More than Meets the Ear: Orchestras dive into the wide, wide world of multimedia performance.This issue of SYMPHONY Magazine “highlights how orchestras utilize and benefit from multimedia, such as Westwater’s photochoreography (article cover photo).”

The League of American Orchestra’s SYMPHONY magazine.

To read the article, click here>>

*     *     *

Catherine Starek holds a bachelor’s of music education degree from UNC-Wilmington and is pursuing a master’s of arts management at American University in Washington, DC. She is completing her graduate research on the Millennial generation, and effective strategies for engaging younger audiences and donors in the U.S. symphony orchestra experience. [:O)]
*******************************************************************************

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

3 Comments

Filed under Audience Development

When was the last time for arts audience development?

When was the last time you went to an arts event?

When was the last time you invited someone to an arts event?

When was the last time you shared a piece of music with someone in your life?

When was the last time you created a work of art?

When was the last time you searched for a fun arts event for the weekend?

When was the last time you shared an arts event on your social media feed?

When was the last time you wore a piece of art?

When was the last time you bought a button, bumper sticker or t-shirt to support the arts?

When was the last time you donated to the arts?

When was the last time you spread the word about an arts fundraiser?

When was the last time you read about the arts in the local newspapers?

When was the last time you volunteered for the arts?

When was the last time you listened to music?

When was the last time you sang, danced, wrote, painted, illustrated, doodled?

When was the last time you bought a piece of art?

When was the last time you purchased music?

When was the last time you watched an actor on the stage?

When was the last time you went to see live music?

When was the last time you saw someone dance?

When was the last time you went to a museum or gallery?

When was the last time you realized that film and television are comprised of the arts?

When was the last time you discovered that the arts make marketing creative?

When was the last time you realized that photography is art?

When was the last time you appreciated that design of a piece of furniture, appliance or other home utility?

When was the last time you read a good book?

When was the last time you took your kids to an arts event?

When was the last time you created art with your kids?

When was the last time you were moved by the arts?

Supporting the arts starts with each one of us with everyday interactions.  When was the last time you supported the arts?

-Shoshana

Leave a comment

Filed under Audience Development

9 simple arts advocacy actions for daily life

Iheartarts

It’s that time of the year again when arts advocacy days start popping up all over the country.  The official National Arts Advocacy Day is April 8-9. If you want to know your state’s official day, get in touch with a state captain.

I have mentioned in the past that everyday should be an arts advocacy day.  Here are 9 simple ways you can be an arts advocate in your daily life:

  1. Wear an arts t-shirt or button to show your support of the arts.  This will likely start some conversations too.
  2. Point out to the people you are with (or stop a moment to recognize for yourself) when you spot arts in your daily lives.
  3. Post arts events on your Facebook feed and tweet on Twitter with the hashtag #arts to help promote the arts events and arts organizations that you love.
  4. Use your social media to shout out for the arts whenever you appreciate the arts.  For example, while you are watching Downton Abbey, include the #arts tag in your post to show your appreciation!
  5. Write a letter to the editor/producer to say thank you when you see a news story about an arts event.
  6. Buy tickets to arts events to give as gifts to your loved ones when special occasions arise.
  7. Set aside 10 minutes a week to look at your local events calendars and go to an arts event at least once a month.
  8. Bring your kids to an arts event at least once a month.
  9. Do arts “projects” daily – sing, dance, doodle, work on a project with your kids and appreciate the arts and what they do for your daily life!

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

 

3 Comments

Filed under arts advocacy, Audience Development

#Auddev chat 2/14, Noon ET – Loving Your Donors

#Auddev chat 2/14, Noon ET – Loving Your Donors

On Thursday we had an hour long chat with fundraising coach, Marc A. Pitman, on how we can show our appreciation for our donors and supporters.  Please do click on the link above for new ideas and thought provoking conversation!

Have a super weekend!

-Shoshana

1 Comment

Filed under Arts funding, Audience Development, fund raising, Fundraising

ADS Events for arts audience development!

