E-News May 2009

Theatre Network Victoria Breakfast – Ideas for a national peak body.

An impressive number of people braved an early Saturday morning to come and have coffee and muffins with us during the Australian Theatre Forum and throw around ideas about a national theatre peak body. While TNV’s current brief is to be a state-based project, one of its goals is to investigate the need and commitment to a national theatre peak body.

We discussed different models of peak bodies that already exist, how they are funded, what their role is; what the gaps are, whether we need an organisation or just a professional lobbyist; whether some bodies could combine or at least collaborate more. Some specific tasks were proposed – eg the Arts Industry Council (Vic) is working on a campaign to give the arts a unified ‘script’ in the lead up to a big election year next year (Federal, Vic, NSW, Tas); the need for a long service leave ‘bank’ for artists was raised; the need for more unified theatre representation (on other bodies, internationally, etc) was also raised. The (slightly more) detailed notes are available from TNV.

Theatre Network Victoria – next steps 
TNV is in its planning and research phase, and will shortly be determining the project’s scope for the next eighteen months and beyond. We will stay in conversation with various people interested in the peak body issue, and we will be keeping the industry informed of progress.

Nyunkia Tauss is working with TNV to map the current arts peak bodies in Australia, and search for any international models that we could learn from. When this is complete we will share the results.

TNV put its hand up for a number of action areas from the theatre forum, which we will begin work on soon.

We want the theatre sector to help us determine how TNV can really help to strengthen the sector. Email me or call me to make a time to come by for a cup of tea and discuss the immediate issues facing you. And in general please keep talking to us and sending us any useful resources or contacts. Please also forward this on to anyone who might be interested and encourage them to sign up to get email updates.

Cheers, Nicole Beyer

Did you know?

The Arts Council of Metropolitan Kansas City did a comprehensive audience research project, and the results are on their website www.artslinks.org – click through to publications.

Tips in the phase III report include:

  • Use the language your audience uses, including their words and quotes, to honestly communicate what one might expect to gain from attendance.
  • Track first-time buyers and visitors and integrate follow-up communication tactics to welcome them.
  • Use pre- and post-performance engagement activities to underscore the benefits of attendance and cement them in memory.
  • Communicate with audiences without selling, such as sharing comments from the artists about the venue or about the creative process, feedback from other patrons, and opportunities to learn more or provide ideas.
  • Strengthen personal touches and connections between the artists, the art, the community, and the organizations.

(With thanks to Incubator’s So You Wanna… Marketing workshop for this resource.)