Survey of Arts Management

Course blog for American University PERF-570, Fall 2014

Crowd Funding Opera in Montgomery County

The Victorian Lyric Opera Company, in our own Montgomery County, is asking for money. But in an unusual way- they’re doing it as a crowd funding campaign. And they’re telling you exactly what it goes for, and telling you that they, indeed, do need it. It’s one of the rare instances where I’ve actually seen a company tell you that they need the money; this approach is rather contrary to what we’ve discussed in class, but for what it’s worth, as arts managers, we now know that it does happen. See the campaign here.

If I were to redo this campaign, I would perhaps take a more-fun spin on it. Donors like to rally behind organizations and initiatives that seem successful. Not that they are or aren’t- but they way that they’ve portrayed their need in this particular campaign comes across as though they don’t have enough budget to buy their own costumes.

However, I do applaud their effort. It’s refreshing to see this company try a new way of raising funds in their 36th season. It looks like they have a little way to go yet, but here’s to hoping that they succeed!

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One comment on “Crowd Funding Opera in Montgomery County

  1. carolynsupinka18
    November 28, 2014

    This is definitely a very different approach from what we’ve discussed in class! On one hand, I think the transparency of this campaign is really great. Supporters know exactly what their money is going towards. Their donations will go towards a tangible result- costumes, props, and supplies, and they will have the chance to see the results of their generosity on stage. This definitely isn’t a sustainable practice though (is it?), and I wonder why they decided that this production in particular needed “spiffing up” as they say on their website.

    It did remind me of funding tactics used by a lot of the podcasts I listen to. These shows aren’t at all afraid of reminding listeners, frequently, that they need donations in order to stay in business. The new podcast Serial recently made a lot of headlines because it just received enough listener-provided funding for a second season. I wonder what makes podcasts different from other productions in how they approach their audience for monetary help?

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