I am very excited to tell you that our 2013 event calendar is now bursting with new opportunities to learn about and discuss audience development methods and ideas.  Here is what we have planned for this year:

  • A monthly #auddev chat on twitter with a different co-host and topic each time.  These are free and open to everyone that is interested in chatting about today’s hot topics.
  • Quarterly Webinars (March-June-September-December) with a few freebies throughout the year –  thought provoking presentations by some of the best audience development minds of our times. Our September slot is still open, but we hope to fill it soon.
  • G+ Hangout Brainstorm Groups – Monthly group sessions with plenty of “AHA” and “great idea!” moments.  This is an inexpensive way to work with me and other arts people around the globe for new ideas to build your audience.
  • Regional Workshops – We are planning 2-3 regional workshops for the year.  Check back at this link for details.

Also in the works are:

  • An Inspiration Page – a resource for current audience development inspiration
  • Mini-Podcast  – weekly mini-podcast on a current topic
  • Tip of the Day Capsules – A set of tips to get you in the audience development mindset
  • Stop the Tape – educational video segments to teach you the how of audience development
  • Two new books for 2013
  • Audience Development Projects – Regional/National Projects to help boost arts audiences
  • Other video and audio content – useful tools for audience building

Of course we will still have:

  • EMazing Newsletters to highlight the best in audience development ideas
  • Twitter ARTicles
  • ARTS Mag! updates
  • Weekly blog posts

As mentioned before, I intend to make 2013 the year of Content and Connections.  My goal is to provide you with a variety of educational and idea provoking tools to help you build the best audiences, happy and loyal ones!

Thank you, and I hope you will sign-up and participate this year!

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

Leave a comment

Filed under Audience Development

Human algorithms and arts audience development

The latest and greatest idea is the use of algorithms (check out You’ve Cott Mail’s line-up)  to produce suggestions for our audiences based on what they have already purchased.  Amazon and Netflix formats are being worked on underground to become the next big thing for arts websites.  At first I was excited about the possibilities.  Finally, I thought, we will be able to increase exposure to the arts by suggesting more arts that will matter to our audience members!

Today, I am applying the breaks based on a “rebuttal” from Adam Huttler, Fractured Atlas’s founder and Executive Director.  He did bring up the fact that these computer based algorithms could go astray and make suggestions that make as much sense as a ballet purchaser being suggested a grunge concert (although, maybe that would work for some?).

When I was reading the “buts” about the new computer algorithm formats, I came up with a major one myself.  I replied on his blog post and will save some time by quoting myself here:

Algorithms could be quite useful, but in all the hub bub on this brilliant discovery, we seem to be forgetting that back in the day, the customer services, sales, box office staff used to suggest other offerings to their patrons based solely on knowing their audience member’s tastes personally. There are talented people that can serve as an algorithm if they would take the time to get to know their audience members and keep track of preferences in their databases. Old fashioned up-selling should not be ruled out in favor of a computer attempting to fill this void.

Are we again attempting to go by the lazy side and use computers to build our audiences for us?  The last time this happened, the online ticket purchase without needing to speak to or see someone from the arts organization, we experienced patrons falling through the cracks.  And now, the computer algorithm suggestions may not only have people falling through the cracks, but cracking up when the suggestions are ludicrously spit out.

Why do we keep attempting to save time and effort when time and effort is what we need to get back to?  Word of mouth is the best way to build an audience for an event.  We have surveys upon surveys that are proving this.  Word of mouth involves human interaction.  We trust our families, friends and colleagues.  Do we trust a computer interface when it artificially computes word of mouth?  Most of the time we laugh at it because it is yet another inhuman form of mass marketing in disguise.

We need to humanize the arts again.  Good old fashioned interaction – face to face, people to people.  The golden age of customer service can’t come back too soon for us.  People make the world go round.  People energy creates an idea and catapults it into becoming a reality.  I will put my money on the Human Algorithms every time, and if you want to build the best audiences for yourselves, I hope you will too.

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

4 Comments

Filed under Arts, arts management, Audience Development