Help Yourself

New from Wallace: taking down practical hurdles to the arts

How to tackle the everyday, real-life concerns of potential audience members about attending a performance? A new post from the Wallace Foundation, Taking Down Practical Hurdles, explores some of the concrete worries—from scheduling and cost to where to park and what to wear—of people who are interested in the arts, and offers tactics to allay those concerns and engage newcomers. Several arts organizations participating in the Wallace Foundation’s Building Audiences for the Arts initiatives have taken measures to make attendance work for larger numbers of people, then tracked the results. In San Francisco, when the Contemporary Jewish Museum targeted families as a desired audience, it shifted from offering discounts to producing family-friendly activities, setting aside space for stroller parking, and creating seating nooks just for kids. Looking to pull down practical barriers to attendance, the Seattle Symphony realized that its two- to three-hour concerts starting at 8 p.m. were inconvenient for some would-be patrons, so it started a new series of one-hour concerts that begin at 7 p.m. They’ve been successful, attracting many new attendees. Check out Taking Down Practical Hurdles for more on how to build audiences.

Posted November 14, 2018

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