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Americans Speak Out About the Arts: An In-Depth Look at Perceptions and Attitudes About the Arts in America

It’s undeniable—the arts transform people and communities every day. But how do United States citizens feel about the arts? Do they value artistic activities and arts education? Do our country’s citizens feel the arts are an important part of their lives and do they support government funding for the arts?

There’s no need to guess at the answers for these questions. New research by Americans for the Arts provides an in-depth look at the perceptions and attitudes about the arts in the United States. An Americans for the Arts and Ipsos Public Affairs survey of more than 3,000 American adults over the age of 18 in December 2015, provides current insight on topics including support for arts education and government arts funding, personal engagement in the arts, the personal benefits and well-being that come from engaging in the arts, and if/how those benefits extend more broadly to the community.

This report is an in-depth look at the perceptions and attitudes about the arts in the United States. An Americans for the Arts and Ipsos Public Affairs survey of more than 3,000 American adults over the age of 18 in December 2015, provides current insight on topics including support for arts education and government arts funding, personal engagement in the arts, the personal benefits and well-being that come from engaging in the arts, and if/how those benefits extend more broadly to the community.

Report
Americans for the Arts
54
Publisher Reference: 
Americans for the Arts
Research Abstract
Is this an Americans for the Arts Publications: 
Yes
Image Thumbnail of Pub Cover: 
2016
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Marketing Crafts and Visual Arts: The Role of Intellectual Property

With the continuing liberalization and deregulation of the world trading system freeing the flow of goods and services, the international business environment is becoming increasingly competitive for creators and providers of all kinds of craft and visual arts products. Consumers now have tremendous choice. Artisans, craft entrepreneurs, visual artists and all the intermediaries in the supply chain must constantly strive to improve the quality of their products and services, the production processes, their brand identity and the effectiveness of their marketing strategies, if they wish to improve their business performance, productivity and competitiveness and win the hearts and minds of customers. Understanding the market, particularly the behaviour of consumers and competitors, is the key to success for any business. Identifying a demand and then working backwards – before making a product – is a must. This is where marketing comes in.

Marketing implies a market-driven, customer-centred approach. This is the reality for most categories of goods and services. For the craft and visual arts sectors, the marketing challenges come from many directions. At first sight, it would seem that machine-made products could easily be substituted for these essentially hand-made ones, especially in our knowledge-driven high-tech times: modern industry is enabling an increasing degree of mass customization and personalization of product offerings. Another challenge may come from the fact that the products of craftspeople and visual artists are not generally basic needs for consumers. As a result, consumption of these products may decline if consumer spending is down, especially during economic downturns.

A key strength of artisans and visual artists lies in their creativity and craftsmanship in expressing it. This gives their output a distinct traditional, cultural or symbolic flavour, which arouses the interest and matches the emotional needs and aesthetic tastes of discerning customers in specialized niches of domestic and export markets. Even so, attracting and retaining consumers is a daunting task in an overcrowded marketplace, where consumers find ample choice and alternatives and where competitors are constantly searching for successful product trends.

Given today’s instant information and communication facilities, coupled with the ease and speed of copying and imitation, the market can simply get flooded with look-alike products or downright copies, which are also known as ‘counterfeits’ or ‘forgeries’. The real challenge for artisans and visual artists is thus not just to produce and market winning new products that cater to changing consumer tastes, but also to prevent – or if unable to prevent then to effectively deal with – unfair competition or theft of their creative ideas. The intellectual property (IP) system is the best available tool for creating and maintaining exclusivity over creative and innovative output in the marketplace, albeit for a specified maximum period of time. The effective use of IP can also help artisans and visual artists to develop networks and relationships not only with end consumers, but also with all the links in the supply and demand networks.

If artisans and visual artists are to get a fair return from their creativity in the marketplace, it is important for them to follow a planned and systematic marketing strategy which integrates the use of the tools provided by the system of IP rights. This must begin with a basic understanding of the principles of marketing and of the IP system, along with a broad recognition of the value of IP assets in marketing and practical guidance in making proper use of them.

The highly competitive nature of the marketing process compels each country to protect culture-based goods as a substantial part of its national cultural heritage. This is especially relevant for many developing countries and countries in transition, in which the role of the craft and visual arts sectors can prove to be pivotal for sustainable development and poverty reduction. For policy-makers in government, business and civil society in these countries, defending the interests of artisans, craft entrepreneurs and visual artists against unfair competition is becoming critical in order to underpin their commercial success and their contribution to individual and collective wealth creation, as well as to preserve cultural identity and diversity.

WIPO and ITC have joined hands to improve information dissemination, awareness creation and capacity building in their client countries, to explain the decisive links between successful marketing and the appropriate use of the tools of the IP system. In this spirit, this Guide attempts to demystify marketing and IP by underlining the practical relevance of both – and their interdependence – in responding to the economic or business needs of artisans, craft entrepreneurs and visual artists. This understanding should allow them to create and retain a competitive edge in the marketplace and to make meaningful profits based on their creativity, expertise, skills and enterprise – and by using fair means. [Preface, p. iv-v]

Guide dealing with the relationship between successful marketing of crafts and visual arts, and the appropriate use of intellectual property (IP) system instruments - points to situations where obtaining formal IP protection ought to be considered; explains how to implement marketing and IP strategies within a business framework and marketing management process; presents case studies and examples of managing IP assets in marketing from the craft and visual arts sectors in developing countries; includes bibliographical references (pages 134–135).

Report
Sala, Maria-Mercedes, Editor
92-9137-264-1
150
Publisher Reference: 
World Trade Organization
Research Abstract
Image Thumbnail of Pub Cover: 
2002
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NAMP Resource Categories: 

Marketing the Arts: Lessons from a Community Marketing Collaboration

The Charlotte MSO today is led by a senior marketing executive with a full-time staff of 10 plus one part-time employee and a commissioned sales representative. The mission of the MSO is to improve the overall quality of marketing, increase revenues and build audiences for each of the four participating organizations — Opera Carolina, Charlotte Repertory Theatre, North Carolina Dance Theatre (NCDT) and the North Carolina Blumenthal Performing Arts Center.

A specific objective of the Knight-supported project has been making market research and audience analysis an ongoing part of marketing campaigns. Another is improving marketing effectiveness through integrated mailing lists, improved graphic design and increased use of in-kind marketing support. A third is increasing the array of marketing services available to each organization. Whenever possible, the MSO attempts to leverage outside resources and reduce expenses from advertising media and other vendors by taking advantage of economies of scale.

The AMS research showed that the MSO has had a positive impact on earned revenue for the participating arts groups. Ticket revenues grew for three of the four groups, and the fourth company is now gaining subscribers after a period of decline. Other measures, such as audience awareness and percentage of seats sold, show more mixed results.

Implementing the MSO has not been an easy task for the participating groups. Making the transition from individual marketing programs to a cooperative approach has required effort, flexibility and a high level of trust in relationships that continue to evolve. In both concept and implementation, the MSO has required reinforcement along the way. But the very existence of the MSO, now well beyond the experimental phase, demonstrates the groups’ continued commitment.

The MSO has improved the quality of marketing for its member arts organizations and has fostered collaboration among the groups. The marketing team has created new sources of revenue, such as the outside clients and a successful Playbill publishing operation. The member groups continue to work together in ways they never had done before and almost certainly would not be doing today without the MSO. For the members, the benefits of the MSO collaboration continue to outweigh any real or perceived difficulties of the partnership. [Executive Summary p. 4]

"The Charlotte MSO today is led by a senior marketing executive with a full-time staff of 10 plus one part-time employee and a commissioned sales representative. The mission of the MSO is to improve the overall quality of marketing, increase revenues and build audiences for each of the four participating organizations — Opera Carolina, Charlotte Repertory Theatre, North Carolina Dance Theatre (NCDT) and the North Carolina Blumenthal Performing Arts Center." [Executive Summary p. 4]

Report
Shapiro, Phyllis, Editor
48
Publisher Reference: 
John S. and John L. Knight Foundation
Research Abstract
Image Thumbnail of Pub Cover: 
November 1999
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Direct Mail in the Digital Age

Back in 1923, Claude C. Hopkins, widely recognized as a great advertising pioneer, wrote in Scientific Advertising: “The severest test of an advertising man is in selling goods by mail. But that is a school from which he must graduate before he can hope for success. There cost and results are immediately apparent. False theories melt away like snowflakes in the sun. The advertising is profitable or it is not, clearly on the face of returns.”

