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Arts Groups Packing for American Express Marketing Seminar

Arts Groups Packing for American Express Marketing Seminar

BY MANDY JACKSON

Staff Writer

Four local performing arts organizations will participate in the American Express National Arts Marketing Project in Chicago beginning later this month.

Jean Isaac’s San Diego Dance Theatre, Mainly Mozart, the Poway Center for the Performing Arts Foundation, and Sledgehammer Theatre have been selected for the eight-day advanced marketing seminar scheduled March 7 to 10 and April 4 to 7.

The first four days focus on marketing basics and identifying the organizations’ audiences. During the second four days, marketing strategies will be developed.

Elaine Gingery, managing director of Sledgehammer Theatre, said, “We’re incredibly excited about it. We want to learn how to use our limited resources effectively.”

The 16-year-old theater’s yearly budget has gone from $125,000 to just under $200,000 in the last few years. Gingery said Sledgehammer is the largest alternative theater in town. “The Universal Monster Show” is its current play.

Mainly Mozart began 14 years ago as a summer music festival. Now, it participates in various local, state and binational festivals each year and offers several music series and educational programs.

“It’s really a plateau time for Mainly Mozart. We have a lot of events and new series,” said executive director Nancy Laturno.

Mainly Mozart, which performs many kinds of music, from orchestral to jazz, needs to look at where it’s performing and who its audiences are in those locations, according to Laturno. The organization is already doing a lot of marketing through e-mail and direct mail.

Funding from American Express and other sponsors allows two representatives from each organization to attend the national training program. Lodging, meals related to the seminar, and most of the transportation expense is covered by the program.

Each organization attending the national program receives a $1,500 participation grant, which they can use for their organization or put toward the balance of their transportation costs.

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