Open talk about new business models in the arts is a cultural signal. It’s a watermark that tells us the tides are shifting. Digital culture is eroding some of art’s traditional value proposition.
That’s not what worries me.
This does: Even if the arts can come to occupy a new role in people’s lives, will they will be able to communicate this role to attract new users—especially younger audiences?
Cultivating younger audiences will be important. They are the future. But using marketing messages and tactics from the past to reach them might mean that your organization—no matter what its business model, will not be around to see them join your ranks.
In 2009, Steppenwolf Theatre Company and my research team joined forces to investigate ways that other major brands were making themselves relevant to young cultural consumers, especially those between the ages of 22 and 30. You can download findings for free.
Business models are evolving in part because of a strong push from young arts leaders to rethink the traditional 501(c)3.
Why rethink the organizational structure?
Because this rising generation has already changed how it consumes culture and interacts with institutions. It’s just that the organizational structure has not yet caught up.
How do we get it right? Read the full article at ARTSBlog.