Trendspotting: 100 San Francisco arts organizations launch #BayAreaArtsTogether campaign to win back live audiences

San Francisco Opera - Bay Area Arts Together campaign

Over the past few years many people, organizations and communities have been hit hard by the Covid pandemic and all that entailed as we sheltered in place.

Arts organizations are likely among the hardest hit — even in the best of times non-profits typically run on razor thin margins, with ever challenging and tiny budgets.

So it’s nice to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

In this case, #BayAreaArtsTogether is a campaign backed by over 100 arts and cultural organizations across the San Francisco Bay Area. Here’s the logo:

Per the announcement the campaign is “an integrated marketing and communications campaign aimed at building confidence for the safe and healthy return to in-person performances, exhibits, and events.”

“Over the summer many arts and cultural leaders were discussing how we can ignite the Bay Area community to return to our offerings after being sheltered-in-place for such a long time,” said Jennifer Bielstein, Executive Director of American Conservatory Theater, who spearheaded the effort. “We rolled up our sleeves and came together around how our community has missed what arts and culture bring to their lives and how we are collectively READY to welcome people into in-person arts experiences again. We’re READY to explore, learn, laugh, be moved, be inspired, and get re-connected to each other.”

The list of those involved is lengthy, and includes organizations both big and small: 42nd Street Moon, Asian American Women Artists Association, American Conservatory Theater, Broadway San Jose, Cal Performances, City Lights Theater Company, Curran, Livermore Arts, Magic Theatre, New Conservatory Theatre Center, Opera San Jose, Palo Alto Players, San Francisco Opera, San Francisco Playhouse, Shotgun Players, The Marsh, TheatreWorks Silicon Valley, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts… among so many others.

Here’s the complete list of participating organizations in #BayAreaArtsTogether:

Indeed convincing people to come back in-person for live productions indoors, alongside hundreds of strangers as we attempt to claw our way out of once-in-a-century pandemic is a tall order.

Power in numbers, as they say, is certainly a savvy approach.

I hope we soon see audiences (safely) return. I can only imagine the challenges of keeping these organizations running over the past few years. Yes, streaming is a great option. But there’s simply no substitute for the live in-person experience; the pre-show chills and excitement you get as the house lights go down and the drapes part. It’s a feeling I think we all look forward to participating in again soon.

Watch #BayAreaArtsTogether

Ready to Inspire. Ready to Awe. Ready to Play. Ready to Watch. Ready for Curiosity. Ready to heal.

Meantime, you can follow this campaign on social: #BayAreaArtsTogether.

To learn more you can check out the web site the joint organization has created.

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