OPERA America Awards $300,000 in Grants to Seven Opera Companies
Building Opera Audiences Grants Encourage Experimental, Innovative and Creative Audience-Building Activities
OPERA America, the national nonprofit service organization for opera, is pleased to announce it has awarded $300,000 in grants to seven opera companies through the second year of its Building Opera Audiences grant program, generously funded by the Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation. This grant program seeks to support the efforts of North American opera companies to build informed, enthusiastic audiences for opera through innovative marketing projects. Fifty-three applications totaling over $2 million in requests were submitted, demonstrating the intense level of audience development activity across North America.
The seven organizations receiving 2014 Building Opera Audiences grants are: Arizona Opera (Phoenix and Tucson, AZ), Central City Opera (Denver, CO), Cincinnati Opera, Los Angeles Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Opera Philadelphia and Palm Beach Opera.
“As cultural and entertainment options continue to grow, opera companies face increased competition for audiences,” stated Marc A. Scorca, president/CEO of OPERA America. “The Building Opera Audiences grant program provides funding to experiment with innovative projects that help engage new and retain current audiences, ensuring that opera and opera companies flourish in the future.”
The second cycle of Building Opera Audiences grants feature a diverse array of initiatives that seek to increase first-time attendance and improve retention rates among current audiences. The range of these projects includes forging relationships with cultural communities, overcoming perceived barriers to attendance, incorporating the art form into the popular culture, methodically studying consumer engagement and employing technology to engage audiences.
Each funded project will be documented and evaluated throughout its lifespan. The results will be shared with the opera field, so other organizations can learn from and replicate projects in their communities.
Recipients of Building Opera Audiences grants were selected by a panel of industry leaders, including Deeksha Gaur (Director of Marketing and Public Relations, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company in Washington, D.C.), Lindsey Hansen (Director of Marketing, The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra in St. Paul, MN), Drew McManus (arts consultant, based in Chicago, IL), Thomas Michel (Director of Development, Film Society of Lincoln Center in New York, NY) and Robert Sweibel (Director of Marketing and Communications, Berkeley Repertory Theatre in Berkeley, CA).
OPERA America’s Building Opera Audiences grant program is made possible through the generosity of the Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation.