"A Loving Letter to Former Audiences"
To Our Dear Former Audiences,
First, as the arts sector, we want to thank you for all the years you spent with us. We hope you found emotionally moving experiences at the many plays, operas, gallery and museum openings, concerts, and dance performances you attended before the pandemic. We hope that you connected with friends and family, old and new, and maybe grew as a person. Those were some amazing days we had together, weren't they? It was the best of times.
We've been trying to reach you for some time, to have you join us again. We've mailed you letters, called (and left voicemails) and emailed you many offers, and we haven't heard back. And we get it. You may have lost the person who used to attend arts events with you. You may still feel uncomfortable in crowds. You may just be out of the habit after two-and-a-half years. The truth is, we really don't know, and will never know exactly why you haven't come back.
And we are tired. The cost of everything keeps going up, and our ticket sales are simply not keeping pace. We have surprise expenses we never could have imagined. (For example, did you know we spend thousands of dollars on Covid tests for each production to help keep you safe?) We've burned the candle at both ends for years now, and we need to take better care of ourselves.
So we are going to stop worrying about when you'll come back. We'll stop bothering you with special offers and "last chance" blasts you aren't reading. You're always welcome back to our venues, if and when you're ready.
We are shifting our focus from trying to get you back, to trying to get people in the door for the first time. We believe that now, more than ever, people need our work in their lives.
We get up every morning and spend our waking hours, and sometimes our dreams, trying to make that happen. Do you remember your first arts experience? We remember ours. Those experiences continue to shape our whole lives. And we can't wait to help more people have them for the first time.
We love you, and respect your attendance choices. When the time is right on your terms, get in touch, and we'll be overjoyed to welcome you back.
The Arts Sector