|Chris McKhool “building the audience”|
After attending the TAPA presentation of their amazing Audiences Reporton Friday Nov. 8th I was concerned that work-for-young audiences was not included in the discussion about “audience development”.
Artistic work for young people is often missing in this dialogue I believe because, for the most part, children are not ticket buyers. While the immediate needs of building a broader audience in order to sustain dance, theatre and opera companies is apparent, we must also work together as the Toronto arts community to build a sustainable foundation of arts supporters/participants into the future. If we hope for a vibrant city where all citizens have access to and interest in multiple artistic experiences – we have to start with children.
Work for young people can’t be seen as separate from our notions of audience development but more as the potential beginning of the continuum of arts access throughout our lives. We have to look at the work of artists and arts organizations in and with schools as the very foundation of the arts support that we seek. I sent those thoughts to Gideon Arthurs (GM – Tarragon Theatre) who is chairing the Audiences Project working group for TAPA – I am very grateful to him for subsequently inviting me to be part of that group
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Prologue’s Executive Director