In 1991, I wrote: “Direct mail was the shining star of advertising in the 1980s and promises to continue to be so in the 1990s. It’s the fastest growing form of advertising because it’s measurable, relatively easy to produce, and cost effective.” Fast forward about 20 years and I could probably say exactly the same thing about e-marketing. How the world has changed!

While the delivery mechanisms are different, in reality, the basics of communicating effectively with whoever the target audience might be really haven’t changed very much, if at all. Effective communication is still effective communication, and direct mail — whether in the snail mail environment or online — still benefits from the same tried and true principles that gurus such as Claude C. Hopkins, and later, Bob Bly and Herschell Gordon Lewis espoused and practiced. When you run a radio spot for your product or service it’s hard to tell exactly how effective it is.

When you mail coupons to prospects — whether delivered via snail mail or email — it’s easy to measure the results; simply count the coupons you get back. Better yet, in the digital age, you can tell how many people opened your email, how many forwarded it on to others, how many clicked through to various parts of the message, and (based on their email addresses or domains) who they are!

Truly, the beauty of direct mail is its measurability — the ability for marketers to know, with certainty, the value of the effort they have put forth. That same thing can’t be said about other forms of advertising. While success may be implied, it cannot be explicitly measured when we use techniques such as television advertising, billboards, print advertising, etc.

Regardless of what you have to sell or who you want to sell it to, direct mail (traditional and/or digital-era) can provide a flexible, measurable, and very cost-effective means of delivering your message and achieving results.

Those who are already steeped in the practice of traditional direct mail will find that there aren’t a lot of differences between the traditional and the new-media approach. Those who have not yet dipped their toes into direct mail marketing will be glad to learn that the principles can be readily applied whether they’re developing materials for delivery to a mailbox or a desktop.

It sounds simple enough and it really is. The information in this book will make it easy for you to plan and produce your own directmail campaigns, measure their results, and make improvements to subsequent campaigns to generate even better results. That’s the beauty of direct mail! [Introduction p. xiii-xiv]

"While the delivery mechanisms are different, in reality, the basics of communicating effectively with whoever the target audience might be really haven’t changed very much, if at all. Effective communication is still effective communication, and direct mail — whether in the snail mail environment or online — still benefits from the same tried and true principles that gurus such as Claude C. Hopkins, and later, Bob Bly and Herschell Gordon Lewis espoused and practiced. When you run a radio spot for your product or service it’s hard to tell exactly how effective it is." [Introduction p. xiii]

Report
Gensing-Pophal, Lin, PMC
20
Publisher Reference: 
International Self-Counsel Press Ltd.
Publisher Details: 
International Self-Counsel Press Ltd.
Research Abstract
Image Thumbnail of Pub Cover: 
2011
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NAMP Resource Categories: 

Increasing Cultural Participation: An Audience Development Planning Handbook for Presenters, Producers, and Their Collaborators

This handbook grew out of the experience of the Audiences for Literature Network (ALN), an audience development initiative supported by the Lila Wallace-Reader’s Digest Fund (now named the Wallace-Reader’s Digest Funds and referred to here as the Funds or the Wallace Funds). This program began in 1997 when eight community-based literary centers were chosen for one-year planning grants to develop projects through which they would form partnerships with other community organizations to build audiences for literature and literature programming.

The three-year implementation grants that resulted from the Funds’ ALN planning grants will culminate in 2001. Over the years, the eight organizations participating in the program have learned a great deal about audience building. In particular, they realized that they have much in common with colleagues across arts disciplines who are striving to increase cultural participation.

According to Michael Warr, ALN national coordinator:

These are extraordinary times in the literary arts. Audiences are flocking to readings, writing workshops, and poetry slams. Writers are performing with musicians, multimedia artists, dancers, and visual artists. The organizations in the ALN consortium have enhanced the strength and impact of their programs and have amassed a body of knowledge about audience building that they have shared with each other through conferences and electronic networking. This handbook is an opportunity to share that knowledge and experience with a broader range of groups working in diverse arts fields. The ALN groups and I are particularly excited about the expanded interactions taking place with performing arts presenters, many of whose experiences are also reflected in this publication.

The ALN was modeled after the Wallace Funds’ Audiences for the Performing Arts Network (APAN) and informed by the program design of other funds-supported initiatives such as the Arts Partners Program, administered by the Association of Performing Arts Presenters (APAP).

