Xtreme Book Club Idea Makes Connections
By Wendy Liscow, Program Officer, Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation
Last week I wrote about the importance of recognizing and instilling public value for the arts. So how do we do this? Are there things you are doing as an organization or as an individual that are helping people recognize the importance of the arts in their lives?
Cultural institutions often approach the task of creating value by working to engage people in an experience that goes beyond the basic activity of witnessing the final product of a creative process. They look for ways to deepen the practice of viewing a play, dance, music event, or exhibition by finding unique ways to connect to the lives of their patrons. This requires ingenuity and thinking outside the standard marketing tactics box.
For example, over the past three years, the George Street Playhouse has been connecting their audiences to theatre through an innovative Book Club Package that converts the theatre viewing experience into a three-step engagement. Through a “Reading, Talking, Seeing” process they enhance a book discussion group’s ability to transform the solitary reading practice into a communal activity that takes the words off the page and live onto the stage. And, as an enthusiastic book club member, I am willing to bet it will be even more fun!
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