As an organization committed to developing partnerships that ultimately build audiences for the arts, ArtsPartners is delighted to have developed over the past month a partnership with Joanne Scheff Bernstein, co-author of Standing Room Only: Strategies for Marketing the Performing Arts, arts marketing consultant, and professor of arts management at Northwestern University. Thanks to the generosity of Mayor Dave Ransburg, who’s commissioned her to provide consultation and assistance to the local arts community, ArtsPartners has been working closely with Scheff in preparation for an arts marketing seminar she presents from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m., May 25, at the Peoria Civic Center.
At the seminar, Scheff will talk about a number of issues not-for-profit arts organizations must address to attract new audiences, build audience commitment, and improve their revenue streams. In the process of getting to know our arts community, Scheff has taken time to talk with various arts representatives, review many of the arts groups’ Web sites, and confer with board presidents of selected arts organizations about their vision for their organizations.
At our own organization, Scheff has taken ample time to review our own goals, accomplishments, and plans for our future. In doing so, she has also studied our Web site and offered concrete suggestions on how to improve it. A few suggestions for ArtsPartners included:
- Promote our Arts Checks on a larger scale. These gift certificates, which provide recipients an opportunity to see any number of live arts or theater performances, are presently underutilized. Scheff’s suggestion was to immediately develop a form that allows us to sell Arts Checks right from our Web site, then work with arts groups, corporations, and businesses to promote and sell these Arts Checks.
- Develop a cross-referenced calendar of events on our Web site that breaks down local art happenings into categories such as drama, music, dance, and theater.
- Develop an arts sampler package that includes tickets to a variety of arts performances such as ballet, theater, opera, and symphony.
- Provide several convenient, citywide outlets where people can buy half-price tickets the day of an arts performance.
These are just a few suggestions Scheff has given ArtsPartners that we’re working toward implementing. It’ll be interesting to hear what other suggestions and insights she has to offer arts groups when she presents her seminar May 25. We hope to see many of you there. In fact, if there’s anyone within your organization you think would like to attend, please let ArtsPartners know, as we hope to make this a significant event in support of the arts community and the greater Peoria region.
For more information, call 676-2787. AA!