Kenneth C. Fischer is president of the University Musical Society, the multidisciplinary arts presenter at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor that was a participant in the APAN program. An enthusiastic supporter of partnerships among literary and performing arts groups, Ken writes:

When the ALN grantees joined me and nearly one hundred other Wallace Funds grant recipients in the performing arts fields at a gathering in Seattle in June of 1999, it became apparent to me that all of our organizations shared similar challenges and opportunities in audience building. I promoted the idea of ALN having a presence at the annual APAP members conference and have chaired two such meetings to date. These meetings, and the growing number of collaborations among local arts organizations, are expanding possibilities for partnerships among literary groups and performing arts groups to share knowledge and to embark on joint programs.

This handbook was supported by the Wallace Funds to share some of the discourse and process of the ALN groups with the broader field of arts organizations. It is the belief of the Funds that people-centered strategies for building public participation in high-quality arts programs can help institutions of varied disciplines and sizes to diversify, broaden, and deepen relationships with their communities. For that reason, this handbook addresses not only literary presenters, but also performing arts organizations. [Introduction p. 5]

This handbook grew out of the experience of the Audiences for Literature Network (ALN), an audience development initiative supported by the Lila Wallace-Reader’s Digest Fund (now named the Wallace-Reader’s Digest Funds and referred to here as the Funds or the Wallace Funds). This program began in 1997 when eight community-based literary centers were chosen for one-year planning grants to develop projects through which they would form partnerships with other community organizations to build audiences for literature and literature programming.

Report
Connolly, Paul and Hinand Cady, Marcelle
176
Publisher Reference: 
The Wallace Foundation
Research Abstract
Image Thumbnail of Pub Cover: 
2001
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NAMP Resource Categories: 

Cincinnati "Launches" National Arts Marketing Project Locally

The National Arts Marketing Project is a marketing and audience development project focusing in the arts sponsored in 12 U.S. cities by American Express. It was originally launched in 1998 in eight cities, and then expanded to four more cities in 2001. In order to celebrate the launch of the new sites, American Express hosted launch parties at all 12 locations.

On June 18, 2001, The Arts Services Office (ASO) of the Cincinnati Institute of Fine Arts was launched into the National Arts Marketing Project (NAMP). In order to celebrate the new adventure, a cocktail reception was held from 5-7pm in the courtyard of the Cincinnati Art Museum Sculpture Garden. ASO employed a clever \launch\ theme in the materials used to Market the event to Cincinnati's arts and business communities. Attendance numbers at the event and local participation in subsequent NAMP workshops bodes well for NAMP's success in Cincinnati.

The National Arts Marketing Project is a marketing and audience development project focusing in the arts sponsored in 12 U.S. cities by American Express. It was originally launched in 1998 in eight cities, and then expanded to four more cities in 2001. In order to celebrate the launch of the new sites, American Express hosted launch parties at all 12 locations.

Case Study
Harp, Christy
5
Publisher Reference: 
Americans for the Arts (ArtsMarketing.org)
Research Abstract
Is this an Americans for the Arts Publications: 
Yes
2002
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NAMP Resource Categories: 

Borrowing Experience: Cultural Partnerships at the Chicago Public Library

Marketing is the process by which you come to understand the relationship between your product and the customer. Earned income is important, but there are benefits that go beyond the bottom line. Awareness, reputation, and community outreach are pieces of any organization's overall picture. When a service is free, the definition of customer can be viewed as more than someone who pays to attend a performance or an exhibition. The target customer for Check Us Out is a potential arts patron-or better yet, the parent of potential arts patrons. The objective of Check Us Out and the other Chicago Public Library's cultural partnerships is to offer free access to Chicago's many cultural attractions to a wider, more diverse customer base through the multiple branches of the Chicago Public Library.

Marketing is the process by which you come to understand the relationship between your product and the customer. Earned income is important, but there are benefits that go beyond the bottom line.

