Social media, audience accessibility among workshop topics for Kentucky Arts Council’s Master Class


Staff Report



FRANKFORT — The Kentucky Arts Council’s “Master Class: A Learning Lab on Connecting with New Audiences” on Oct. 15 at the Grand Theatre in Frankfort, showcases some of the best acts from the arts council’s Performing Artists Directory.

But the event is also a day of learning for performing arts presenters, business and civic leaders, college and university activity boards, community groups and organizations, event planners, festival organizers, government agencies, librarians, Main Street managers, park directors and Trail Town participants. The workshop will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

In addition to nine performers of various artistic disciplines, Master Class includes two workshops designed to help broaden the audience base for performances. Workshops will include “Trending: Meeting the Mission Through Social Media,” presented by Rachel Shane, the University of Kentucky’s arts administration program director; and “Totally Accessible: Reaching New Audiences,” presented by Louisville-based access, inclusion and education consultant Talleri McRae.

Shane said social media is a mode of promotion that event presenters need to embrace to expand their audience reach.

“In the 21st century, a lot of arts and nonprofit organizations have to appeal to multiple generations of audiences,” she said. “The traditional over 55 audience might still be looking at print, television and radio to get their information, but younger audiences are finding out about events in a purely online format. Groups who present performances need to think across the generations in order to further their audience development.”

Shane will be addressing a variety of social media platforms, like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube and LinkedIn.

“I hope the workshop gives attendees a better idea how to engage their audiences with social media and what format will be best for their offerings,” Shane said.

Reaching new audiences also includes people who have different needs, like mobility or communications accessibility.

“People with disabilities are potential patrons,” said McCrae. “The more accessible venues are to them, the more they will patronize them. They are looking to connect with cultural institutions.”

In addition to complying with the law — the Americans With Disabilities Act passed in 1990 — providing accommodations to people with disabilities is also a good business decision, McCrae said, because it’s something that directly or indirectly touches everyone.

“One thing to think about is that those of us who are lucky to live long enough will experience some degree of disability in our lives,” she said. “Don’t we want to put in the work now so we can enjoy the fruits of it in the future? It’s just the right thing to do.”

For more information on Master Class, contact Tamara Coffey, individual artist director, at tamara.coffey@ky.gov, or 502-564-3757, ext. 479. Registration is available online at the arts council website.

The Kentucky Arts Council, the state arts agency, fosters environments for Kentuckians to value, participate in and benefit from the arts. Kentucky Arts Council funding is provided by the Kentucky General Assembly and the National Endowment for the Arts. The arts council, along with the NEA, is celebrating 50 years of service in 2015, which the arts council is recognizing as the Year of the Arts in Kentucky.

Staff Report

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