A few days ago the Pew Research group published this interesting (and very cool looking) report on the demographic future of the United States.
When I read it I saw one thing I knew and something that was new to me. What I knew about was the change in racial dynamics, but the speedy pace of that change was a little suprising.
What really struck me, however, was the "graying of America" segment. The segment talks about how the combination of low birthrates and people living longer is creating an American future where the average person will be much older then any point in American history.
The implications of this for those who work in the arts, particularly the performing arts, are huge. We talk a lot about one implication, the need to diversify arts audiences. A second implication that I want you to ponder is the need to focus on lifetime value of an audience member.
Is it brazen for me to say that the fact that potential audience members are living longer creates an opportunity?
Maybe. But it's also true.
The arts organization that can bring in audience (hard), retain audience (harder) and make those audience members loyal (hardest) is in a VERY poweful position.
Now is the time to really starting thinking about the psychology of why people are or are not loyal to your work because the future belongs to those who can do that.
Check out the report and share it. It's an invaluable look at our future.