78% of FNoT patrons are under the age of 35
83% of FNoT patrons are new to the theatre they will be attending
46% of FNoT patrons are non-white
69% of FNoT patrons are female/ 31% of FNoT patrons are male
Thursday, September 30, 2010
1) Always remember that the work on stage comes first and be supportive of all fundraising efforts, whether they directly benefit your education programs or not. Have a presence at board meetings, opening nights and other Devo events. It’s a great way to develop personal relationships with funders.
2) Have a clear understanding that programming dictates fundraising and not the other way around. Don’t let them create programs just to tap into funding possibilities.
3) Involve students in Devo events whenever possible. It’s a personal connection for the funder and a learning opportunity for the student.
4) Make sure you control the language and message.
5) Thank Devo for what they do. Baked goods go a long way at the Goodman!
6) Thank the individual donors who give you money. It doesn’t matter if it is $5 from telemarketing or $50,000 from a Devo contact; a handwritten note from me goes a long way and it makes Devo look good.
7) We asked Devo to tell us what information they need to report, then built our applications and surveys to collect that data. The info lives in a shared file they can access and we can update.
8) Help Devo see the bigger picture. Give them cheat sheets on public education, arts and the brain, and the field at large. The more educated they are, the better they can advocate.
9) Keep Devo informed and never let them get blindsided.
10) Celebrate the wins, commiserate the losses, and always be grateful for Devo’s efforts.
Words to live by.
One method of creating familiarity is by associating yourself with a title or artist that the audience is already familiar with. The ballet Swan Lake has been seen by millions. People on the street almost certainly know names like Beethoven and Mozart even if they know no other composers. Music from Phantom of the Opera has been played by countless marching bands in high schools. Sometimes it can be a hot director in your town or a big name performer. Audience numbers for known quantities are going to be larger as there is less of a barrier there for your audience so some familiar works can drive new audience growth, but the downside is that their loyalty might remain with that known quantity and not with you and your company's work.
Word of mouth and critics are time-honored and cost-effective methods of creating familiarity. Of course, you only have so much control over these sources. But it's all the more reason to pay close attention to the experiences you create at every opportunity. You might not have another chance to get that central personality, the Connectors, Mavens, and Salesmen that Gladwell puts out there in The Tipping Point, into your space seeing a show and then getting out there to talk about it, opening yourself up to new audiences willing to try the suggestions of these movers and shakers. I recently put Brains on Fire on my reading list to study the topic of word of mouth far more in depth, especially in a social media age.
And then there are promotions. Promotions are generally dangerous in that cutting prices or going out and making gimmicks of your art has the potential to devalue that art. The arts aren't a commodity and compete on price much looser than, say, your morning breakfast cereal. Care always needs to be taken in how price differentials are handled. However, to gain new audiences, this can be a good strategy. One of the advantages of participating in programs like Free Night of Theater is that the larger program gives cover for any individual theatre. Being able to offer your tickets alongside some of the best theatres shows that it's not a matter of lower quality or is a gimmick, but rather is an outreach offer by the industry as a whole. This way, a person takes little risk in coming to see your show, but you also haven't devalued the hard work you do.
I had a fantastic debate with a friend recently about this issue, and it really comes to the fore in times like these. The Great Recession has caused people of all stripes to take less risk, be that in entertainment choices or hiring choices or investment choices. The $20 that they spend with the arts could also go to a movie that features their favorite comedian. Until we can support a case that their $20 will be better spent in our seats by familiarizing our potential patrons with our work and minimizing that risk, we can't expect to see them spend it with us.
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
What does this mean for the future of ArtsAppeal? Only far more goodness as far as I'm concerned. I intend to take my life experiences with BackStage and my training with CCT to heart and expand on the issues I've already begun to talk about. I hope you continue to enjoy the ride.
More substance tomorrow!
Monday, September 27, 2010
Pay attention to release times for tickets though. They go super fast, especially for the big name companies. The performanace are for the month of October and new tickets for additional shows are being released regularly, so check back often.
Sunday, September 26, 2010
"I've never seen a situation when the orchestra was so much in peril," clarinetist Doug Cornelsen, a 40-year DSO veteran, said earlier. "The board is comprised of powerful people, and if they wanted to find some way to keep this orchestra where it's been, they could find a way."
Maybe that speaks to how seamlessly the development officers at the DSO have done their work until now that the money just seems to magically appear, but I think that's doubtful. No matter how strong your board is, accepting no change and expecting different results is still insane. The musicians absolutely must move on their salary positions, and they need to work with the DSO management on finding acceptable new work rules that will increase their community involvement. Otherwise, DSO management would be wise to seek out new artists that are willing to do just that no matter the consequences to their "tier" status.
