Let's hear it for 2013! With a new year comes the opportunity for new growth, creativity, and commitment.
With this in mind, I've put together my list of five key performing arts resolutions to strive for in 2013. Here goes!
1. Get Tech-Savvy
Is there an app for you? Can your audience find you easily on the web? Is your website clean, elegant and easy to navigate? How about box office and ticketing -- is it easy to buy tickets? Make sure you're harnessing all available tech in the year to come -- your audiences will thank you, and your box office might just do the same.
2. Develop and Grow Your Audiences
According to many statistics, performing audiences are aging all the time. That's not necessarily great news -- but don't depend on demographics, simply commit to going after those audiences young AND old, alike! And don't just stay in touch with current audiences -- you've got to be working all the time to growing that audience base, and commit to reaching those new ticket-buyers who haven't met you yet -- and who are just waiting to hear about you.
3. Think Fundraising 24/7
Sometimes you can be so busy staging a show or creating a season, that you may (like many) take large breaks from fundraising efforts. Don't. Without funds, you can't function. So think fundraising, and do so 24/7. It's sometimes difficult for those in the performing arts to change hats and ask for money -- and to do so in a way that is consistent without being nagging, and that's creative without being tiring. But do it. I've got some insights here that may prove helpful. So make sure you're always thinking about bringing in the money -- write those letters, apply for those grants, and never miss a chance to sell a season, not just a show!
4. Promote EVERYTHING You Do!
Never underestimate the power of PR when it comes to the performing arts. And I'm including social media here too, because of its constantly increasing power as a promotional tool, although it's also a vital aspect of your tech know-how as well. Are you a constant presence on Facebook? Do you tweet about your latest show or season on an ongoing and entertaining basis? How about your press section -- do you send out press releases on your latest shows and seasons, on special events, on fundraising opportunities, social media contests, and more? Nobody can write about what they don't know about. Make sure you're out there in 2013 so that reviewers, columnists and media pros can cover everything you do.
5. Find That Creative Balance
Perhaps it's never been more challenging to find that tricky creative balance than now, when you want to be edgy and cool enough to attract creative or younger audiences, without alienating those older or more faithful ongoing attendees you know and love. But keep striving to find that balance. Stage classics that will appeal to the older crowd, but while reinventing them in fresh new ways for young arts-lovers. Interact with your audiences, analyze your successes, and keep staging work you're proud to create, that pushes the envelope without breaking it entirely. You can do it!
By keeping just a few of these resolutions in mind, here's to your most successful year yet!