Audience Architects

Audience Architects was founded in 2006 by Carol L. Fox and Niki Morrison and received 501(c)3 status in 2008. Its mission
is to build new and broader audiences for Chicago area dance
organizations by providing community-wide audience development
initiatives for dance performances and instruction, professional
development opportunities, and direct service to the field.

Audience Architects grew out of The
Chicago Community Trust’s five-year Dance Initiative, which, among other
things, funded a multi-year market research study on how to build dance
audiences. One of the resultant projects was 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 quickly proved to be a success. It was clear that it
needed to continue beyond the duration of the Dance Initiative. With no
service organization for dance, a new organization, Audience Architects,
was formed.

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 by the Chicago Tribune’s Sid
Smith and the Chicago Reader/Dance Magazine’s Laura Molzahn; user
reviews; and enhanced social networking. We have launched a second site,
TakeChicagoDance.com, to promote dance classes and social dance
opportunities. We provide booking representation at the Midwest and
national booking conferences. And, new this year, we administered
MetLife’s New Stages for Dance program, re-granting $42,500 to dance
companies to provide affordable access to quality venues – an expansion
of a program Dance/USA hopes will serve as a national model.

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