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JAG of Columbus releases national data for regenerating jazz audiences

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by Mark Subel on October 25, 2011

The Jazz Arts Group of Columbus (JAG) has released findings from a 21-month research project focused on current and potential jazz ticket buyers across the U.S. and in Central Ohio. Funded in part by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation (DDCF) with a $200,000 grant, the Jazz Audiences Initiative (JAI), is a first-of-its-kind study designed to explore how and why people engage with jazz. The main goal was to learn new ways for engaging audiences, and infusing the art form with new energy.

Jazz Audience Initiative Key Findings:

1. Tastes in music are socially transmitted.

2. Across western-based art forms, jazz still draws a
relatively diverse audience.

3. Consumption of jazz is artist-driven.

4. Music preferences are shaped by local programming.

5. Younger buyers have categorically more eclectic tastes
in music.

6. There are many musical pathways into jazz.

7. Jazz buyers strongly prefer informal settings.

“This research provides deep insights into the ways contemporary audiences
are choosing to participate in and engage with the arts, and specifically
creative forms of music, such as jazz,” expressed Robert Breithaupt,
Executive Director of the Jazz Arts Group. “From the beginning, we worked
collaboratively with our national research partners to share information and
new ideas. We’re now turning our attention to putting this research into
practice and considering the implications of this important data for our
organization. We hope other organizations will join us in this work to
strengthen the field.”

The Jazz Arts Group served as the lead organization for this project with
the following research partners: Jazz at Lincoln Center, New York; San
Francisco Jazz (SFJAZZ); Jazz St. Louis; Monterey Jazz Festival, California;
and Scullers Jazz Club, Boston. In addition, 13 major university presenters
also participated in the study; including, University of Florida Performing
Arts; University of Iowa Hancher Auditorium; and The Ohio State University’s
Wexner Center for the Arts. The team of highly-skilled national researchers
consisting of Alan S. Brown, Principal, Jennifer Novak-Leonard, and Rebecca
Ratzkin, Senior Research Consultants, WolfBrown; Joe Heimlich, Senior
Research Associate, Institute for Learning Innovation; and Jerry Yoshitomi,
Chief Knowledge Officer, Meaning Matters, LLC continue to assist JAG staff
with understanding and using audience participation trends and data
collected for the Jazz Audiences Initiative.

Additional funding for the project was secured from the Ohio Arts Council,
Greater Columbus Arts Council and The Columbus Foundation.

For additional information or to review the full reports, visit:
www.jazzartsgroup.org/jai.

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