from Herb Auerbach
I think the idea of Arts Experience Hour is a good one, but for it to be a success it requires not only a good deal of management and organization but a good deal of promotion as well. The event needs a “hook” that will engage as many enterprises, performing arts groups and audiences as possible. I believe a Great Arts Experience Hour Competition might hold the key. Imagine the following:
1. We pick a consistent night. Say every Thursday 5:30 – 6:30PM.
2. We identify 50 venues held by private enterprise in the downtown, the producer.
3. We identify 50 participating arts organizations, the performer.
4. We match them by virtue of a draw.
5. We sell a book of 50 tickets for $10.00 to each member of the potential audience, the participants, a ticket is not necessary to attend the event.
6. The producer and the performer design the event. The producer pays for the production and payment to the performer based on a mutually agreed upon budget and helps promote the event.
7. The funds gleaned from selling the books of tickets are used to help organize and promote the events.
8. Each ticket will have the time and place for the show and may carry advertising and a discount coupon on the back for the venue. That is if Electric Company is performing in Pacific Centre the Coupon, once stamped, may be worth a 10% discount in any store in Pacific Centre.
9. When a participant attends a performance they get the ticket and the stub of the ticket stamped as evidence they attended. Each stamped stub is then placed in a raffle for a grand prize – an air fare for two to New York City, hotel and tickets to the theatre for example.
10. Each of the performances are adjudicated and at the end of the year, at a fundraising dinner like the Jessies, awards and prizes are given to be best venue/performer combination based on innovativeness, quality of performance, attendance for size of venue, and/or best overall, etc. The prize could be big money for the performer and maybe the ability to showcase the piece to a larger audience and big promotion for the producer. Don’t forget we are competing with television and God knows what else.
The trick will be to package the idea in a convincing way secure the prizes, line up the Producers, the Performers, sell the books of tickets, – worth it for the discounts and entry into the raffle to the participants, – and promote the performances.