In an era when even Loehmann’s (THE original discount ladies clothing store w/famously-communal dressin rooms) has a Facebook fan page*, you know it’s hard to get through to your network of supporters, much less engage them.
But giving folks a chance to go beyond — whether behind the scenes, after the show or standing in the shoes of — is a powerful way to do just that. Here are some great examples:
==> Behind the scenes:
As a long-ago member of New York’s American Museum of Natural History, I joined a behind-the-scenes tour of the entomology (bugs) department. It was incredibly compelling, and gave me a real understanding of what it takes to find, research and exhibit the incredible shows at the museum.
The research side of the institution is something the public is largely unaware of, and this was a powerful way to show how an exhibit evolves. I renewed my membership for several years thereafter.
==> After the show: My husband and I see many experimental performances in the Peak Perfs series at a local university. The performances usually raise questions and consciousness, and are often complemented by discussions after the performance and online (in perpetuity). These discussions erase the lines between the audience and the performers/production team/author, adding another dimension to the experience as participants become a single community discussing a work or issue from various perspectives. In the end, the opportunity to participate morphs these performances into memorable interactions.
==> Standing in the shoes of: As part of its 75th anniversary celebration, The School of American Ballet is inviting the public to “stand in the toe shoes of,” by observing one of Jock Soto’s master class in for senior students. This “as is” picture of how these classes run is likely to succeed hugely in developing new ballet fans (it’s free after all) and increasing the engagement level of long-time devotees.
*5,000 Facebook users became fans of Loehmann’s Facebook fan page in its first 24 hours.
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