News and Updates
Building Audience Participation - Fall 2011
Thursday, September 29, 2011 12:05 PM

Building Audience Participation with Micki Hobson

A four-part workshop on how to use annual planning, image building, strategic targeting and effective communications to strengthen your brand and build your audience.

Micki is the one you want in your corner. She is the clear-eyed warrior of the not-for-profit world, slaying doubt and misinformation wherever she goes. For us at The Room, we gained that most important and useful of tools from Micki: a sense of direction. Micki cuts through it all to get to the essentials of how you go from imagining to DOING. Nothing is more valuable than that.

Zack Fine // The Room



Saturday, December 3, 2011
520 8th Avenue, 3rd Floor, Conference Room
Prerequisite: Organizational Planning & Process: Parts 1 & 2 

Ideas are a dime a dozen—unless you can make them happen. To do this, you need to carefully prioritizing and managing your limited human and financial resources. This session covers the how-to's for putting cement under your sales and fundraising efforts, including time management, creating a calendar, and carefully building a staff. We’ll discuss how to set helpful benchmarks, review methods for data retrieval and analysis, and provide the group with exercises for self-assessment. Register »



Sunday, December 4, 2011
520 8th Avenue, 3rd Floor, Conference Room
Prerequisite: Building Audience Participation: Annual Planning

Understanding how people on the outside see your company is key to being in control of that image. In this workshop, participants will complete a 'branding' exercise to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the components that comprise their company’s image. We’ll discuss 'Tools' related to each item, as well as ways to measure the success of your institutional development programs. Register »



Monday, December 5, 2011
520 8th Avenue, 3rd Floor, Conference Room
Prerequisite: Building Audience Participation: Image Building

When you build partnerships around a particular production, these collaborations can often develop into long-term alliances, with residual benefits far beyond the box office. Learn how to target specific audiences for a specific project through the development of partnerships with individuals and organizations whose interests are relevant to the subject matter of the production. This workshop emphasizes the need for clear project descriptions, and for creating pertinent ‘surround events' to enhance the experience for a variety of constituencies. This workshop is most helpful if you have a specific production planned that will be presented no sooner than four (but preferably six) months from the date of the session. Register »



Monday, December 6, 2011
520 8th Avenue, 3rd Floor, Conference Room
Prerequisite: Building Audience Participation: Image Building

Are you getting your message across? Are you doing it in the most compelling and economical way? This session will focus on evaluating different communication 'tools', including direct marketing, direct mail, e-mail, websites, and in-house publications, to determine what will be most useful to your theatre’s needs. In this session, we’ll emphasize the importance of maintaining an institutional image, and discuss how to create multi-use materials. Register »


Michalann (Micki) Hobson is an arts management specialist concentrating in areas of Institutional Development, Audience Building, Strategic Planning, Management Training, Staffing, Budgeting, and Conference Planning. Since 1978, she has worked with over 400 performing arts organizations and museums throughout the United States, Toronto, London, and Budapest. One of the leading proponents of management initiatives designed to examine and challenge long-standing assumptions about arts administration, she is especially skilled in the implementation and staffing of integrated marketing and development departments—a concept she initiated over twenty years ago for the Canadian Opera Company. Under her direction, numerous pilot projects have identified innovative means through which constituent organizations, both collectively and individually, could adapt to 'changing' environments through citywide research and cooperative marketing initiatives. These include performing arts organizations and museums in Cleveland, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, and the not-for-profit theaters in New York City—sponsored by The Cleveland Foundation, The Heinz Endowments, St. Louis Regional Arts Council, and the Alliance for Resident Theatres/New York respectively. In addition to her individual projects, she teaches a series of Audience Building and Planning Workshops for the Alliance of Resident Theatres/New York, which she has designed to assist participants in the development of an integrated plan to increase both earned and contributed income.

Theatre Communications Group/APASO Fiscal Health Survey
Thursday, September 29, 2011 12:05 PM


A.R.T./New York, in partnership with Theatre Communications Group (TCG) and the Association of Performing Arts Service Organizations (APASO), is conducting another very short snapshot survey to get an up-to-the-minute sense of how your arts organization is faring. The information gathered in this survey will contribute to a regional and national picture of the fiscal health of the arts, so we urge you to complete it! Even if you don't think all of the questions are relevant to your organization, we do ask that you participate as long as you are a not-for-profit arts organization.


  1. This survey will not require you to crunch any numbers and should only take 5-10 minutes. You must begin and submit it during the same session; you cannot save your answers and submit them later.
  2. If you receive this survey from more than one service organization, please fill it out only once, but do select all service organizations with which you are affiliated on the preliminary information page.
  3. If your fiscal year 2011 is not yet over, please estimate where you will be.
  4. In order to provide an accurate analysis of the data, this survey is intended only for not-for-profit arts organizations. Those who should NOT fill this survey out include arts service organizations, individual artists or teachers, commercial producers or companies, and for-profit theatre camps or studios.
  5. If you have any questions about the survey, please email Chris Shuff at


The link to the survey is:

The survey deadline is Friday, October 7, 2011.

Free Night of Theater 2011
Thursday, August 11, 2011 12:05 PM

Reach new audiences through the new-and-improved Free Night NYC.

It is that time of year again for Free Night NYC. We’ve heard your feedback and have exciting changes to announce. These changes address concerns around the ticketing system and the no-show rates, so please take a look and sign up to participate by September 1, 2011.

In partnership with LA Stage Alliance and through a generous grant from Sony Pictures Entertainment, a brand new, enter-to-win ticketing system has been created for use across the country. 

What’s different about this system?

  1. It will no longer be a race to the finish for our patrons to get tickets. Instead, audiences will have one week to peruse the site and choose their top 5 picks in priority order.
  2. Participating theaters will no longer need to allocate the number of tickets to any given performance until seeing the demand for the particular show. Once the number of requests is received, theaters can determine how many tickets to give.
  3. Free Night NYC will offer two blocks of ticket releases to the patrons. The first block is for performances between October 1-16 and the second block is for performances between October 17-31. This will not affect the inputting of shows for participating theaters, but will assist in the curbing of no-show rates.
  4. There will be a webinar training session hosted by LA Stage Alliance and NYC’s Regional Administrator on Monday, August 15 at 2pm EST.  This will be between 45-90 minutes in duration.


Who participates in Free Night of Theater?

Last year 140 theatres across all five boroughs offered over 400 performances that were enjoyed by 10,000 theatergoers; 80% of whom were first-time visitors to their FREE NIGHT theatre.  54% of these audience members were under the age of 35; 20% between 35 and 44 years old!  Women accounted for 66% of the participants, and they were quite diverse: 36% were White; 16% Hispanic/Latino; 14% African-American; and 12% Asian American/Pacific Islanders.  In fact, New York City’s audience was much more diverse than the national average (52% White; 10.7% Hispanic/Latino; 10.6% African-American and 9.8% Asian-American/Pacific Islanders) and skewed slightly younger. 

New to Free Night NYC? For more information or to sign up to participate, visit or email Jennifer Conley Darling at


Free Night NYC Managing Partners

The Alliance of Resident Theatres/New York
The Arts & Business Council of New York
The League of Independent Theater
Theatre Development Fund
Theatre Communications Group

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