Friday, September 24, 2010
First things first, being a church is the way to go as a not-for-profit since they get 33% of all donations across the country, so I plan to start the Church of Dionysus, all praise our fabulous god of theatre. Think it'll work? Hmm...
The arts and culture come in at 4% of all giving in the US. From 2007-2009, donations to the arts have shrunk by 8.7%. Volunteerism is on the rise, but that can always be a mixed blessing unless said volunteers have a good outlet for their support. The number of people donating and the size of donations is generally going down, and in fact, without the support of a small number of high wealth individuals giving significantly more, donations as a whole would have shrunk by 1.1%, thereby meaning that unless you had the patronage of a very select group of people, you were in a state of deterioration of your support base.
That's the bad news.
Dan lays out several strategies to take advantage of some of the trends. They lie heavily in taking advantage of the 75% of gifts that come from individual donors and the movements seen in that arena. I particularly was drawn to the discussions we had about helping people to start donating at small, regular levels. Monthly donations of $5 or $10 makes giving a habit, and it's not far from there to much larger gifts. This is an excellent way for people to budget significant gifts during such hard economic times (economic difficulty being 55% of the reasons given for cutting or stopping donations right now).
We discussed having a clear, written-out case for support and a communications plan to utilize that case. Millenials are seeking out high quality information to make decisions as discussed before, and having a strong case for support will enable you to capture these potential donors when they walk in your doors and you have an opportunity to make the ask.
I could delve further and further into the stats and trends, but then I'm a sucker for great analysis. I wonder just how much, for instance, income inequality is effecting the trends we're seeing above. Should that be an issue for not-for-profit managers to jump into in the national debates? But in the end, even just taking a moment to step back and look at the bigger picture will do a world of good in planning for your success.
Detroit's art scene is more vibrant than many other cities because there are far less barriers to entry. If someone has an artistic idea, there are plenty of opportunities to bring that idea to light due to low cost and very little red tape to slow one down. As far as inertia is concerned, there is more in Detroit now that there is in many other places because young people are returning to the city looking for things to do , no longer scared like their parents - and they are finding them.
That sort of activity is precisely what Detroit needs, but it is the beginning of a process, not a signal that the arts are yet thriving there. It supports the notion I make in that post that the artists in Detroit's greatest institutions need to be out in the communities helping to create a culture where these arts entrepreneurs can then seize on the opportunities that that will make available.
It brings up an interesting set of questions though. Should Detroit have a top-tier orchestra given the cultural and economic landscape? Would Detroit be better off ending its storied tradition as it stands and instead bringing in a new orchestra that is more responsive to the needs of the city as a whole and that the city can support at more reasonable salaries? Is there any shame in becoming a second-tier orchestra if that orchestra is doing more for the entire arts landscape and is sustainable on its own?
I suspect that many in Detroit would benefit from a shift in focus like that. Bringing in more entrepreneurial artists that will be a part of the fabric of Detroit instead of standing above it may be the only solution if the musician's union is unwilling to move on the issues. And if that new group is able to reach out more, do more in the community, I suspect that for most of these new exposures, it will be as enriching an experience as having the best artists in the field there. It will be more accessable because they will be there, tangible.
As badly as I speak of the arts scene in Detroit, it is because I know the city can and should be doing better. I reject the idea that any city is "too blue-collar" to support the arts as has been asserted to me many times over the years. The Opera, the Hilberry and Bonstelle at Wayne State University, Detroit Repertory Theatre, and other institutions have weathered the storm and given us hope that more can be done. Help won't come from the state or the city in sufficient amounts when there are human support issues on the line, and that's to be expected. But with the help of those storied institutions and their artists that have been holding the line, the way can be opened for arts entrepreneurs to step in and start taking up the load.
The arts is a collaborative, not a competitive, industry. Only by working together and reaching out, Detroit has the potential for cultural greatness.
The primary issues in the negotiations are those of pay and institutionalized community involvement and outreach. Management at the Orchestra wants a 29% pay cut now. They also want the artists to be contractually obligated to participate in programs that get the artists into the neighborhoods to engage and make accessible the music that they perform. The musician's union wants less draconian cuts in salary, especially three years out where it wants levels to come closer to present day salaries. It also is fighting hard against the community programming saying that the artists need their time to practice in order to be a top-tier orchestra.
The resistance by the union is not a surprise to anyone, of course. Even given that the orchestra is well-paid to start with at an average of almost $105,000 per year, thirty percent is a devastating cut, and what is commonly understood but not stated here is that many musicians do some level of community outreach on their own for additional pay, thereby making that a pay cut for some on its own. Having lived in Metro Detroit, however, and understanding what the economy has done to further batter and bruise an already abused city, I believe that management is correct in its assessments that without drastic measures the orchestra could close its doors not just for a lockout but potentially forever.
The key to this negotiation is going to be the outreach programming. This is about changing the culture in Detroit, and that is the hardest thing to do. It will take the coordination and power of a major institution like the Orchestra to get the reach and depth that must exist if Detroit is to start to turn around artistically. It's in the best interests of the musicians and the orchestra to push outreach in innovative and cooperative ways for the future of the art and their collective future jobs. If the union is willing to commit to this strongly, I think concessions on the future pay rates should be considered by management.
We'll see today whether a deal could be reached. It's not going to be easy by any stretch of the imagination, but an arts revolution in Detroit along with all the other investments that are currently on the table could be what sparks the recovery that city needs. People wanting to live and work in Detroit is the first step, and the arts are a part of the landscape that makes cities attractive to people. Given the auto industry's problems and the state's inability to diversify sufficiently, it's hard to imagine that the jobs in Detroit are going to be amongst the top-tier on their own. If Detroit can start to show that the city isn't a cultural wasteland, maybe, just maybe, you'll start to see more companies in more industries picking Detroit for the resources the city can provide.
Thursday, September 23, 2010
According to the suit filed Tuesday in federal court, the museum faces $10 million in repairs and upgrades to the addition. Among the problems cited in the suit are cracks in concrete floors, condensation clouding the main vestibule glass and an air-conditioning system that can't maintain a safe climate for artwork.
It certainly highlights the problems of having your own space very well though. This could be a long, drawn-out trans-Atlantic fight. Not exactly conducive to having your full attention on your artistic mission.
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Part of the impetus for this blog is to keep my mind sharp and to reach out to the arts management community to help us all be better at our craft so that we can, in turn, be better at making certain the art we're so passionate about thrives. I would be interested in hearing what other people or companies are doing to ensure that young talent doesn't get starved by the Great Recession.
Monday, September 20, 2010
I attribute a great deal of the lack of success of some groups to the inability for some arts companies to let go a little. Giving up control can be a very scary thing, but our audiences are avid fans of our work and want what is best for us. We need to trust them if we want their loyalty in return.
I watched an excellent company avoid allowing a group to form for over a year after a number of Young Professionals came to them and then attempt to run the group exclusively through their staff and interns. The group folded within a year of starting.
Another company, smaller this time, refused to form a group for the Young Professionals, and instead tried to recruit them to their Board of Trustees. The commitments involved there between a YP group and a full Board position are miles apart. One may certainly lead to the other in some cases, we hope, but there needs to be a way to get people involved that doesn't also entail the fiduciary responsibilities or the higher fundraising requirements and so forth that goes into a board position. A fun and fulfilling way to commit to the organizations we love that is about the networking, the parties, the special causes, and still on mission.
I've heard complaints of "I don't know what a Young Professionals group would do", and again, I think that turns the question the wrong way. The approach must be to go to the Young Professionals that you see attending and engaging, bringing them together in the same room, and letting them tell you what their time and donations should go to. Whether they choose your new works workshops or your education programming, that's not only telling you something extremely important about your audience and their preferences, but it is absolutely something that you will want to have funds going towards too if that's what's drawing these Young Professionals in.
Whatever it is, they will engage and be able to get others engaged if they are passionate about what they are working towards, and if you let them do the heavy thinking, taking a subordinate support role to help them succeed every step along the way.
Friday, September 17, 2010
The preshow talking goes against a subtle tradition. For generations the culture of ballet has involved hiding the pain of dancing, keeping personal lives behind the curtain and suppressing the mundane aspects of the art form so that when the baton goes down, audiences enter a world apart — one of beauty and form and pure movement.
Audiences in an environment with Twitter and Facebook want to know more. They want to feel the humanity of the artists to connect to them and see behind the scenes, to be let into the once-secret world artists live in. It enhances their experience of the entire production. We live in a time of full immersion, and it's good to see more companies across the performing arts embrace that.
The key element here isn't the Supreme Court. In its ruling on corporate money, it called for transparency. But the Federal Election Commission drastically undercut the rules on disclosure. It said that money designated for what are called "electioneering" messages has to be made public. But other contributions don't.
I don't know how much this climate will effect fundraising in other areas, but it's something I'd want to be conscious of at the very least. People burning out on donations due to these shady practices enforce the need for strong ethics in our own methods of soliciting from our patrons and making them feel comfortable giving.
It also underscores, for me, the importance of seeing the DISCLOSE Act passed, maybe in the lame duck session after the election has passed. Write your senators about it.
Do you have any feelings one way or another about giving in this political environment?
Thursday, September 16, 2010
I glossed over before this idea that technology is not a threat but an opportunity for the arts. Yes, we are now bombarded with stimuli day in and day out. Sure, it is possible to download music for around $1 or your favorite movie for around $10 off of iTunes. And there are absolutely a ton of, as Ben calls them, "pro-ams", aka professional-amateurs, doing innovative work with the new tools we've developed over the last couple decades. But change is good; change leads to innovation and creativity. It leads us to examine our missions more throughly to understand the value we offer our patrons and our donors.
Let's consider for a moment though what lies beyond the surface of these changes in the way our audiences relate to the world and the arts in particular. That same stimuli that could be overwhelming is still processed by our brains in a fairly efficient manner. We get bombarded, but people are seeking out quality information to focus on as a key strategy in handling this information overload. This is an opportunity for those people that want to reach out to the arts to pick up our signal. It's simply a matter of being out there, providing good content, and signalling to those brains that are receptive to our message that we are what they are seeking in that broader impressionist jungle.
It's interesting to look at the continuing argument about illegal downloads as a source of inspiration for how the arts will fare when confronted with changes in technology. A post in the Times Online blog (that is sadly now only available in cached form on Google) discusses some trends in music sales vs. money being made by various players in the industry.
Why live revenues have grown so stridently is beyond the scope of this article, but our data - compiled from a PRS for Music report and the BPI - make two things clear: one, that the growth in live revenue shows no signs of slowing and two, that live is by far and away the most lucrative section of industry revenue for artists themselves, because they retain such a big percentage of the money from ticket sales.
The live arts, in the end, aren't threatened by the online environment, and may even be bolstered by the exposure gained. The online environment is a commodity market, low-cost, low-margin, high-volume to be successful. This is neither the strategy that the live arts thrives in, nor one that is really even possible. The demand curves and distribution methods simply don't support the model.
Rather, the live arts run on a differentiation strategy, higher-cost, lower-volume, margins supplemented by donations to allow audience outreach. Understanding this, that we need to embrace that which makes us different and special, will give us ways to change how we reach out to our patrons and potential patrons and give them the value that turns into audiences and donations.
We'll never be able to reach the person that never wants to change their behavior, never leaving their home and would rather spend pennies on their entertainment without thought about how the live arts might be better for them. But then, we have never been able to get those people, and we never will. That's not our audience. The beauty of the new media streams is that we are able to reach out to the people that are doing this now, but are looking for something else. Carve a niche and the internet will let you reach the many, many people looking for that niche that was previously far more difficult to find.
I was introduced to Faith Popcorn and her amazing ability to see changes and trends in the works back around the late '90s. She continues to be remarkably prescient and remarkably excellent at communicating her vision of the future. One of her trends for 2010 was "Locotainment". She uses the drive of sports fans from major league teams to minor league teams as an example, but I think that can potentially hold true for people moving from Broadway for-profit tours to local non-profit theatres. People crave the intimacy they aren't getting online, and they're willing to seek it out and pay for it. They seek the communities that we create (Faith dubs this trend "Clanning"). Understanding these trends that run counter to the online miasma can be the lifeblood of our future.
As for those pro-ams, those are our audiences, our conneussuers. These are people that appreciate the artform enough to reach out to the world and do it themselves. We need to encourage this, reach back to them, and then make sure the pro-ams are on our side, in our audiences, and on our donor rolls. We can enrich their creativity, and they can support ours. They aren't a threat to us, but our greatest opportunity yet.
In the end, I, like Ben, see tremendous hope, not just in the innovative ways that artists reach out to communicate in new ways, but also for us arts managers and the innovations we make in the way we transform experiences and innovate ways to communicate and deepen loyalty to our organizations.
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
A lot of organizations are getting people’s email addresses after they’ve attended one performance and then they get an email asking for, for example, a $150 donation. Marc Van Bree has made the point that that’s like asking someone to marry you after the first date.
