Arts Activities Support
ACHF Arts Access
We expect to attract an audience that includes 20% new patrons through increased publicity efforts. We also expect the audience to be 10% more diverse because of the variety of groups presented. For quantitative measures we will use audience, volunteer and artist participation counts. For qualitative measures we will use audience surveys taken at the performance and artist surveys sent out by email after the performance.
Over 1600 people attended the 2016 Summer Performance Series season many who had never heard of the park before. We tracked audience numbers and used sign-in sheets and staff interactions with visitors to identify those who were new to the park. While the threat of bad weather reduced attendance at two performances overall audience numbers were good, engagement was high and our outcomes were met. We successfully achieved the artistic goals for our 2016 Summer Performance Series. On June 12 the Minnesota Sinfonia presented a well-received concert of familiar and less well known pieces of classical music. This performance was dedicated to the memory of the Art Park’s founder. On June 26 director Jim Cunningham and a cast of 3 actors presented The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged). This parody of all 37 Shakespeare’s plays brought a bit of Fringe Festival sensibility to the park’s tradition of “Shakespeare in the Park.” July 10 Aunt Beverly and Voice of Culture performed a combination of traditional and contemporary African stories and drum and dance from West Africa and Afro-Hip-Hop. The performers were Beverly Cottman and young students of Voice of Culture led by Kenna Cottman. On July 24 the High-48’s presented a concert of classical bluegrass and original songs with a wide range of influences beyond Bill Monroe, and Flatt and Scruggs. In our grant application this slot was intended to be filled by the group Buckets and Tap Shoes but we were unable to keep in contact with them through the planning process and made this substitution. The connection between the two – they are both high energy performers whose work features driving rhythms. On August 7 Mu Daiko, an ensemble of Mu Performing Arts, filled the Theater in the Woods with the sounds of Japanese Taiko Drumming. On August 21, Mixed Precipitation presented “Donald Giovanni in Cornlandia: A Picnic Operetta.” This was a 1980’s pop retelling of the 1787 Mozart opera Don Gionvanni the style of classical Italian comedic opera meets ‘80s hair bands and modern day politics. This performance in particular brought many new people to the park who knew of Mixed Precipitation’s work but not about the park. Our community of Dakota County and Eagan is made up primarily of families with young and school-age children, and a growing number of older adults. According to our surveys, this is the audience who attended the Summer Performance Series this season; roughly 60% of the audience was from Dakota County and the other 40% was from the greater Twin Cities area. Each performance in the series attracted slightly different audiences: the Minnesota Sinfonia trended older and more patrons had physical limitations; the High 48s, Mu Daiko and Voice of Culture attracted more families, the Shakespeare and Mixed Precipitation audiences were mostly adults. As a whole the audience continued to be more ethnically diverse. Since these performances are presented without tickets we cannot use sales to track the number of new and returning audience members. Instead we use sign-in/mailing list sheets and audiences surveys. From this information we know that at least 1/3 of the audience was new to the park and many commented that they had been meaning to come and finally did.
Other, local or private