Arts groups use variety of tactics to attract diverse audiences

Posted on: August 27, 2012

In Sunday’s (8/26) Orange County Register (California), Paul Hodgins writes, “There was electricity in the air Monday evening as a lively crowd swarmed into Costa Mesa’s Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall. Subscribers to the Segerstrom Center for the Arts’ Broadway season, together with potential ticket buyers, were arriving to get a sneak peak at the lineup for 2012-13, a scant few weeks before the beginning of the cultural season. … Stars with major touring productions performed songs from ‘Memphis’ and a perennial favorite, ‘Wicked.’ … The season preview show, which was first tried last year, is typical of the innovative marketing approaches that big arts organizations unleash to draw in ticket buyers. … In his 2011 book, ‘Marketing the Arts to Death: How Lazy Language Is Killing Culture,’ arts consultant Trevor O’Donnell argues that arts organizations continue to use tired clichés and worn-out marketing techniques at a time when old audiences are dying off and younger fans-to-be aren’t connecting with the message. … John Forsyte, president of the Pacific Symphony, sees more of a young-old divide and general decline in subscribership than [South Coast Repertory Artistic Director Marc] Masterson does. ‘The Greatest Generation’ and early boomers have a greater comfort with institutional belonging than later generations.’ … Forsyte’s organization has recently tried novel marketing tactics such as live Twitter feeds during concerts and other social-media outreach.”

Posted August 27, 2012