That’s right. It’s all about relationships. The online world is not dramatically different from the real world. You need to ask permission and you need to build a relationship with somebody before you start hitting them up for money. That’s a simple thing to do but there’s a surprising number of people who don’t do that.
One of the things I talk about frequently in gaining patrons and donors is the need for "experience management", making sure that there is an examination of each touchpoint that we have with our audiences and that each touchpoint is a positive experience that leads that audience member further down the path towards long-term loyalty to the organization and its mission. This is an integrated process that necessitates marketing, development, box office, and front of house teams work towards this goal.
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Chen Xiaomei claims the Polybona International Cinema in the northern city of Xian and film distributors Huayi Brothers Media Corporation should have told her how long the advertisements for the film Aftershock lasted, Xinhua news agency said.
Ms Chen, who is a lawyer, has accused Polybona and Huayi Brothers of wasting her time and violating her freedom of choice.
I don't imagine that American audiences are that far behind. A good experience in my book, at least, doesn't include 20 minutes of commercials/curtain speeches/etc.
The holy grail of arts organizations, Young Professionals. The P absolutely must be capitalized too, for the record. That group of generally white-collar workers in their late 20s to early 40s. It's not just a market segment; it's what every single arts organization wants to capture to ensure the blue-hairs of the future are well-in-hand. And we want them not just in our seats, but on our donor rolls. There are grants from places like the Wallace Foundation dedicated exclusively to developing audiences within this group.
And darn skippy we should be, but if it was easy, everyone would be doing it so it's worth looking at things that companies are doing well or not so well. Let's start with the positive.
Last night, Steppenwolf Theatre Company launched its 10th year of its Steppenwolf Auxiliary Council. This incredible group has been supporting the arts education program, Steppenwolf for Young Adults (SYA), through reaching out to Young Professionals, getting them to organize and participate in events, in programming, in attending shows, and in fundraising. This year, they are looking to raise well over $100,000 for SYA, see all five mainstage and both SYA shows, craft an amazing Red or White Ball which will have an elegant silent auction and sponsors all brought in by Council members, and a series of other networking events and parties throughout the year.
That's a rigorous schedule, utilizing these Young Professionals for a great cause, giving them opportunities to socialize and network deeply, to be a part of a storied theatre company, reach out to kids in ways that will significantly change their lives, and can even serve as resume fodder. I was speaking with Amy Ravit Korin, the Membership Co-Chair this year, and she was amazed how many people didn't realize what great opportunities there were like this for people to network and to improve their resume, and in this economy, that's a godsend for some folks.
The opportunities are out there. Crafting a good program like this really takes examining what these Young Professionals want and need, giving them the tools to be successful at it, and then giving them the chance to spread their wings. There is a wonderful coordinator on Steppenwolf's staff, Annie Lebedoff, that interfaces with the Auxiliary Council, keeps them on track, and helps with administrative tasks. Heaven knows we keep her busy, but the return on investment to keep Annie on staff is immense and she has other duties as well, intensifying her impact on operations. She's a superhero that way.
One of the two founders of the Auxiliary Council, Nora Daley Conroy, is now Steppenwolf's Chair of their Board of Trustees. That's the power that a program like this can have long-term. You're developing the invested, passionate people that will be at the very core of your organization.
Examine your own organization for a strong, mission-centric purpose that Young Professionals can sink their teeth into. Start small but support the growth through programming that makes for an experience with true impact for this group. The future of your organization is just one passionate meeting for a good cause away.
Photo Credit: Kyle Flubacker
Monday, September 13, 2010
Andrew Taylor gets in on the discussion going on right now about Giants Stadium, the debt left behind as the team found new digs, and the parking lot that those bonds are now paying for. Public funding of buildings like stadiums or cultural institutions can end up being a major boon to an area, culturally and economically. In fact, the story of Giants Stadium isn't about the evils of public debt financing, but rather the evils of bad planning and management by the government committee in charge of facilities.
The fact of the matter is that we are at historical lows in bond rates making it an excellent time for government entities to borrow, funding construction jobs in the short-term, boosting the economy, and giving rise to longer-term arts jobs to run the center. This leads to a community that has better recovered from economic turmoil, who later on become loyal donors and patrons of the art at that center, all through that cash injection. If an organization is ready to move to a better facility, those bonds are cheap and probably won't stay that way for more than two to four years. The last time we saw rates this low in the 20-year Treasury bond was in the late 1950s to early '60s.
