In an effort to keep the arts a vital part of the city's economy, the Cleveland Foundation is investing in local arts groups' efforts to cultivate younger, more diverse audiences and keep arts and cultural institutions in Cleveland thriving, Crain's Cleveland Business reports.
The first year of the foundation's "Engaging the Future" project, a three-year initiative launched in 2011 to support creative efforts to attract younger people to arts and cultural events in the city, provided operating support to eleven arts groups and offered workshops on adapting their business models to the current economic climate. As part of the initiative, the foundation awarded $15,000 grants to three organizations to support experimental projects in audience engagement. One grantee, the Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland, plans to surprise patrons with vouchers for discounts on future visits or in the museum's caf� during seemingly random 15-minute operatic performances and at other unexpected times.
Elsewhere, several organizations are using their grants to focus on creating more interactive as well as affordable experiences for younger audiences. With funding from the foundation, the GroundWorks DanceTheater is putting together a viral video campaign that aims to connect dance to everyday life by enabling ordinary people to contribute a "dance move of the week." The foundation also is helping support the Cleveland Orchestra's residency program in the city's up-and-coming Gordon Square district.
"With fragmenting entertainment options, and the growth of choices for people these days," said Ross Binnie, the orchestra's chief marketing officer, "it is imperative we are as competitive as possible for families to bring young people with them or we will ultimately lose out on them."