Help Yourself

Seeking to bolster your orchestra’s community connections? A new report from the Wallace Foundation shows how

Research and Self-Reflection Help Strengthen Community Ties, a new article from the Wallace Foundation, documents the ways that Philadelphia’s Fleisher Art Memorial is attracting increasingly diverse audiences—with lessons applicable to orchestras. The Fleisher used Wallace support to perform market research and experiment with innovative approaches to draw in the newcomers in its neighborhood, and a 2015 case study charted the organization’s insights and strategies. Three years later, how are they doing? The new post, by market-research expert Bob Harlow, who has spoken at League of American Orchestras Conferences, offers updates about where this group’s audience-building work stands today.

Key takeaways from the report:

•    Market research helped Fleisher upend assumptions and develop specific, targeted approaches to growing its audience.

•    To challenge a perceptual barrier among community members that they would not be welcome, the Fleisher integrated its activities into neighborhood daily life.

•    Through community engagement activities, Fleisher has found success connecting with newly arrived immigrants in its neighborhood.

•    Fleisher’s thought processes and programming are deeply rooted in the community: before acting on a hunch or developing a program, Fleisher first tries to learn about community needs.

Click here to read Research and Self-Reflection Help Strengthen Community Ties.

For more Wallace Foundation resources, including a report and discussion guide about the Seattle Symphony’s success in connecting with millennials, visit the League of American Orchestras website here.

Posted August 24, 2018

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