There have been several times I have mentioned the suggestion of getting out of the arts bubble. It would be good for arts advocacy and audience building if we go beyond talking in our own circles.
I saw an article about an arts forum in Australia, the discussing of the value of the arts, being held at a theatre company. I am wondering how many non-arts people attended. Are people that are not into the arts even interested in going to a discussion about the value of the arts?
The arts advocacy campaigns and audience building would make a bigger splash if we are constantly aware of reaching beyond our bubble. So, how do we strive to get out of our arts bubble?
Here are a few suggestions that are top-of-mind:
- Use social media as a way to communicate beyond. I always build a following based on arts affinity, but perhaps we can also reach out based on curiosity.For example, it is typical for a theatre company to build audiences based off of people liking theatre or the arts already. To go beyond, ask yourself, what is it about the event or about your theatre company that would make a good curiosity for non-theatre or non-arts attendees? Is it an event that is relevant to a current topic for a particular group of people? Are there other non-arts commonalities to guide you? Then, post/tweet at the people, organizations, groups that would be curious about the particular event or your theatre company in general.
- For the preaching arts advocates, the ones like me who will go boldly out into the Universe to communicate the joys and benefits of the arts, are we only preaching to our own? I will do some research to find out who is making a bigger splash in the world of the lecture circuit and report back. Please do let me know if you have an example. Are we Ted Talking to a more diverse audience? Are we messaging beyond our arts lists? Are we boldly going into non-arts territories to share the value of the arts?
- Make an effort to invite the non-arts crowd. Sometimes it is as simple as the non-arts crowd not getting an invitation to join us. We have our lists. Our lists are mainly people that are already part of the arts crowd. We can be better about going out into our communities, having discussions, and inviting more, different people to attend.
- Becoming part of the community. Arts Solutions! I mention the arts as a solution for community challenges again in this space since this is a great way to show the value of the arts to non-arts folks. If more people in the community see us as part of the fabric of our communities, more people will value us for what we tangibly do for them.
I do keep coming back to this topic through various angles. I feel it is probably the most important work we could be doing today for arts advocacy and for building audiences and support for our individual arts businesses. Once we go beyond the arts bubble and communicate the value of the arts to more and more people beyond, it will create a positive shift toward valuing the arts again.
We can all be a part of this new movement and move to widen our circles for more people to become arts people!
Cheers to happy and loyal audiences,
Chief Audience Builder, Audience Development Specialists