Arts Marketing Blog

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Engaging the Deaf/disability community: A Marketer’s Exploration
My recent foray into professional arts marketing shows me that there’s much we can learn from each other on ways to link historically overlooked and disenfranchised communities with the mainstream theater communities who want to invite them in.
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Expanding Audience Connections
Arts organizations often find a delicate balance in planning a season that generates necessary revenue and attendance, while still being driven by a meaningful purpose. The ultimate goal is to provide opportunities rooted in a place of purpose, guided by your mission, that have the ability to reach a largest possible range of individuals.
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Striving for Positive Change through Arts Programming
An honest, unreserved commitment to community collaboration brings healing and positive growth. If your arts organization feels like their outreach and engagement is not as successful as they had hoped, remember these four key approaches to bring you back to the root of meaningful arts programming. 
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Challenging Teaching Norms: A New Art History Curriculum
In the rise of a socially-conscious zeitgeist, a spectrum of practices across the vast catalog of art institutions and programming have come into question, specifically around the issues of representation and equity. From hiring policies to curation, art audiences are demanding more inclusive narratives. Often our digital platforms provide the unfortunate circumstance of sustaining a highly contentious environment around these conversations. A common response across many institutions has been to remain steadfast and inflexible in questionable practice, as opposed to considering the validity of such cultural objections. But some institutions have found a way to respond to the current state of cultural criticism in more productive ways. 
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Get to Know Your Audience: A Human-Centered, Data-Driven Approach
To communicate effectively, it really helps to know who you’re communicating with. As an arts marketer communicating on behalf of an organization, audience research is one of the most important tools we have to understand who our audiences are and what they want.
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The Case for Comprehensive Marketing Planning; and/or, Know Your Consumer—or Else
Comprehensive marketing planning will help you know your consumers better, which will help you maintain deeper connections and relationships with them. The process, while rigorous, provides the best way forward to understanding all the issues surrounding marketing efforts.
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Recognizing Leadership and Innovation in the Arts Happens Every Day
Each fall, many of us in the arts world look forward to hearing the names of the National Medal of Arts recipients for the year. Awarded annually since 1985, this highly anticipated honor seems to have been put on hold beginning in 2016. Similarly, the National Humanities Medal ended a 26-year-long streak with their slate of 2015 honorees, and October’s National Arts & Humanities Month—which expanded from a week-long celebration proclaimed by President Reagan in 1985, to a month-long celebration of the arts and humanities in 1993—has yet to see a presidential proclamation since October 2016. Americans for decades have appreciated nationally recognized awards and a presidential proclamation every year as a show of support and encouragement to unleash creativity and reach for new heights. This year that hope was no different and I have been asked again and again for my thoughts on what has become of these high-profile awards.
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The Arts Experience and Reducing Audience Churn
If you could attract neophyte audience members and get them to return by buying them a glass of wine, wouldn’t you do it? And if it was even easier to get them to the next step, becoming regulars—say, all it took was greeting them by name—wouldn’t you do that?
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Taking Down Practical Hurdles
Try taking a youngster to a museum. It’s not easy. Where will you put the stroller? What about the crackers and the Cheerios? Such practical thoughts, and others like them, run through the minds of people who are interested in participating in the arts—but haven’t yet committed.
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The Road to Participation: Countering Misperceptions
Reviewing theoretical and data-driven research, along with practical experiences from arts organizations over the past 10 years, The Wallace Foundation and its partners have developed a much better understanding of the reasons people choose to go, or not to go, to an arts performance or exhibition. The decision is not a simple case of yes or no.
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What does it mean to be a woman leader in the arts world? Hmmm … I’m not sure how to answer that.
I can think of many questions with complicated or unknown answers: Does being a woman influence the way I lead? How much has my career path been influenced by my being a woman? Would I have done things differently if I was a man (no way to know that, of course!)? Of course, the world is different for today’s generation of woman leaders. My twenties were in a time when women were starting off in careers of importance in much greater numbers than my mother’s generation, but the influences of that previous generation were very present (at least in my world). Now, although there are still tangible and intangible systems in place that affect women, it is the norm that young women feel and know that they can lead in the arts or any other sector. Much of the time, I feel that young women are leading and we older women have to be available for counsel if needed, but mostly we have to get out of the way.
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