At Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, researching audience-building with Wallace grant

Posted on: May 24, 2019

“Caron House, Opera Theatre of St. Louis’s former assistant director for development, estimates that it takes about three new subscribers to replace the loss of one … loyal core audience member,” writes Rosalind Early in Tuesday’s (5/21) American Theatre. “Opera Theatre understandably found itself unable to keep up with this pace of replacement. So when they heard about the Wallace Foundation’s Building Audiences for Sustainability initiative, designed to address this very problem, they jumped at the chance to participate, as one of 25 performing arts organizations in the program. The initiative kicked off in 2015, at a time when the company had seen a 10 percent decline in attendees. One of its strategies for drawing in new audience members was establishing an engagement and inclusion task force and starting a Young Friends program.… The Wallace Foundation grant allowed OTSL to conduct market research to discover what motivated new people to come to the opera and to get people coming back.” Some “important takeaways” of the research included learning why people aren’t attending performances; inviting engagement; expanding and adapting ideas that work; and embracing diversity.

For more audience-building resources from the Wallace Foundation, visit the League of American Orchestras’ site

Posted May 24, 2019