OPERA America just announced that it was distributing $300,000 in grants to seven different opera companies around the country as part of its Building Opera Audiences program, a program backed by the Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation. So, why this money and why now?
The Building Opera Audiences program is now in its second year and it was started in order to support the efforts of U.S. opera companies in building informed and enthusiastic audiences for opera through innovative marketing projects.
We're seeing more and more grantmaking initiatives that support building and retaining audiences in the arts, so it comes as no surprise that OPERA America and the Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation are getting behind this movement. With so many competing areas of entertainment in so many different mediums, audience share is an important part of the funding equation.
As OPERA America announced this new round of grants, President and CEO Marc A. Scorca said, "As cultural and entertainment options continue to grow, opera companies face increased competition for audiences. The Building Opera Audiences grant program provides funding to experiment with innovative projects that help engage new and retain current audiences, ensuring that opera and opera companies flourish in the future."
The recipients of this round of funding include:
- ARIZONA OPERA (Phoenix and Tucson, AZ) for ¡Viva la Opera!
- CENTRAL CITY OPERA (Denver, CO) for Boomer Bus
- CINCINNATI OPERA (Cincinnati, OH) for The Opera Express
- LOS ANGELES OPERA (Los Angeles, CA) for Re-Branding Opera for the 21st Century
- LYRIC OPERA OF CHICAGO (Chicago, IL) for Caminos a la ópera
- OPERA PHILADELPHIA (Philadelphia, PA) for Consumer Engagement Research Project
- PALM BEACH OPERA (West Palm Beach, FL) for Opera @ the Waterfront App
Each of these projects will be documented and evaluated throughout its lifespan and the results will be shared with the opera field so that other organizations can learn from and replicate them in their communities if they wish. To see a full description of each project and learn more about the Building Opera Audiences project look here.