Tag Archives: audience development philosophy

If I were invited to the conference…

This morning I am tracking tweets from two different conferences, the League of American Orchestras and the Americans for the Arts.  I hope in the future to be invited to participate in some way.

I have been thinking about what I would say if I were asked to present.  As most of you know, I am attempting to use my voice for arts advocacy and arts audience development.  After a life in the arts, behind the arts, and living and breathing the arts, this is what I might say (off the top of my head):

  •  There have been some big changes in how our wold functions due to technology and input from upcoming generations. We are moving quickly toward a direction of transparency, sharing, and social consciousness.
  • The arts, although creative in creation, have generally conducted business, over the past few centuries, in a very closed and banal manner.  There have been many sinking ships in the news.
  • There is fear about changing since technology is foreign to us, sharing in terms of partnering with our audiences has to be explored more and being transparent is unheard of.
  • We have built islands of arts organizations with the desire for people to find their way through the murky waters to experience what we have to offer.
  • People are busier than ever and they rather not have to plan in accordance to our agendas; they have their own agendas to worry about. They have their own pools to swim in.  Too much work on their part to reach us drowns their enthusiasm.
  • Building and using life boats to connect back to the community would be wise so we can survive.  No man is an island so running an arts business in this manner does not make sense.  Do we want our islands to sink or shall we learn how to build and learn how to swim?
  • We also could build awareness that the arts are all around us, since we all go about our daily lives reacting with art in almost everything that we do.  This awareness could serve as the bridge from our islands back to the community.
  • It is time to risk, jump in and test the water by challenging ourselves to design and implement new programming, new ways to outreach to potential audiences, new collaborations in our communities, and a new focus for building relationships with our existing audiences through audience development programs.
  • The world has different strokes now. This means that we need to learn how to swim again and to restructure our creative muscles and our capacity for hard work.  Using our old methods of swimming is going against the current.  We can learn to go with the current, go with the flow.
  • Once we learn how to swim again, we can invite others to swim with us if we can open ourselves to being vulnerable, to trust and to allow others to share in the process again.
  • Before we take this major leap, we can re-evaluate and learn about who we are. Knowing ourselves fully will help us to feel a little more secure and enable us to attract the right swimmers to accompany us and empower us on our journey.
  • The arts are for all of us and everyone is an artist to some extent, in some fashion. The sooner we ride the waves of inclusion, the faster we will be on dry land again, living among our community, with the arts succeeding swimmingly.

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.

My eBook

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

Advertisements

3 Comments

Filed under arts management, Audience Development

How to live an audience development for the arts life…

Happy Friday to all!  Today I have been thinking about the philosophy behind audience development, which is living a life of the 4 C’s: connecting with people, being a part of your community, collaborating with others, and showing you care about people.

You never know where people are going to be in the future.  The waiter that messed up accidentally while serving your order, the one that you yelled at in a fire alarm fashion, could be your boss in the future.  The driver that you curse at on the road could be a potential donor that you meet later down the road.  The customer that you snub during a busy time since they are not one of the top patrons (your rationale) could win the lottery next week.  Do you want to build good relationships or bad relationships?

Again, you never know where people are going to be in the future.  Circumstances change.  This means that applying the Golden Rule and being kind to all people could benefit you further down the line.  Also, if you do not act kindly, you are leaving a bad taste in someone’s mind which could haunt you later on. Let me give you another example.

Some of you may know that I am applying for a PT job to attempt to stay afloat.  I had applied for 3 promising jobs in the past month.  All three of these organizations are non-profits in our area.  Only one of these jobs has notified me about their final decision.  The one that notified me, I did not personally interview for the position.  In her email, she mentioned that 50 people had applied for the position.  She took the time to send a message to the other 49 people they did not select.  I actually emailed her a thank you since this is a rare thing to do these days.  I appreciated her taking the time to treat me like a fellow human that took time out of my life to apply for the position.  You bet that I will continue to rave about this non-profit organization!

The other 2 organizations, the ones I actually interviewed in person, I am still waiting for a reply, even after I had emailed them a thank you and a follow up email asking for an update on the positions.  I do feel this is a bad practice in terms of business relations and future audience development.  I may not have such a great opinion after being snubbed in this fashion.  I don’t think any non-profit can afford to create bad relations, then why are they doing so in this case?

Yes, perhaps I am feeling a little personal about this situation, but there is a grain of salt behind the story.  You see, I could have been a supporter to these organizations, regardless of whether or not I landed the job, but due to being ignored and unappreciated, I’m not feeling supportive feelings.

What you do today, how you care and support others in your life has an impact.  If you ignore, snub, or make people feel bad, that might be what you receive back in the future.  You could be supporting or hurting a future audience member, a donor or sponsor, or a volunteer or potential board member.  The choice is yours.

On the plus side, I received a hand written thank you note from an organization I volunteer and fundraise for.  They took the time to care and be supportive to me by thanking me personally.  Now that is how to live an audience development for the arts life!

What do you think?

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.

My eBook

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

2 Comments

Filed under Arts, arts management, Audience Development