Arts organizations are finding themselves in a particularly difficult situation as the country emerges from recession. A Wallace Foundation report 679992_the_dancerindicates that up to 10% of these organizations, which have traditionally relied on grants and other giving to survive, face closure. While many believe that older consumers are the core demographic necessary for the survival of arts groups, recent research indicates that nearly ¾’s of 18-29 year old consumers believe that local arts and culture groups are important to their quality of life.

To reach new audiences, the Wallace Foundation report emphasizes that these organizations must take the following steps to succeed:

  • Consider joint ventures (and marketing) with other arts organizations
  • Use institutional marketing to brand themselves to audiences and donors
  • Preserve the marketing budget in order to keep attracting attention
  • Shift from traditional print advertising to more Internet-based marketing

Further, arts organizations are seeking to stage riskier projects and nontraditional entertainment. In this way, they will be able to attract an increasingly diverse audience which is more reflective of society at large. Arts organizations will also use a variety of nontraditional marketing tools to surprise and interest consumers who have many entertainment options available to them and a preconceived and perhaps outdated of what comprises arts entertainment.

[Source: Engaging Audiences, The Wallace Foundation, September 2009]