The Drive to Audience Avenue

audience_ave_shadowPlease let me invite you to visit the new and just-launched website of my company, Audience Avenue:

If your priority is audience-building, then you’ll be happy to find a central location for new ideas, practical applications, important resources and the connection of similarly interested people from throughout the arts & cultural sector.  In my hopes & dreams, this is the first step toward the idea of a Massive On-Line Library of Arts Marketing Resources about which I blogged last month.

As I’ve been developing this new website, several colleagues have asked what it is that drives me to work in the realm of audience-building for arts & culture.

Let me share this quick story…

A couple of months ago, the Arts Council of Indianapolis engaged me to design and facilitate a candid discussion among the CEO’s and Board Chairs of many of that community’s largest arts & cultural organizations.

The topic:  What is our shared imperative for audience building?

In a remarkable demonstration of mutual respect and community spirit, these accomplished leaders, more than 50 of them, spent over two hours sharing their organizations’ insights & perspectives.  They talked of their frustrations and they brainstormed ideas of opportunities for mutual benefit.  They spoke with candor, experience & passion.  And even more important, they listened to each other with genuine curiosity, interest and support.

Kudos to the participants, for sure.  And double-kudos to the Arts Council of Indianapolis for convening such an important dialogue.  With attention and care, the collaborative “spark” that got lit in that conversation is going to benefit that community for a very long time.

I tell you this because I flew home from that experience of an arts & cultural community coming together impressed me with an incredible sense of optimism.  Months later, that feeling remains – and it deserves to be repeated & shared.

Certainly, the challenges facing nonprofit arts & cultural organizations are serious and numerous.  But there is every reason to feel heartened by the strength evident when people & organizations are willing to work together to pursue goals beyond what any can achieve on their own.

I’ve long admired the quote of Margaret Meade that says, “Never underestimate the power of a few committed people to change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

We, the people who make audience-building a priority for the arts & cultural community, possess THAT kind of power to change the world.

As you’ll discover at, I believe that the keys to meeting that challenge derive from our ability to engage audiences in 3 ways:

  • Passion – serving arts & cultural experiences that satisfy audiences deeply,
  • Relevance – connecting audiences to arts & cultural experience in the manners by which they wish to engage it,
  • Sustainability – innovating the nature of arts & cultural experience so that it transform from an episodic “ticket transaction” into a lifestyle that is renewable.

Big ambitions, for sure.

Join me?


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  1. says

    Matt –
    Congrats on your new site and your new efforts. It’s exciting and impressive. I look forward to watching and working with you on this new adventure. Optimism may very well be the strongest attribute of audience building.

    With admiration,

    Matthew Wiener
    Producing Artistic Director
    Actors Theatre