Looking for ways to engage younger audiences or adapt to a changing community? The Wallace Foundation has released two new studies—available free of charge—that document successful strategies to connect with new arts audiences, using practices that are applicable at orchestras.

Opening New Doors: Hands-on Participation Brings a New Audience to The Clay Studio examines the Philadelphia-based Clay Studio’s efforts to reverse the trend of a shrinking audience. The organization experimented with new program formats that drew young professionals ages 25 to 45; its research also gave direction on how to better capture the attention of this new audience. Class enrollments tripled and revenue for the school more than doubled between 2008 and 2013.

Staying Relevant in a Changing Neighborhood: How Fleisher Art Memorial is Adapting to Shifting Community Demographics explores Fleisher’s initiative to make its audience better reflect the ethnic and economic diversity of its Southeast Philadelphia neighborhood. The success of the programs first required building trust with different neighborhood groups. Fleisher significantly improved perceptions of its commitment to local residents, recent immigrants, and the economically disadvantaged, and drew neighborhood residents to its activities.

The case studies are the eighth and ninth in the ten-part Wallace Studies in Building Arts Audiences series, overseen by market research expert Bob Harlow, who led a well-received session on effective practices for building arts audiences at the League’s Conference in May.

Download the reports for free here and here and check out videos about the programs. Visit the League’s website for more on Wallace’s audience-building programs.

Posted August 13, 2015