Grateful For The Recognition, But Recognize More To Be Done

A month ago Ruth Hartt posted an image she grabbed from my venue’s website on Twitter and complimented its presentation on a number of points:

If you follow the link to see the reply, you can see our marketing director’s response to Ruth and David Rohde with another picture of audience members. As she notes, we have actively working on expanding our library of images of the audience experience for the last few years. Between shifting the programming and improving our interactions with customers at different touch points, these images have helped us communicate a more welcoming and inclusive environment. We are definitely seeing some positive results.

Though we obviously have a lot more work to do and can learn a lot from other people. This past weekend we had a family show that was a very late rental for us. Somehow, in the course of two weeks they managed to sell 500 tickets at $30 adults, $20 for kids which we thought was a little high for our market. The audience they attracted was 98% Black despite the content not being specifically aligned to them.

As far as we know, they only promoted the show on social media so we are pretty much in awe of their social media targeting game and knowing their audience. A lot of artists aren’t so on-point and dialed in. It might have been that they aren’t as successful in other communities and their efforts just resonated well here but I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt and say we probably couldn’t have done as well promoting it ourselves.

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. (

I am currently the 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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