Can you handle the fact that you can have a pretty successful career and still be invisible to 99.99999% of the world?
Some say they are ok with that. But they really aren't. Artists (like a lot of folks) have healthy egos and it's natural to want a sizeable and ever growing audience of devoted fans.
The issue is that mass markets have exploded into a million niches. The most watched TV show today would have gotten pulled off the air 20 years ago for miserable ratings.
"Big" is relative.
To be clear, .00001% of the world's population as of 2009 is 67,752 people. For most arts organizations and artists, that would absolutely be a healthy audience, especially the more loyal they became.
Of course, the obvious corollary to Adam's argument is that the mass market is not your audience, you must find and market to your niche. Your marketing, fundraising, box office, front of house, all absolutely must be tailored to your niche. Find your 67,752 people and make them into loyal patrons for your organization.
That takes making some hard choices not just about who you will reach out to, but to whom you won't. Once you make that choice though, what used to be risks might just start to make sense. As James Goggin said at One State for the Arts this year, "Embrace Barriers".
Related: Dare to be different
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