Sharing What We’re Learning: An Audience Engagement Webinar Series

Dance/USA presented a series of webinars on audience engagement, made possible by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.  Every two weeks over four months, Engaging Dance Audiences (EDA) grantees shared the methods they were exploring. These interactive webinars begin with grantees live on camera and segue to live "call-in" discussions, where attendees could ask for help or offer suggestions, and contribute their ideas to a shared whiteboard and resource list for use by all following the talk (see links below).  The goal was to leave all involved with fresh ideas, new resources, and guidance.  

Webinars are appropriate for artists and administrators in the areas of marketing, education, and fundraising, as well as teachers and even those working in other art forms who want fresh ideas.  

The Roles of Experts, Peers and Docents (Part 1 of 2)  

February 26, 2014 2:00-3:30 pm (Eastern)

Many in the dance field are challenged by providing audience members with a comfortable way to relate to dance and performances. In program notes and talks, we strive to strike a balance of providing useful information without either speaking over the audience's head or oversimplifying the artist's ideas or process. In this webinar, hear some of the methods and successes that five EDA grantees have employed over nine months, as well as their thoughts about the topic. Grantee speakers are: Portland Institute for ContemporaryArtWesleyan University's Center for theArtsBalletXDANCECleveland, and Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival.

View the shared Whiteboard and Resource List developed during the webinar here.  
Learn about the EDA speakers and their projects here.

Engaging Audiences through Building Relationships  

March 12, 2014 2:00-3:30 pm (Eastern)

How do you go from naming a particular audience you would like to engage to establishing a genuine relationship with that group?  Hear from EDA grantees who found ways to form meaningful connections with specific communities.4 Learn how Bandaloop introduced their creative process to the corporate world; Heidi Duckler  involved college campuses and tech departments in site specific performances that reach remote audiences; Pentacle's Metro Steps joined artists with community-based presenters for their work; Axis deepened its connections with Bay area audiences; and Dance Enthusiast formed online connections between scores of artists and potential audiences.

View the shared Whiteboard and Resource list developed during the webinar here.  
Watch a screen capture of this webinar here. 
Learn about the EDA speakers and their projects here.

Forming Dance Affinity Groups  

March 26, 2014    2:00-3:30 pm (Eastern)

Many in the field have or desire a specific group of audience members who show an affinity to dance, envisioning them as ambassadors or advocates for the art form.  EDA grantees had numerous successes in this area, but also had lessons to share about what worked and what did not.  In this webinar, hear from EDA grantees and their affinity groups:  Dance Cleveland’s Dance Advance Team; Vermont Performance Lab’s Performance Club; Audience Architect’s Dance Tribe; Gibney Dance’s DanCentricity; and Axis Dance Company’s connection with a range of audiences.  

View the shared Whiteboard and Resource list developed during the webinar here.  
Learn about the EDA speakers and their projects here. 
Watch part 1 of this webinar here. 

Cross Pollination between Dance, Visual Art and Other Disciplines   

April 9, 2014  2:00-3:30 pm (Eastern)

Dance companies realize the potential value of converting “crossover” fans from the visual and other arts fields.What methods have worked? Hear from: Audience Architects about their Moving Canvas program in art galleries; University Musical Society’s integration of dance 101 activities into a range of campus programs; Portland Institute of Contemporary Art’s Field Guide to Dance, which teaches its multidisciplinary audiences how to view and respond to dance; and STREB’s Risky Talking, which brings together scholars, scientists and other experts to talk about movement at their home in Brooklyn.

View the shared Whiteboard and Resource list developed during the webinar here   
Learn about the EDA speakers and their projects here.

Designing Participatory Programs  

April 23, 2014   2:00-3:30 pm  (Eastern)

Research suggests that audiences seek out experiences that are participatory and bring them closer to the art form.  But what types of participation work best?  And how much participation do audiences desire?  Hear from the designers of programs about what has (and has not) worked.  Wesleyan University’s Dine Dance Discover; Vermont Performance Lab’s Performance Club; Joyce Theater’s Going to the Dance; University Musical Society’s Night School for Dance; Audience Architect’s Moving Canvas; and Gibney Dance’s DancEntricity.   

View the shared Whiteboard and Resource list developed during the webinar here
Watch a screen capture of this webinar here. 
Learn about the EDA speakers and their projects here.

Using Video as an Engagement Tool  

May 7, 2014     2:00-3:30 pm (Eastern)

Dance may be ephemeral, but digital images of it are ubiquitous, and provide the field with new options for bringing audiences closer to the art form.  See how EDA grantees used video effectively to build understanding of dance and connections with artists.  Speaking will be The Dance Enthusiast; Pentacle; Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival; Wesleyan University’s Center for the Arts; and Stephen Petronio Dance.

View the shared Whiteboard and Resource list developed during the webinar here
Watch a screen capture of this webinar here. 
Learn about the EDA speakers and their projects here. 

The Roles of Experts, Docents and Peers:  (Part 2 of 2)  

May 21, 2014     2:00-3:30 pm (Eastern)

This topic was so big that it warranted two webinars. Many in the dance field are challenged by providing audience members with a comfortable way to relate to dance and performances. In program notes and talks, we strive to strike a balance of providing useful information without either speaking over the audience's head or oversimplifying the artist's ideas or process. In this webinar, hear some of the methods and successes that five EDA grantees employed over the past nine months, as well as their thoughts about the topic. Grantee speakers are: The Joyce Theater, STREB, Gibney Dance, University Musical Society and Heidi Duckler.

View the shared Whiteboard and Resource list developed during the webinar here
Watch a screen capture of this webinar here. 
Learn about the EDA speakers and their projects here. 

Dance 101 for Audiences:  New EDA-funded Programs & Research on their Results   

June 4, 2014  2:00-3:30 pm (Eastern)    

The most universal question asked through EDA has been how to engage people who are new to dance, turning novices into regular attendees and even advocates for the art form.  During this final webinar, consultants from Slover Linett will share the results of a pilot study conducted with the audiences of five of the grantees after engagement activities, which was commissioned to begin to answer that question.  Grantees are Audience Architects, Axis Dance Company, Ballet X, Vermont Performance Lab, and Wesleyan University, in addition to research by Suzanne Callahan on Gibney Dance.

View the shared Whiteboard and Resource list developed during the webinar here
Learn about the EDA speakers and their projects here.   

Questions? contact Callahan Consulting for the Arts.