New Report: "Vitality and Impact of Arts Presenting"

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The following is excerpted from a release issued by CAPACOA.

Performing arts presenters are a vital component of their communities and the overall arts ecology, according to a new research report by the Canadian Arts Presenting Association and Hill Strategies Research.

Vitality and Impact of Arts Presenting is the outcome of a pan-Canadian survey of performing arts presenters and festivals led by a consortium of presenting networks and associations. The report explores presenters’ activities, finances, programming, attendance, community engagement, and purpose.

Survey findings highlight the commitment of presenters to put Canadian artists, and especially in-province artists, on stages – in theatres and concert halls, as well as in non-conventional places such as workplaces, libraries and community centres. Notably, the survey found that many presenters are deeply committed to reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples. Among other positive findings, three in four Canadian presenters presented Indigenous artists in the last year.

The report also provides new information on the range of community engagement activities that presenters deliver, and their profound impact on audience members and communities. 99% of respondents are involved in arts engagement activities such as “pre- or post-show discussions”, “participatory arts experiences” and “art for social change”.

Many presenters provided stories illustrating their connections with their audiences and their communities, such as lighting up the eyes (and dancing shoes) of an attendee with dementia, making deep and moving connections with audience members at an Indigenous performance, and facilitating a little bit of magic in people’s lives when presenting little-known performers.

“This report shows clearly what those of us who work in the field see on a daily basis: performing arts presenting provides both literal stages for artists across Canada, and creates a stage for increasingly meaningful connections between community members,” observes Natalie Dewan, communications and membership services coordinator at Ontario Presents and member of the Vitality and Impact Advisory Committee.

Survey results will be presented and discussed during a web conference on March 14 at 9:00 a.m. PST. This will be an opportunity to explore the findings as they relate to the presenting practice and to cultural policies. You can register here.

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