Audience (R)Evolution is a multiyear program designed by TCG and funded by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation to study, promote, and support successful audience-engagement and community-development strategies for the U.S. not-for-profit theatre field. This initiative, now moving into its second round of activity, encompasses four phases: research and assessment; convenings; grantmaking; and widespread dissemination of lessons learned and effective audience-engagement models.

In Round 1 of Audience (R)Evolution, grant recipients were awarded up to $65,000 to (Re)Model or (Re)Imagine successful audience-engagement and/or community-development strategies. During the pilot round of grants, TCG learned that while effective models are increasing around the country, many theatres are interested in collaborating with other organizations who are navigating similar challenges and strategies.

To circumvent working in isolation, and to encourage knowledge-sharing across the field, TCG believes that the way forward is through collaboration with audiences, community partners, peer theatre organizations, and not-for-profit organizations from other sectors.

To accomplish this goal, Round 2 of Audience (R)Evolution will focus on cohort-building by helping theatres to share knowledge while partnering on new strategies for audience engagement and community development via two distinct initiatives:

Cohort Grants in the amount of $25,000, $75,000, and $200,000 will allow teams of three or more not-for-profit organizations to design and implement audience engagement and community-development strategies together. Cohorts should share similar or complementary goals for their strategies. In addition, cohorts should be composed of organizations with similar mission, regional or field-wide needs, aesthetics, or other common interests. These grants are intended to have a seismic impact on the participating theatres, as well as the field at large, by building audiences for theatre through projects that lead to new, more frequent, and increased theatre attendance and community participation.

Travel Grants of up to $7,500 will allow teams of TCG Member Theatre staff and/or community stakeholders to observe effective audience-engagement programs and to consult with professionals who can advise on strategies to deepen relationships with communities served by their theatre. These grants are intended to serve as a catalyst for deeper field-wide relationships between Applicant Theatres and those being observed.

At the core, Audience (R)Evolution supports risk-taking, reflection, experimentation, and collective action toward implementing new strategies that will help theatres sustain and grow attendance and demand.

CLICK HERE for more information about the overall Audience (R)Evolution program and to access videos and transcripts from the Audience (R)Evolution Learning Convenings, which may be a helpful resource.

Guiding Principles & Research for Success

As part of Audience R(E)volution, TCG engaged AMS Planning & Research, a national arts management consulting firm, to provide research focused on understanding “success” for the theatre field’s audience-engagement and community-development efforts and comprehending the journey and outcome of their efforts. While their research and case studies are not intended to be prescriptive, we strongly encourage applicants to consult TCG’s Audience (R)Evolution Guiding Principles & Research document while assembling their cohort and strategy

CLICK HERE to read the Audience (R)Evolution Guiding Principles and Research.

Please contact AudienceRev@tcg.org for additional information.