Diversifying audiences has become a major concern among arts leaders.

Statistics can tell administrators only so much.

The Memphis Symphony Orchestra has taken a significant step administratively towards meeting its goals for engaging the community, adding an e

DIVERSIFYING WHO COMES

Being an activist funder is hard work. The James Irvine Foundation’s Exploring Engagement Fund is having less than anticipated results. What can they do?

As many arts organizations look to diversify in terms of boards, staff, artists, art and audiences, Clayton Lord questions, “What is the metric that we should be setting up for measuring success in diversification efforts?”

 

Based on observations of theater institutions in New Orleans, a blogger gives suggestions on how to authentically engage new audiences.

BARRIERS TO ENGAGEMENT

Newly published research reveals that 1994 federal education guidelines that made art a core subject in American schools made a difference in many states.

This Rand study presents a model of arts participation, identifying factors that influence engagement in each stage of the decision making process.

NEW IDEAS

David Brownlee, director of the Family Arts Festival asks what it means to engage families.

Do you listen to your audiences? Connecting and conversing can lead to new and deeper engagement.

Arts participation happens across different modes attendance, personal arts creation, and electronic media-based arts participation. How can your organization embrace this fact?

Making classical music personal and accessible… can anyone say “childcare during shows?!” This blog post reveals just how River Oaks Chamber Orchestra (ROCO) creates personal classical music experiences for attendees.

This white paper produced by the NEA explores creative placemaking, its’ history as well as its potential to radically change the future of American cities and towns.

Arts organization must be aware of the difference between audience engagement and community engagement.

An interview with NEA Chief of Staff Jamie Bennett examines the state of the cultural sector.

Religious organizations seem to be more nimble in experimenting with new approaches to improve engagement. Blog writer Joe Patti notes, “…the arts community self imposed idealism about selling out and becoming too commercial might actually represent a more inflexible orthodoxy than those embraced by religious communities possessing texts containing rules of behavior.”

MAKING YOUR CASE

To increase value delivered to constituents, an arts organization must increase its mandate at a greater rate than consumer expectations.

 

This report studies cultural vitality and develops indicators for analyzing the impact of culture on everyday life in communities.

WolfBrown studied 18 Theatres to map the impact of their artistic products, plotting the relationships between readiness, impact, and loyalty.

TECHNOLOGY & ENGAGEMENT

Founder and editor of ArtsJournal Douglas McLennan has designed a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) to deepen engagement around the Spring 4 Music Festival. The course raises the questions: What makes a great orchestra? What makes a great program? What makes one piece of music popular while another falls into obscurity? What’s a strategy for learning to listen?

“Engagement has become a mantra of arts administrators as they face a variety of often-chronic threats to their institutions’ survival.” But what’s the right way to do it?

Ever wonder WHO uses technology to connect with art? This report explores the effect of technology on arts participation and engagement, examining the people that engage with arts through technology, as well as the use of technology in bringing the arts to the public.

PARTICIPATORY ENGAGEMENT

Engagement can be creative! In a three-year project, Tobias Klein is creating the first crowd-sourced choreographed global sunset.

In an interview, Keith Hatscheck asks live performance producter Tom Jackson: “Many musicians focus on perfecting their music, getting a gig, and playing a pre-determined set, hoping to get a good response. I don’t think many musicians think about how to engage the audience as performance partners. Why do you think that is?”

This resource explores the relationship between the artist, the audience, and how they can partner to produce and fund art experiences.

We are in the midst of a seismic shift, from a receptive based model of arts consumption to participatory arts practices. The idea of arts participation is constantly evolving. This report presents a model for understanding the different levels of arts engagement.

Need a little inspiration? Nina Simon, executive director of the Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History talks about how opening up the museum has transformed her organization into a community gathering place. Her strategies for encouraging active participation have doubled attendance at her museum.

The American Planning Association writes about several of the root concepts regarding organizational community engagement. The three key points all include how creative tools can improve the level of two-way involvement between organizations and their communities.