OPERA America Awards $300,000 in Grants to Nine 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 nine opera companies through the third year of its Building Opera Audiences 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-four applications totaling over $2 million in requests were submitted, demonstrating the intense level of audience development activity across North America.
The nine organizations receiving 2015 Building Opera Audiences grants are Florida Grand Opera (Miami, FL), Los Angeles Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Opera Lancaster, Opera Memphis, Opera Saratoga, Portland Opera, Tapestry Opera (Toronto, ON) and Utah Symphony | Utah Opera (Salt Lake City, UT).
“As cultural and entertainment options continue to grow, opera companies face increased competition for audiences,” stated Marc A. Scorca, president/CEO of OPERA America. “Awards from the Building Opera Audiences grant program provide opera companies with support to experiment with innovative projects that help engage new and retain current audiences and inform the work of the entire field.”
The third cycle of Building Opera Audiences grants features a diverse array of initiatives that seek to increase first-time attendance and improve retention rates among current audiences. These include partnerships with cultural communities, overcoming perceived barriers to attendance, efforts to incorporate the art form into popular culture, consumer research and technology.
Each funded project will be documented and evaluated throughout its lifespan. The results will be shared with the entire field so other organizations can learn from and replicate projects in their communities.
Recipients of Building Opera Audiences grants were selected by an independent panel of industry leaders, including Andrew Goldberg (vice president of marketing, Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami, FL), Kyle Sircus (director of marketing, Playwrights Horizons in New York, NY), Jacob Smith (development and marketing director, Philadelphia Chamber Music Society) and Melanie Thibeault (consultant, based in New York, NY).
OPERA America’s Building Opera Audiences grant program is made possible through the generosity of the Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation.