Activating Cultural Consumers Through Technology

Wednesday, October 15, 9:30 am – 11:00 am
Dogwood A, M1/Street Level

Organized by Mary Trudel, senior communications officer, Wallace Foundation. Presented by Mary Trudel; Seth Schiesel, The New York Times; and John Keiser, general manager, San Francisco Symphony

Like any new tools, information and communications technologies have early adopters and laggards. What are the best strategies to claim a share of consumers’ increasingly overscheduled leisure time? This session explores shifts in technology, the impact on individual and social behavior, and what this means for arts organizations and funders who want to see their investments in technology projects be effective.

John Kieser, General Manager of the San Francisco Symphony, will present a case of the SFS’s attempt to reinvent its 19th century institution for the 21st with its “Keeping Score” multi-platform initiative. “Keeping Score” is the San Francisco Symphony’s five-year program designed to make classical music more accessible to people of all ages and musical backgrounds through television, the web, radio, DVDs, and in the classroom. How did SFS build the strategy? What worked? What hasn’t? What are the lessons for other traditional arts institutions and arts funders looking to broaden audiences for classical art forms via new technologies and marketing approaches?

And what about the uninclined? Seth Schiesel, who covers video games and culture for The New York Times, will discuss consumption patterns in the broader media and arts universe. Opera, television, video games, museums, online social networks and music are all competing for the same finite minutes of leisure time. Mr. Schiesel will look at the trends and some of the potential insights purveyors of traditional media and arts can glean from how younger generations interact with their digital entertainment experiences.