Case Study
Recacho, Berlinda P.
8
Publisher Reference: 
Americans for the Arts (ArtsMarketing.org)
Research Abstract
Is this an Americans for the Arts Publications: 
Yes
2002
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Atlanta Shakespeare Company Increases Capacity by Successfully Targeting New Customer Groups

Located in midtown Atlanta, Georgia, the Atlanta Shakespeare Company (ASC) is a theatre group that performs the works of Shakespeare (an average of eight full-length world-classics per year, in addition to an average of four full-length children's plays a year) at its venue, the Atlanta Shakespeare Tavern®. From 1995 to 1998 ASC consistently performed for sold-out houses. In 1999 Company management decided to undergo a $1.2 million renovation of its venue to increase the capacity from 150 seats to 250 seats. With this opportunity the organization faced a new challenge: how to fill the additional 100 seats?

Located in midtown Atlanta, Georgia, the Atlanta Shakespeare Company (ASC) is a theatre group that performs the works of Shakespeare (an average of eight full-length world-classics per year, in addition to an average of four full-length children's plays a year) at its venue, the Atlanta Shakespeare Tavern®. From 1995 to 1998 ASC consistently performed for sold-out houses. In 1999 Company management decided to undergo a $1.2 million renovation of its venue to increase the capacity from 150 seats to 250 seats. With this opportunity the organization faced a new challenge: how to fill the additional 100 seats?

Case Study
Fränkel, Marina
7
Publisher Reference: 
Americans for the Arts (ArtsMarketing.org)
Research Abstract
Is this an Americans for the Arts Publications: 
Yes
2002
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A Direct Success: Phoenix Art Museum's 1998 Direct Mail Membership Campaign

Phoenix Art Museum's past membership drives lacked a distinct identity and as a result yielded very low returns. The Museum persisted with yearly direct-mail membership campaigns despite a much wider chronic problem: ineffective communication both internally between the Museum's departments and externally between the Museum and its potential members. The experience of visiting Phoenix Art Museum was made even more enticing by the Museum's first "blockbuster" show, Splendors of Ancient Egypt, which was set to open in fall 1998. Egypt was presented as the "doorway" through which new members could enter the Museum in a way that set them apart from other members. By using a highly targeted customer list and focusing on promotion strategies for its direct mail membership appeal, the Museum gained a windfall of new memberships and increased revenue.

Phoenix Art Museum's past membership drives lacked a distinct identity and as a result yielded very low returns. The Museum persisted with yearly direct-mail membership campaigns despite a much wider chronic problem: ineffective communication both internally between the Museum's departments and externally between the Museum and its potential members. The experience of visiting Phoenix Art Museum was made even more enticing by the Museum's first "blockbuster" show, Splendors of Ancient Egypt, which was set to open in fall 1998. Egypt was presented as the "doorway" through which new members could enter the Museum in a way that set them apart from other members. By using a highly targeted customer list and focusing on promotion strategies for its direct mail membership appeal, the Museum gained a windfall of new memberships and increased revenue.

Case Study
Recacho, Berlinda
8
Publisher Reference: 
Americans for the Arts (ArtsMarketing.org)
Research Abstract
Is this an Americans for the Arts Publications: 
Yes
1998
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Permission-Based Marketing: Using E-Mail to Engage African-American and Hispanic Audiences at the Chicago Theatre

The Chicago Association for the Performing Arts (CAPA) is the not-for-profit presenting organzation that manages the 3,600 seat Chicago Theatre at 175 N. State STreet in downtown Chicago. This case study shows how CAPA developed a large Database of email addresses of people who either attended events or expressed an interest in receiving information about upcoming events. Special emphasis is given to the African American and Hispanic patron for audience development. This case study is a complete analysis of the entire intitiative giving detailed information on the:

  1. initial situation analysis,
  2. internal factors,
  3. external factors,
  4. address collection tactics,
  5. tactics considered but not used,
  6. technical needs,
  7. e-mail processing and surveys,
  8. challenges faced and finally,
  9. Conclusions.

The Chicago Association for the Performing Arts (CAPA) is the not-for-profit presenting organzation that manages the 3,600 seat Chicago Theatre at 175 N. State STreet in downtown Chicago. This case study shows how CAPA developed a large Database of email addresses of people who either attended events or expressed an interest in receiving information about upcoming events. Special emphasis is given to the African American and Hispanic patron for audience development. This case study is a complete analysis of the entire intitiative.

Case Study
Hirsch, Jim
9
Publisher Reference: 
Americans for the Arts (ArtsMarketing.org)
Research Abstract
Is this an Americans for the Arts Publications: 
Yes
February 2003
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NAMP Resource Categories: 

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