From Old School to High School: Arts Organizations and the Teenage Audience
Degree awarded: M.A. Performing Arts. American University This study investigated the current relationship between performing arts organizations and the teenage audience, defined as individuals between the ages of 13 and 18. Special attention was given to this demographic and their interactions and reactions to arts education, programming choices, marketing, and the use of new technologies. Six arts managers from leading arts organizations in the greater Washington, D.C. area and two education professors from American University were interviewed. They provided insight into the current trends and problems that arts organizations are facing when trying to reach out to this younger generation. Most current outreach is through arts educations programs because many organizations do not find it financially beneficial to market to teens. This research has shown that arts organizations need to give special attention to how they can make their venues more inviting to teens and how they use technology to communicate with this generation, in hopes of turning them into lifelong supporters of the arts.