On Audiences

On Audiences
May 4, 2020 cborelli

During this period when COVID-19 is shutting down theaters and concert halls, many institutions are grappling with how to maintain and build relationships with their subscribers, donors and single-ticket buyers. But changes to audience development have been in the air for many years.

Who constitutes the audience and how is an audience defined? What does the public expect from performing institutions, and even more interesting, what do we as artists expect from those who see and hear us? Clearly it is important for arts organizations to expand their audience base. How do they achieve that?

Questions and suggestions (3)

  1. Nancy A Bekofske 1 month ago

    I have always loved symphonic music. As young adults my husband and I attended the Philadelphia Orchestra, first in the cheap “nosebleed gallery” and later as season ticket holders. We also attended the outdoor concerts at the Mann Music Center (and even sang with the orchestra twice in the Choral Arts Society!).

    We moved away from major orchestras until six years ago when we retired to Metro Detroit. We were excited to attend DSO concerts downtown and in the neighborhood venues. Our affiliation for the DSO has been strong, thanks to the livestream broadcasts and daytime schedules and neighborhood concerts making the performances accessible.

    Now with the Watch Parties and the musicians commenting, and the porch concerts, I am getting to know the musicians as individuals. I see their mutual respect and their excitement. And when you and Jader have weighed in during the Watch Party it enhances my appreciation for the music and the performances. I feel an even stronger connection.

    Our son has also gone to concerts, those with film music and rock music, but also the more popular classical ones like The Planets. I love how the orchestra brings music to the people. There is something for everyone.

  2. Thomas Roth 4 weeks ago

    Concert audiences are much more limited in their interest of a wide repertoir than record collectors.

  3. Ian G. Sadler 4 weeks ago

    How does an orch tutor its audience on two noise issues: 1. coughing (without throwing candies at them) and 2. those who chat with their seatmate (during the music) as if they are at home watching TV ?

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