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ERIC Number: ED559977
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 46
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-09965193-0-4
Opening New Doors: Hands-On Participation Brings a New Audience to the Clay Studio. Wallace Studies in Building Arts Audiences
Harlow, Bob; Heywood, Tricia
Wallace Foundation
This case study examines how The Clay Studio, a ceramic-arts studio, gallery and shop in Philadelphia, attracted younger audiences to its workshops and exhibits. In 2007, the studio became concerned that its audience was getting older and few newcomers were signing up for classes or making purchases. The studio had to engage younger professionals aged 25 to 45. Audience research helped identify elements of activities that could attract younger professionals, including flexible schedules, shorter courses and the ability to socialize. The studio therefore added new classes such as "Date Night," a Friday evening event where novices could experiment with clay in an informal environment. It also redesigned its web site and print materials to emphasize visitors' experience rather than the skills they might learn. Five years later, the number of students taking classes tripled and revenue from the school more than doubled. Monthly workshops regularly sell out. And many newbies have gone on to take longer classes. But challenges remain. The organization must now balance the needs of its core visitors, who seek a more formal atmosphere, and those of its new audience, which prefers a more social, informal experience around clay. This publication is part of a set of case studies and reports looking at the efforts of arts organizations that received Wallace Excellence Awards to reach new audiences and deepen relationships with current ones. Chris Taylor, president of The Clay Studio, also shares his thoughts about the experience in an accompanying series of three videos. An appendix entitled, "Who Visits The Clay Studio?" is included.
Wallace Foundation. 5 Penn Plaza 7th Floor, New York, NY 10001. Tel: 212-251-9700; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Wallace Foundation
Identifiers - Location: Pennsylvania