Over the course of the year, I will be creating a series of posts on the topic of audience diversity. This incredibly important topic has become more and more important to me over the past few years.
With the US population becoming more and more diverse and our “traditional” audiences dwindling, arts organizations simply must make a concerted effort to engage with multicultural populations in the communities they serve.
We know from multiple national data sets as well as our own internal data (anecdotal and scientific) that the patrons of most arts organizations, especially benchmark organizations like opera, ballet, and symphony, do not accurately reflect the communities they serve. Here is just one example of this from Americans for the Arts:
Just recently, Colleen Dilenschneider published some additional data about how well organizations welcome diverse populations. Here is a sample:
In a nutshell, we have a long way to go.
We need to change this. This type of change begins with a simple shift in the mindset we have as arts organizations as to what our sustainable audiences should look like in the future.
In addition to my posts here, I will be collecting relevant articles from around the web and compiling them in a Flipboard Magazine. Please feel free to follow!