City Comprehensive Arts Programs

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City Comprehensive Arts Programs


Light City in Baltimore, Shakespeare in the Park in New York City and The Wolf Trap in Washington D.C. are all examples of successful city art programs that have been well-received by the public, with Light City being cross promoted alongside other local events, and Shakespeare in the Park and Wolf Trap relying on partnerships as well as the well-known history of their events to gain attendees. For each, we have provided information on either the marketing strategy or how the program was promoted and communicated, evidence of their success, and how the events and communication about the events is received by the public.

Light City in Baltimore

  • Light City was originally created and promoted in 2016 in partnership with the Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts (BOPA) in order to support art, music, and innovation in the city.
  • The event was promoted via an Opening Night Parade, as well as cross promotion via local vendors who provided food and beverage services.
  • In 2019, the event was further supported by public funding where ten creative groups were awarded $5,000 to create a proposal for art installations, performances, or activation.
  • Light City is also promoted on social media, including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
  • The event saw increased success in 2019 was that the city of Baltimore combined Light City with the Baltimore Book Festival, coining the combined event as Brilliant Baltimore.
  • Given the combined audience, the event drew a larger crowd, and Brilliant Boston had over 200 authors, 45 musical concerts and performances, and 19 works of light art.
  • The event was expected to be especially well-received by families, according to local news station WBAL-TV 11.

Shakespeare in the Park

  • The well-established Shakespeare in the Park program is often sold out, and hosts approximately 80,000 attendees each year.
  • One of the ways they have cultivated popularity is to host performances by well-known actors.
  • Casts in the past have included Meryl Streep, Kevin Kline, Al Pacino, Blythe Danner, Philip Seymour Hoffman, George C. Scott and Denzel Washington.
  • The program is cross promoted via over twenty corporate sponsors, which include the New York Times, The New York Council for the Arts, and Penguine Random House.
  • The program is specifically well-received as tickets are free to the public, which allows for a diverse audience base.
  • It's also noted that more than five million people have attended these free performances since they launched in 1962.

The Wolf Trap in D.C.

  • Wolf Trap operates as a partnership between the public National Park Service and the private Wolf Trap Foundation.
  • The Wolf Trap Foundation also is a national leader in arts and early childhood education, and their leadership in the arts has helped support their art's initiatives as a whole.
  • Specifically, the Wolf Trap Opera company is considered "one of the nation’s premier residency programs for young singers".
  • Wolf Trap also cross promotes via partners, including PNC, Boeing, American Airlines, and Hilton.
  • They also offer complimentary press tickets, in order to get media coverage.
  • The National Park Service has supported Wolf Trap via promoting Let's Move with Music at Wolf Trap!, an annual event aimed at young attendees, which has created a popularity amongst families.
  • The Wolf Trap performances are often sold out before the summer begins, and often shows are sold out within hours of going on sale.

Research Strategy

In order to provide an analysis of these arts programs, we first examined event and program websites. We then examined media coverage, as well as press kits provided by the event hosts, as well as any data provided by partnerships or other media sources. Then, in order to determine success and reaction to the events, we also examined local news stories and press coverage related to the events.