To Affinity and Beyond!

My thanks to Brendan Glynn Marketing and Communication Director of the Broward Center for the Performing Arts for his comments on my affinity entry from last week.

I had emailed a list of questions to the communications coordinator at the center last week. I don’t know if he passed them on to Brendan or if Brendan just happened upon the entry since he says he is jumping in to the conversation. In any case, he answered all my questions an more. His outline of the plans for the new position in affinity marketing are very interesting.

What was really unexpected were his plans to adopt the approach Santa presented Macys in Miracle on 34th Street and send patrons to his competitors.

“If they are lovers of modern dance, traditional thinking would say not to let our patrons know about something going on at another venue. I disagree. We cannot stand in the way of an enthusiast finding out about a performance in another venue, so why don’t we take the high road and be the first to deliver that message to them. If there is a way we can bring value by offering up their interests to the table, it just helps to build our relationship with those patrons even further. Eventually, some can look to us as the source of information for their theater and entertainment interests.”

Is this sort of idealism foolish or is it going to work like it did in the movie and endear the center to the public? If I am a philanthropist living in Miami, I don’t know if I couldn’t help but be impressed by their boldness.

Also, if other performing groups start sending their seasons to the center for dissemination, it gives the center a better sense of what is out there so they can plan their offerings accordingly.

I will try to remember to check back in a year once they have an affinity person in place and see how things turned out and what changes they are planning to effect. It’ll be interesting to see.

About Joe Patti

I have been writing Butts in the Seats (BitS) on topics of arts and cultural administration since 2004 (yikes!). Given the ever evolving concerns facing the sector, I have yet to exhaust the available subject matter. In addition to BitS, I am a founding contributor to the ArtsHacker ( website where I focus on topics related to boards, law, governance, policy and practice.

I am also an evangelist for the effort to Build Public Will For Arts and Culture being helmed by Arts Midwest and the Metropolitan Group. (

My most recent role was as Executive Director of the Grand Opera House in Macon, GA.

Among the things I am most proud are having produced an opera in the Hawaiian language and a dance drama about Hawaii's snow goddess Poli'ahu while working as a Theater Manager in Hawaii. Though there are many more highlights than there is space here to list.


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