All that being said, Andrew acknowledges that debt can be one of many useful strategies when considering building and is absolutely spot on when he says that both sides have to "do the math". Undertaking a physical space is a huge responsibility for any up-and-coming arts organization and should be part of a considered strategy that accounts for organic growth. Being an itinerant company or a consistent renter at an existing space gives you flexibility that you may need in earlier stages of development. The growing pains that come with having to maintain a building while upholding your artistic mission may be outside your staffing and revenue capabilities forcing the company to make business decisions that don't forward the mission. Abandon the mission, and you start a slow spiral downwards into oblivion.
There is a responsibility to both our mission and to the communities we serve to face these decisions with forethought. The results could be as fantastic as Giants Stadium's first six years where it made the state more than $60 million dollars in profit, or it could look more like that parking lot with the $110 million dollar price tag we have now. Parking lots aren't nearly as fun to light as a good stage if you ask me.
Friday, September 10, 2010
As long as I've been involved in the arts, especially theatre, there has been some poor shmoe lamenting the onslaught of film and DVDs and CDs and so forth. I disagree on so many levels, but for now, to concentrate on this new research that came out. My tastes are pretty eclectic and being an entrepreneur teaches you to find inspiration in the most unlikely of places. This one struck a fancy.
Caltech has shown that people will open their wallets to the tune of an additional 50% when there is the possibility that they can reach out and touch what they're paying for. They tested this with food and with various "trinkets" from the bookstore on campus and compared putting the item in front of the subject with text and picture descriptions. The results were clear across the board in favor of the "live" item. What's even more interesting, and of special note to our film fans from above, is that they theorized that the response was Pavlovian in nature:
...the team put up a plexiglass barrier between the subject and the items up for bid. And, as predicted, once the possibility of physical contact with the item had been extinguished, the value the subjects gave to that item dropped to the same level as the text- and picture-based items.
"Even if you don't touch the item," says Rangel, "the fact that it is physically present seems to be enough. This Pavlovian response is more likely to be deployed when making contact with the stimulus is a possibility."
So what does this imply for arts managers? I think there are several important points that could be made here.
As busy as every fundraiser and executive director is, there has never been a substitute for the personal ask. We have Directors of Major Gifts in large organizations for just this reason. But the where of that ask could very well be as important as the how it is done. Could you be leaving donor dollars on the table by waiting to ask at your prospective donor's office instead of the night of the show? What could you be doing during your events to maximize the potential gifts for even small donors? How important is it to get artists out into the audiences to help your bottom line? Not all of this is new thoughts in the field, certainly, but it underscores the importance of these activities.
There's also the pricing aspect. My graduate work was in revenue management systems, and I created the forecasting model that was to be used to help manage the price differentiation over time. This information informs those sorts of decisions on pricing, whether you're using a simple revenue management system (Saturdays are more expensive because they are more popular, sales are slow so send some tickets to the discount booth, etc.) or more complex. At the door discounting may just be the worst time to offer deals to your audience as just by walking in the door, they might be willing to increase their equilibrium price by 50%.
And then there are promotions. I think one of the most brilliant promotions of a show I saw recently was Goodman Theatre's street performances for Animal Crackers. The press of having "the Marx Brothers" going around town created a huge buzz for the show and reached out to atypical audiences through the element of the Unexpected ( one of six key parts of good messaging according to Chip and Dan Heath of Made to Stick fame).
This is probably just scratching the surface, and that's without even getting into the larger arguments of whether there's a place for live arts in a digital world (there absolutely is). Our audiences crave that potential to reach out and be a part of that experience on-stage. Let's give it to them.
Thursday, September 9, 2010
The nice part is that people remember it.
That's really the start of any good relationship, isn't it? Making an impact. Creating an experience that the other person doesn't want to forget. Can that start with a name? Any good brand, be it a fundraiser or an arts organization, has to start somewhere. I just start with a little bit of a head start.
I'm 33 years old, a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University's Master of Arts Management program, an entrepreneur, a former salesperson and marketer, and most relevant for purposes of this blog, a fundraiser for the arts. I plan to touch on subjects from good stewardship to pricing dynamics to social media with trends and analysis and much much more. And I look forward to establishing a dialogue with you, noble readers, because what is an arts manager without his or her audience?
I keep looking for other really good arts management blogs out there, but I'm struck by how hard it is to find them other than Michael Kaiser, a few voices at Huffington Post, the Technology in the Arts folks based out of my alma mater, and a smattering of others, some forlornly abandoned. If you know of someone that's a must-read in the blogosphere, please let me know! We can only make the industry stronger through a hearty community.
Well, without further ado, let's get started.