Sunday, August 30, 2009

Arts and Social Media.

Andrew Adler featured yours truly in his latest Courier Journal article. Now you all know who is the main blogger for Kentucky Opera. I do have a few others that contribute, and I am always open to more. Lets give a shout out to the Wagnarian and Holly the Pirates of Penzance costume designer.

One element to the whole social media/ PR world that wasn't addressed in Andrew's story - with my social media activities, I don't have the third party endorsement that increases value. So it's not just about what I write and post, its also trying to get others to write and post about the opera too.

Finding the right blogger is a challenge. There isn't a yellow pages directory of bloggers in your area broken down by beats. Google blog search is pretty good, and really the only resource to find the right writer. While it would be great if Brian Dickie, blogger for Chicago Opera Theatre, it is doubtful that a Kentucky Opera mention on his blog would actually result in a ticket sale. So area is important.

Pitching to a blogger is very similar to pitching to traditional media reporters. You have to know their beat; I wouldn't ask Robin Garr to write a story about Howard Kaplan, the costume designer extraordinaire who the opera brings in at least once a year. Garr is a food guy and that is his beat. So, I wouldn't ask Jason Falls to write about the music of La Traviata because he writes solely about social media. Jason may however reference Andrew's article and the opera may get a reference from that.

It helps to know the bloggers off line. When I found Consuming Louisville, I was able to connect with the talented Michelle Jones (who writes about everything Louisville) at one of the Social Media Club of Louisville meetings and after taking her to lunch, I learned how she prefers to be approached for stories.

Just like how the Opera is striving for personal connections with its audience through the various receptions, connecting through social media has given us another layer to interact. I have really enjoyed developing the social media component to our marketing strategies and I am sure that the future will bring more interesting and creative ways to mingle with opera audiences.

Leave your comments, we love comments!

Monday, August 24, 2009

The Studio Artists have arrived!

This morning we had a little meet and greet with our new Studio Artists. There were some familiar faces like soprano Heather Phillips who recently took first place at the 2009 National Opera Association Vocal Competition; and pianist/coach Naoko Suga (who was able to work hard in L.A. this summer) both of whom were with us last season.

New to the ranks include baritone, Eric Brown from Washington D.C.; Sarah Klopfenstein, a mezzo-soprano from Fort Worth, Texas both of whom are University of Kentucky Graduates. Craig Philip Price a bass- baritone who got his masters from Manhattan School of Music; Johnathan Stinson, a baritone whose work with Lyric Opera of Kansas City included a World Premiere of John Brown. Also among the new singers, is tenor Clark Sturdevant who will be the new Artist in Residence for Dayton Opera. We have also enlisted the talents of University of Louisville masters student Lydia Cepeda as an apprentice.

You can read their full bios on Kentucky Opera's website here.

Along with these talented young professionals, Kentucky Opera's Studio Artists program has deepened its educational role by developing a third tier to include four interns from the Youth Performing Arts School who will participate in the Kentucky Opera chorus.

Their first tour of duty will include performing at the Guild of Kentucky Opera's event, Viva Voce on Thursday, August 28. Get your reservations now by calling 502.584.4500!

They will be working hard through the season with Traviata, Of Mice and Men and Hansel and Gretel. Beyond the main stage commitments, they will also be responsible for a Madama Butterfly concert with Owensboro Symphony as well as the Opera Bound program and the multitude of other school tours.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

KYO receives Economic Stimulus

Tuesday, August 11, Gov. Steve Beshear presented checks to each of the 18 organizations and to the group of arts workers whose jobs were preserved through the economic stimulus funding. This federal funding is a part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) provided to Kentucky through the National Endowment for the Arts and granted through the Kentucky Arts Council.

Kentucky Opera was one of 12 of the groups to receive the highest amount of $20,000.

"The arts industry in Kentucky has made significant contributions to our Commonwealth as well as local economies by generating tax revenue and enhancing cultural tourism," said Gov. Beshear. “This federal funding will help preserve jobs within our art industry during this critical time when our nation is facing such a tough economic downturn.”

"We were fortunate to have a little over $300,000 in resources from the NEA to fund the 18 organizations that demonstrated the strongest need and best plan to sustain jobs or pay for artists' fees,” said Lori Meadows, executive director of the Kentucky Arts Council.

Photo (l. to r.) : Lindy Casebier, Deputy Secretary, Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet; Todd Lowe, Chairman, Kentucky Arts Council; Deanna Hoying, Director of Education, Kentucky Opera; Tanja Eikenboom, Director of Development, Kentucky Opera; Gov. Beshear; Marcheta Sparrow, Secretary, Tourism Arts and Heritage Cabinet; and Lori Meadows, Executive Director, Kentucky Arts Council.