When times are bad, it’s crucial to make yourself interesting and vital and to let everybody know you’re there. “Organizations that are cutting performances and marketing are going to be the losers,” [Kennedy Center president Michael Kaiser] warns. He also cautions them against reaching for the most familiar programming–Beethoven’s Fifth! The Nutcracker! Grease!–in the hope of drawing guaranteed crowds. “I talked to an opera company recently that has done some adventurous programming,” he says. “But this season they were just doing things like La Bohème. It wasn’t selling at all, and I’m not surprised. People have seen lots of La Bohème. They don’t need to see another one.”
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It's good advice. But it's also a little like "So you want to lose weight? Well, eat less and exercise more." Beethoven's Fifth is like Adkins? Easier said than done for struggling art orgs.
Hmmm. I think I'll respectfully disagree. Things usually play out like this: small arts org hits a rough patch, cancels programming. People start forgetting about them or questioning whether they're fulfilling their mission, making it harder to solicit funds. It's an awful cycle to be stuck in.It's always possible to continue programming, if you're willing to scale back. But too often, orgs aren't, and they end up eliminating the very things that make the public know/love them.