Emptying the arts notebook

June 11, 2009
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Some quick notes:

-If you had mixed feelings about the Tony Awards coverage on Sunday (and have a bit of a mean streak in you), then check out this hilariously rude recap from the knuckleheads at Broadway Abridged. And if you are baffled by some of the plot holes in "Wicked," well, then click here for BA's skewering of that show.

--FYI: My review of "Wicked" will be featured in the upcoming print IBJ--along with thoughts on the new Conner Prairie attraction and the movie "Up." (Do you see a pattern?)

--Can't get to New York City to see the Tony-winning revival of "Hair"? Ball State University Theatre has just announced its 09/10 season, which will kick off with the Age of Aquarius musical. My thoughts on the Broadway version can be found here.

--Up for some trivial pursuits tonight (Thursday)? I'll be serving as emcee for a pub trivia competition at Pat Flynn's Public House. Proceeds benefit Heartland Actors Repertory Theatre. More info here. (Does your not-for-profit need an event host, panelist, or contest judge? If available, I may be able to help. Drop an e-mail to lharry@ibj.com.)

--Since moving locations, independent bookseller Big Hat Books is now calling itself Big Hat Books and Arts. The new digs include a private room that can seat up to 100, theater style.

--A study in San Francisco establishes that giving out free tickets doesn't just serve to "attract new theatergoers to a free show, but also to convert a significant number into future paying customers." More details here

--Ticket giveaways are back on my IBJ Daily A&E e-mail. If you aren't already a free subscriber, click here and sign up.

Your thoughts on any of the above?
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  • I like opera, which is a niche pursuit. I think just giving out tickets can be good, but also it is a challenging medium to get used to. Maybe for straight theater it is different.
  • Like any marketing activity, an organization should measure whether giving out free tickets seems to have an effect on that and subsequent shows. I'd guess that giving out a free ticket with every paid ticket might generate additional attendance at an event; the venue would then need to determine whether it also resulted in enough additional revenue (and media coverage) to make the promotion worthwhile.

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  1. I took Bruce's comments to highlight a glaring issue when it comes to a state's image, and therefore its overall branding. An example is Michigan vs. Indiana. Michigan has done an excellent job of following through on its branding strategy around "Pure Michigan", even down to the detail of the rest stops. Since a state's branding is often targeted to visitors, it makes sense that rest stops, being that point of first impression, should be significant. It is clear that Indiana doesn't care as much about the impression it gives visitors even though our branding as the Crossroads of America does place importance on travel. Bruce's point is quite logical and accurate.

  2. I appreciated the article. I guess I have become so accustomed to making my "pit stops" at places where I can ALSO get gasoline and something hot to eat, that I hardly even notice public rest stops anymore. That said, I do concur with the rationale that our rest stops (if we are to have them at all) can and should be both fiscally-responsible AND designed to make a positive impression about our state.

  3. I don't know about the rest of you but I only stop at these places for one reason, and it's not to picnic. I move trucks for dealers and have been to rest areas in most all 48 lower states. Some of ours need upgrading no doubt. Many states rest areas are much worse than ours. In the rest area on I-70 just past Richmond truckers have to hike about a quarter of a mile. When I stop I;m generally in a bit of a hurry. Convenience,not beauty, is a primary concern.

  4. Community Hospital is the only system to not have layoffs? That is not true. Because I was one of the people who was laid off from East. And all of the LPN's have been laid off. Just because their layoffs were not announced or done all together does not mean people did not lose their jobs. They cherry-picked people from departments one by one. But you add them all up and it's several hundred. And East has had a dramatic drop I in patient beds from 800 to around 125. I know because I worked there for 30 years.

  5. I have obtained my 6 gallon badge for my donation of A Positive blood. I'm sorry to hear that my donation was nothing but a profit center for the Indiana Blood Center.

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