Audience Architects’ mission and programs are unique in Chicago’s cultural landscape given our specific focus on building and engaging dance audiences and developing a stronger dance sector. Unlike other service organizations, we focus not only on the art producers, but also specifically target audiences and earned revenue generation, as our programs seek to build bridges toward a well educated and informed audience base for the professional field. Like a dance community megaphone, we offer multiple modalities for audiences to experience the variety and vibrancy of Chicago’s dance talent, through our website, discount ticketing, reviews/previews by paid critics, and public conversations and events.
Our flagship program, SeeChicagoDance.com, an audience development website, which launched in 2005 and drives ticket sales for dance in Chicago. With its comprehensive calendar, discount ticket sales program, email newsletter and database of proven dance patrons, the site continues to be a successful, comprehensive source for dance information. The site has grown to be one of the largest non-profit websites on dance in the United States.
Based on the success of the site, dance companies began turning to Audience Architects for additional services. In response to the community need, Audience Architects has expanded its programs and initiatives to help dance companies increase their earned revenue through ticket sales and touring income. SeeChicagoDance.com now includes critical reviews/preview articles; user reviews; and enhanced social networking.
Our Membership Program has tripled in size, growing from 21 members in 2010 to 68 at the conclusion of FY15.. Participants receive discounted advertising, the ability to sell discounted tickets, access to booking services, including conference representation and Showcase participation, and special invitations/discounts to professional development events. Ad fees are on a sliding scale based upon budget size. Membership is not a prerequisite for AARCH web-based services, and any professional organization or artist in Chicago can list performances on SeeChicagoDance.com for free. The operating budget profile of AARCH’s member organizations is as follows: under $100K (55%); $100K-$499K (19%); $500K-$999K (13%); and $1M+ (13%).
Each April, AARCH’s annual Chicago Dance Month highlights the breadth, variety, and artistic richness of the Chicago dance community by promoting a wealth of performances and educational opportunities. In 2016, partners for CDM include: Chicago Park District, Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, Choose Chicago, Chicago Loop Alliance, and a consortium of AARCH’s member organizations.