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Industry Pro Newsletter: An Expectant 2021, Fundraising Falls Short, and help is on the way for many but not all

Fauci says theatres could be back in a mostly normal fashion by early fall



January 4, 2021 -

Happy New Year! I know that I'm not the only one who was excited to turn the calendar to 2021, but that doesn't mean we can fully leave 2020 behind us. After all, the pandemic continues (though more and more vaccines are being distributed daily), and theatres are still grappling with many of the diversity and inclusion issues that came to the fore during 2020. Add in the deep economic impacts of the pandemic and 2021 is certainly poised to be a year of progress, but it is going to take a lot of work across the industry to get us back to the heights we felt we were approaching at the beginning of 2020.

Deadline: What to Expect When New York Turns the Lights Back On

"Anybody who's recovering from an injury would love to get out and start jogging, but sometimes you have to walk a little bit, and we're really in that place where we have to fold in, in a collaborative way as competitors." - Kevin McCollum

Deadline caught up with eight Broadway insiders to get their take on what the re-opening of Broadway and Theatre in New York might look like over 2021 as the vaccine rollout continues and we slowly start to put the pandemic behind us.

Fauci: Getting Back to Normal is Up to Us

Speaking with California Governor Gavin Newsom, Dr. Anthony Fauci laid out the implications of getting the vaccine rolled out as quickly as possible, while still maintaining additional safety measures while we do so: a return to something that approaches normalcy by the fall.

Performing Arts Groups Struggle to Close the Gap With Fundraising

Not only were ticket sales essentially non-existent in 2020, many donors are shifting their dollars to other important causes that have been highlighted in 2020, including hunger and racial justice. Across the country, individual giving to arts organizations is down 14 percent, with the size of the largest donations down 38%. However, many see a bright spot coming out of 2020: the pandemic forced them to up their digital game, and when in-person fundraising options return, this increased functionality may be able to make them more effective moving forward.

A Crisis Within a Crisis

The New York Times last week chronicled the ongoing unemployment crisis that is underway in the performing arts industry: "During the quarter ending in September, when the overall unemployment rate averaged 8.5 percent, 52 percent of actors, 55 percent of dancers and 27 percent of musicians were out of work, according to the National Endowment for the Arts. By comparison, the jobless rate was 27 percent for waiters; 19 percent for cooks; and about 13 percent for retail salespeople over the same period."

WNYC: Broadway Fallout Extends Well Beyond Theaters

The passage of the Save Our Stages Act as part of the latest round of Coronavirus relief is important for cultural institutions, but WNYC took a look at the support services and other businesses that form a backbone of the theatre industry that are still looking for relief to try and make it through to the full re-opening of the industry.

Facebook Targeting Might Not Be All It Is Advertised to Be

The Intercept recently obtained internal documents from Facebook where the company purports to admit that some of its apparently powerful targeting tools are not what they're cracked up to be, and that they are showing ads to people that don't meet the targeting criteria more than half of the time. If you are utilizing Facebook ads in your marketing, make sure you are taking additional steps to verify the efficacy beyond the impressions statistics being given to you by Facebook, as current court filings indicate that those might not be trustworthy numbers.

Are You Streaming Content?

The BroadwayWorld Streaming Calendar is the go-to resource for theatre audiences looking for a theatrical experience in their own living room. The best part? Listings are completely free of charge (with paid boosting options available). Add your streaming content today!

Need a digital program for your audiences?

Then check out Stage Mag from BroadwayWorld! This modern, fully interactive show program comes with an easy-to-use interface for building your program. Check it out at stagemag.broadwayworld.com.

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From This Author Alex Freeman