Louisville arts groups look to connect with younger audiences

Posted on: July 16, 2012

In an article published Sunday (7/15) in the Courier-Journal (Louisville, Kentucky) and syndicated by other news outlets, Elizabeth Kramer writes, ‘For much of the past 50 years, local arts groups have had a cozy relationship with patrons like Kathleen Geile. Geile is a 69-year-old pre-baby boomer who grew up with the arts. She holds season tickets to performances by the Louisville Orchestra, the Kentucky Opera and the Louisville Ballet; and she attends other events, including plays at Actors Theatre of Louisville and at smaller theater companies around town. ‘Art takes us out of our everyday life; it speaks to us,’ Geile said. But in the past decade, the aging of such lifelong patrons has triggered alarms about the graying and shrinking of arts audiences in Louisville and across the nation. Many local arts groups acknowledge an aging audience base and are recording significant drops in the number of season ticket-holders. But they say they’re creating new ways to attract diverse crowds and are seeing some positive results. … The Louisville Orchestra is among the local arts organizations trying to change. CEO Robert Birman said in the past five years, the orchestra has begun offering new kinds of concerts that have brought in more first-time attendees between the ages of 25 and 45. … It has also developed a ‘Strings Attached’ series that has featured the orchestra with independent artists, including Calexico, Brandi Carlile and Ben Folds.”

Posted July 16, 2012