I’d like to use this blog to publish my ideas.
Here’s a few for today:
It strikes me that the American symphonies are in a similar place to American Mainline (Presbyterian, Methodist, Episcopal, etc) Churches. Declining attendance, declining relevance, and increasing age. Evangelical churches (SBC, most non-denoms, Vineyard, WCA, AoG, etc) that I have been a part of have combated these challenges with new programs aimed at new folks. In most churches this turned into a weekly, non sunday, “alternative service”. I think Symphonies and Ballets could learn from this. If you aren’t familiar, Alternative services generally have a target audience (the ones I’ve been to are aimed at Postmoderns), and design the experience accordingly. The big challenge is that your Core Audience is $upporting you for a Reason, and you basically take their money and spend it (or throw it) at new folks. Doing this without ruffling feathers is impossible, but doing nothing ensures the demise of your organization!
What’s a non-formal, inexpensive, more social, more interactive experience look like in the “performing arts?” : A rehearsal. Postmoderns want to be “in” on something, and they want “an authentic experience”. We also know that way more than 50% of arts patrons are artists themselves (some sort of training in the arts).
Riddle me this: what would happened if there was a cash bar at a rehearsal, $5/10 cover? Advertise for college kids, and young professionals…
The Nashville Ballet admitted the public to their last studio rehearsal of Carmina Burana, but you had to call to reserve a ticket. That was a bar just high enough for me not to do it. I just wanted an address to show up at. Its free! I don’t want to call some strange person I don’t know…