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Jazz Arts Group selects partners for JAI theory-to-practice experiments

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by Mark Subel on July 17, 2012

The Jazz Arts Group of Columbus (JAG) has chosen five partner organizations across the U.S. to implement data from the Jazz Audiences Initiative (JAI) study in their everyday practices of presenting and producing jazz. Theory-to-practice experiments will begin in the fall of 2012.

JAG received a $120,000 Continuing Innovation Stage II grant from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation (DDCF) in January 2012 to implement findings from the JAI study. The selected partners include: MCG Jazz, Pittsburgh; Hancher Auditorium, University of Iowa; Elastic Arts Foundation, Chicago; Brooklyn Conservatory of Music; and Jazz St. Louis. Experiments will focus on presenting in new/smaller venues, booking new artists in particular markets, and testing new marketing messages and images. Each organization’s research will design, test, implement, and refine their methods for engaging and motivating audiences to engage in jazz related activities.

Anticipated outcomes for the new funding include (1) new models for engaging new and/or younger jazz audiences, (2) increased employment of local/regional jazz musicians, (3) creation of new language and images for specific market segments, and (4) pilot testing a new business model for making smaller-scale programming sustainable. JAG and the selected partners will work with a professional evaluator to determine the outcomes for the project, and ways to measure success.

In addition to the $120,000 grant, JAG has also been awarded $30,000 in general operating support and $2,350 to support a cohort learning circle that will convene sometime in the future. Christy Farnbauch of Strategic Links will continue to serve as project director. JAG is also continuing work with Alan Brown, principal at WolfBrown, as a strategic advisor for the experiments during the 16-month grant period.

“From the beginning, the JAI research process was designed to be used publicly by the jazz field, specifically, but also by performing arts presenters and producers in other genres. We are thrilled to have this opportunity to put the research into practice and to experiment with the findings. This is a rare opportunity, and we will continue to share our results with the field,” shared Farnbauch.

For additional information or to review the data, visit www.jazzartsgroup.org/jai

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