Earlier this year, my friend and colleague Matt Lehrman of Audience Avenue asked to interview me for his ArtsJournal.com blog on audience building. I was thrilled to participate, and below are the responses to a couple of his questions. Allow me to offer you these two tablets…how would YOU write the 10 Commandments of classical music audience engagement?
What do you recommend reading for arts & cultural leaders who wish to keep an eye on the advancement of the cause of audience-building in the area of classical music?
Only a few of the recommended books and articles below are directly related to classical music, but I think they’re important reading for those involved in audience development/engagement and arts marketing.
Recommended Blogs related to audience development/engagement topics
Recommended Classical Music blogs, because they are excellent
Recommended Email Subscriptions
Below is a short synopsis of two workshops I attended at this year’s League of American Orchestras Conference: The Orchestra Leadership Academy 1.5-day session on the Patron Growth Model and the workshop on Marketing the Arts to Death: How Lazy Language is Killing Culture.
Some highlights from the Patron Growth Model session, presented by Paul Hogle (Detroit Symphony) and David Snead (NY Philharmonic):
Marketing the Arts to Death: How Lazy Language is Killing Culture
I highly recommend this book by Trevor O’Donnell: http://www.amazon.com/Marketing-Arts-Death-Language-ebook/dp/B006N0ZJ5M
You can also follow his blog here: http://trevorodonnell.com/
What is wrong with the lifeless language we use to market the arts?
Think of your prospective audience with regards to their avidity: Super Avids, Avids, Less Avids, Non-Avids (fence sitters).
If pre-motivation to attend is low, then you have to be less flashy and bombastic with messaging, and be more persuasive.
Fundamentals of Persuasion: 1.) Know your audience 2.) Know what they want 3.) Describe how your product satisfies their yearnings.
Goosebumps! How did I miss the Grand Rapids LipDub?! This is a must-see. (Thanks to CreateEquity's Top 10 Arts Policy Stories of 2011.)
After a Newsweek article named Grand Rapids one of 'America's Dying Cities,' city residents and filmmakers put together this amazing and inspiring video response.
The video's director and executive producer explained, “We disagreed strongly, and wanted to create a video that encompasses the passion and energy we all feel is growing exponentially, in this great city. We felt Don McLean’s ‘American Pie,’ a song about death, was in the end, triumphant and filled to the brim with life and hope."
You can read more about the making of this video on ArtsBlog, 'Emerging Ideas: Mobilizing Your Community through Innovation.'
Last week, I attended the League of American Orchestras Conference in Minneapolis. Here are a few highlights from the workshops:
Minneapolis skyline from the Walker Art Center Sky Room
Keynote on Creating an Environment for Innovation
Red Alert! Plenary
Churning Butter into Gold – Patron Growth Initiative
Research results presented by Kate Prescott and Jack MacAuliffe
Two Approaches to Audience Development – Minnesota Orchestra and St. Paul Chamber Orchestra
Inside of the Ordway, venue for the St. Paul
Chamber Orchestra & Minnesota Opera
Building Subscription AudiencesDoug Kinzey
Having long been a fan of Awkward Family Photos, I was so happy to find out about Awkward Classical Music Photos. Guaranteed laughs. Yes, people, branding is an issue.
One fine example:
The Dour Bridesmaid String Quartet?
Add this site to your RSS Feed for some daily inspiration!
A webcast of WQXR's May 3 panel discussion on the state of American orchestras and the future:
This aria touched me today. Sondra Radvanovsky as Tosca singing "Vissi d'arte." 'I lived for my art, I lived for love, I never did harm to a living soul!'
Alice Dancing Under the Gallows documentary trailer:
This film trailer about the Kinshasa Symphony in the Congo gave me chills!
"Kinshasa is the capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the third-largest city in Africa. Almost 10 million people live here and they number among the poorest inhabitants on this planet. Kinshasa is the home of Central Africa’s one and only symphony orchestra..."
"I like it here. Here I feel free."
"When I sing, I'm entirely myself. I'm in a different world."
This is what orchestras are *really* about.
(Props to Jason Weinberger for posting this on his blog - and then tweeting about it)
Congratulations to friend and composer, Patrick Zimmerli, for winning the Colorado Music Festival's Click! Commission this year. He received the most votes from CMF's audience and his new work will be performed next summer.
The Denver Post's Artmosphere blog: New York Composer Patrick Zimmerli wins Colorado Music Festival commission
Listen to Patrick's music
"Our DSO to Go app has not only helped our live webcasts reach tremendous success around the globe, but has been an accessible sales channel for many first-time concertgoers without prior ticket or contribution history."