Return To In Person Date Searches Presents An Opportunity

Bloomberg had an article on a trend that presents an opportunity for arts and cultural organizations. In some respects it could be considered rather mundane news – Gen Z Is abandoning dating apps in favor of in person singles events. Arts and cultural organizations have the opportunity to create specific experiences for this group either internally or in partnership with nearby businesses (bars, restaurants, etc.)

Though if there is a group in the community already organizing singles events it would probably be best to work with them to discover what sort of experience is most appealing to their participants.

It’s not formally conventional places, like bars or coffee shops, where Gen Zers are looking for potential matches. Think interest-based functions, such as the popular running group Venice Run Club, where new members have to state if they’re single as part of their introduction, or even a late-night chess club.

LA Chess Club, which runs every Thursday night from 8 p.m. to midnight, has become a recent hotspot for singles in Los Angeles in their early to mid-30s….But after the success of a speed dating event Kong hosted on Valentine’s Day in an attempt to get more girls to come, the club morphed into a space singles gravitated toward.


Pitch-A-Friend Philly, a monthly event series in Philadelphia inspired by Pitch-A-Friend Seattle, encourages participants to share a roughly 5-minute PowerPoint presentation about their single friends to help them find a potential partner.

According to some of those interviewed for the article, the appeal of singles events organized around board games, movie screenings, dinners, brunches and other activities, is the opportunity to interact with people with shared interests in an environment that differs from the bar/coffee house/nightclub nightclub scene where you might be bothered by overly insistent people when you might want to be left alone.

Those are among the considerations that arts and cultural organizations might need to factor into any attempt to design singles experiences.

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.


Leave a Comment