Revving Up the Audience (R)Evolution

by August Schulenburg

in Audience & Community Engagement

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This Friday is the application deadline for our Audience (R)Evolution Learning Convening from February 20-22, 2013, in Philadelphia. Convening 150 theatre, arts and cultural professionals at the Chemical Heritage Foundation, attendees will engage with the latest research, hear from dynamic speakers and connect with practitioners on the cutting edge of audience engagement.

Ideas will collide, assumptions will be challenged, relationships will be forged and gauntlets may just be dropped, inspiring us all to rethink what we mean when that old familiar phrase, “audience engagement”, rolls off our tongues.

But you already know all that, right? Hopefully by now, you’ve received an email or three inviting you to join us in Philadelphia. So here’s are five things you might not know about the Audience (R)Evolution Learning Convening:

  1. It’s for everyone! While priority consideration will be given to TCG Member Theatre staff, art-makers and community-developers from all theatres and cultural sectors (dance, museums or opera; individual artists; community organizers) are welcome to apply.
  2. It’s subsidized! Thanks to generous support from our funders, including our Audience (R)Evolution partner, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and with additional funds from the William Penn Foundation, most applicants will receive some form of subsidy for their travel and attendance.
  3. It’s got mad data! Our research partners at AMS Planning & Research are crunching some serious data to assess the best audience engagement models, and explore how and why they work. Sharing the research they’ve gathered thus far will be a central part of the Convening.
  4. Did we mention grants? Based on the research findings and Convening discussions, 10 grants up to $65,000 each will be awarded to TCG Member Theatres to replicate successful audience engagement models or test new strategies. While attendance is not a requirement for receiving these grants, this Convening will shape the granting process.
  5. The revolution will be convened. The format of the Audience (R)Evolution will be, well, a little revolutionary. This intimate gathering will throw attendees into hands-on sessions and focused brainstorming to share the latest models and strategies and catalyze new ideas and connections.

So, now that you’re in the know, apply to join us in Philadelphia, and let’s rev up this Audience (R)Evolution.


August Schulenburg is the Associate Director of Communications at TCG. He is also the Artistic Director of Flux Theatre Ensemble, winner of the 2011 Caffe Cino Fellowship Award. He is a playwright whose produced plays include Riding the Bull, DEINDE, Carrin Beginning, The Lesser Seductions of History, Dream Walker, Rue, Jacob’s House and Other Bodies. He is also a director (most recently Ellen McLaughlin’s Ajax in Iraq) and actor (the recent film, The Golden Scallop and the play Hearts Like Fists). Learn more here.