It’s not enough just to show up, you’ve got to participate.
So says a new report by the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance studying audiences who attend art galleries, dance performances, and theater. A two-year survey of regional arts organizations shows that cultural events need to work harder to retain their audiences.
Compared to other cities, Philadelphia is pretty good at buying tickets. But the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance is increasingly concerned about what happens after you get that ticket. Audiences who develop a personal interest in a given performance troop or artist are prone to come back. The Cultural Alliance’s Chief Operating Officer, Tom Kaiden, says cultural community can be built with cell phones and the internet.
Kaiden: There’s a huge desire for people to connect socially through things like facebook and twitter. And A&C is a great place for people to connect socially, and we don’t always take full advantage of that.
To spur audience engagement, the the Cultural Alliance launched a pilot program encouraging audiences to send text-message theater reviews during the Fringe Festival. About 700 people participated, which is 20% of the festival audience.