The art of partnerships
The art of partnerships
Dance Theatre Of Harlem Task Force
UC Davis Presents, working with Dance Theater of Harlem, established a Dance Theater of Harlem Task Force. It included a range of community members from the African American community in the Sacramento region: an aide to a city council member, a staff member from a highly visible community center for kids, a community relations person from a network television station, clergy, educators, community organizers. Our goal was to find a way to get a full house of schoolkids to attend a reasonably priced matinee by DTH, while publicizing the three evening performances to the broader community. The marketing director worked hand in hand with the group, which organized itself to raise funds, find buses, and get the word out.
The short term effort was a success: sales were solid for the evening performances and the matinee sold out.
While the Task Force’s work did not formally extend into the following season, long term relationships had been forged between UC Davis Presents and the African-American community that served the marketing department for years. A solid group of volunteers were more aware of the program, they had struggled with department to achieve a victory, and they were very helpful to future marketing efforts over the years. Phone calls were always returned to the marketing director, advice given freely, entry into parts of the African-American community was enabled, and mailing lists were swapped. All of this served well short term marketing goals. And all of it was built on having worked together, intensely, over a period of months. The relationships endured for years.
“Dave Webb came to Riverside to present a seminar entitled ‘Gradual Marketing’ to over 25 of local arts groups. The experience was extraordinary. Real change was achieved with a number of the participating groups; it was rated as the most valuable of all the opportunities made available through our ABC Granting program. By meeting with the groups one-on-one and applying his considerable marketing expertise, Dave was able to move the groups up to the next level on their own terms. From art galleries, chorales, our African-American Historical Society, brass and wind ensembles, a glass museum, our reknown Dickens Festival, several fine arts networks here in the region, our Hmong Culture Center and many others, Dave tailored his advice to fit the mission and resources of each group; by being cognizant of each groups strengths and limitations, the advice offered was candid, practical and well targeted. We heartily encourage other communities to offer the Gradual Marketing process to arts groups in their area.”
Patrick Brien, Executive Director, Riverside Arts Council;
Ellen Estilai, former Executive Director, Riverside Arts Council