Ordway Center for The Performing Arts Overview
Target demographics: General Public
Communities of Color
Twin Cities Metro Area
Direct beneficiaries per year: 330,000
Someone who had 3 hours of volunteer time could: Volunteers help implement the annual Flint Hills International Children's Festival, held each spring the week following Memorial Day. See http://www.ordway.org/festival/volunteer.
They also help to implement the annual Ordway Circle of Stars fundraising Gala. (The Ordway Circle of Stars is the Ordway's volunteer fundraising arm and is a separate non-profit, 501(c)3 organization.)
Geographic areas served: Twin Cities Metro Area, Greater Minnesota, western Wisconsin
Programs: Our major programs include Presenting Performing Arts (Theater, World Music and Dance and the Flint Hills International Children's Festival); Producing and Commissioning New Work; Providing Learning in and through the Arts for All Ages (Ticket and transportation subsidies for pre-K-12 students, Campus Connections for college students and Community Engagement for adults); and Hosting our Arts Partners (Minnesota Opera, The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and the Schubert Club).
Our mission is to be a catalyst for the artistic vitality of our community by hosting, presenting, and creating performing arts and educational programs that engage artists and enrich diverse audiences.
Building our Programs:
• We expanded the number of community engagement activities, partnerships and patrons for our World Music and Dance Series: 6,871 people attended World Music and Dance Performances during 2008 to 2009; 7,981 attended during 2009 to 2010.
• We held a successful Flint Hills International Children’s Festival, June 1-6, 2010, the tenth annual Festival. Two companies’ shows sold out completely. Total attendance for the Festival was 31,163.
• Our Education program has expanded its bus subsidy to all school groups traveling from anywhere in Minnesota and western Wisconsin. This has increased the number of students engaged annually by the Ordway to more than 50,000.
• We implemented a Summer Dance Series which runs from June 11 through August 12, part of our Ordway Outside programming. The series offers free dance instruction in a different dance form each week, followed by social dancing to the music of a live, local band.
• We expanded our Campus Connections program that coordinates college curricula with Ordway programming by adding Metropolitan State University to our existing higher education partners, the University of Saint Thomas and Macalester College.
Learning in and through the Arts:
• During the 2009 to 2010 academic year, students in kindergarten through twelfth grade from the Twin Cities, greater Minnesota, and western Wisconsin experienced high-quality performing art performances and learned the vocabulary and cultural context of dance, theater, music, and other arts throughout the 2009 to 2010 school year. They did so with an emphasis on Minnesota State Arts Standards.
• Students experienced Performing Arts Classrooms by Rasta Thomas’ Bad Boys of Dance (4), Judeo-Spanish singer Yasmin Levy (1), DanceBrazil (3), Nneena Freelon and Mike Garson from the tribute to Duke Ellington entitled “Dreaming the Duke” (1), Shidara (3), VocalEssence: Witness (4), Diavolo Dance Company (3), dre.dance (4), Shangilia Youth Choir of Kenya with JD Steele (7), Mermaid Theater of Nova Scotia (6), and Teatro Hugo & Ines (5).
• Attendance at Performing Arts Classrooms has increased; we engaged a total of 45,446 students and their teachers during the 2008 to 2009 school year and 49,218 for 2009 to 2010. Participating schools for 2008 to 2009 totaled 272, and for 2009 to 2010 totaled 340, including public, private, charter, and home schools.
• Ordway staff created an initiative to have artists and students write blogs about their work. Blogging gives artists and students ownership of their storytelling and integrates technology into their arts education.
• The Ordway also engaged 1,550 student artists in art-making activities, including the ARTcontest Festival poster contest, the annual Honors Concert, and in-school residencies.
• The Ordway piloted a professional development series for teachers, specific to a school location, in collaboration with the Perpich Center. Teaching artists led arts-based lessons that were followed by structured conversations on lesson format and instructional practice. Sixty teachers participated in the three sessions.
Building our Audience:
• We increased the number of college students attending Ordway performances through our Campus Connections program. By tracking attendance with special promotional codes, we have been able to determine that 1,706 students from Macalester College and the University of Saint Thomas attended Ordway performances during the 2009 to 2010 season, whereas only 517 attended during the 2008 to 2009 season.
• We implemented an advocates program to help diversify our audience. Leaders in specific cultural communities receive discount codes and promotional materials they can distribute to their contacts. For example, Robin Hickman of SoulTouch Productions was contracted as a liaison to the African American community.
• We are strengthening our season subscriber base, taking into account the decreased number of shows we had in this past season. For 2008 to 2009, we sold 7,431 season subscriber packages; during the 2009 to 2010 season, we sold 5,220 to date.
Building Contributed Support:
• We are building stronger relationships with existing and potential individual donors through benefits such as our Contributors’ Lounge (for patrons who contribute $1,000 or more annually), our 25th Anniversary campaign, Donor Dinners, and other insider events.
• Our Development Committee added two members and has become more active by signing request letters, recruiting new donors, and holding Ordway Fan Club events.
• We acquired three new corporate sponsorships last fiscal year: Wells Fargo Bank for the annual Flint Hills International Children’s Festival, U.S. Trust for the Donor Dinners, and Securian for the Contributors’ Lounge.
• We are cultivating potential new corporate sponsors such as Delta Airlines for our Performance Season and Treasure Island Resort and Casino for the production of Guys and Dolls.
• We acquired new, national foundation grants this past fiscal year including a Joyce Award from the Joyce Foundation and an education grant from the Japan Foundation.
• We maintained most of our foundation donors despite the downturn in the economy.
• We implemented a Box Office donation request that all patrons receive when they call to purchase tickets. During fiscal year 2010 we raised over $7,000 through the Box Office.
• We have further disseminated the information that the Ordway is a nonprofit organization with our letterhead and all of our fundraising communications.