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Connecting the academic & surrounding communities. By Susanna Brown PERFORMING ARTS:

For decades, colleges and universities around the country have been using on-campus performing arts centers (PACs) to centralize and unite academic performing arts programs. While these venues primar- ily serve the academic mission, they have an opportunity to become catalysts for bridging and serving both the academic community and surrounding local community. In addition to lack of literature about performing arts center management, there is very little written spe-    general, their typology, and what business models and strategies they use to successfully serve the academic mission and surrounding com- munity. -

       aims to begin building a foundation of research on business models   - ining one type of collegiate PAC, large public universities located in college towns. This research aims to answer the question: How do collegiate PACs

use varying business models and strategies to serve and connect both the internal academic community and external surrounding commu- nity? The investigation began by exploring the existing literature on the performing arts in higher education and performing art center management. Data was collected through a national survey sent to 50 collegiate PAC leaders around the country, in order to investigate the      Two key informant interviews were conducted with well-known

 Center, and Lawrence Henley, director of alumni, parent relations and community initiatives at University of Nevada, Las Vegas, to gain in- sight into professional practitioner’s perceptions of types and charac- teristics of collegiate PACs. Lastly, two case study sites were selected for comparative analysis

 fundraising and development. The two case study sites selected were Indiana Auditorium at Indiana University and the Performing Arts Center, San Luis Obispo at California Polytechnic State University.      -

teristics, business model strategies, and recommendations for serving and connecting the academic and surrounding communities. Charac- teristics of collegiate PACs tend to be driven by the type of institution and the type of community they serve. The smaller the surrounding community, the more impact the collegiate PAC can make. The roles collegiate PACs play also largely vary based on their governance struc- ture and place on campus; are they a part of an academic unit or does the collegiate PAC function as a separate division or entity? Also, is the venue a rental venue, a presenting venue, or some combination of    collegiate PACs around the country. Business model strategies, including operations, programming, and

 - legiate PAC. They fell along a spectrum between begin completely

 

or presenting venue and then on the particular mission of each colle- giate PAC. Some are focused on serving academic programs, some  companies. Collegiate PACs also host other university programming such as

lectures, ceremonies and banquets. Does the collegiate PAC rely on earning most of its revenue or is it highly subsidized? Collegiate PACs that are highly subsidized don’t worry as much about selecting pro-  good stewards of their money. Financially, collegiate PACs come in all shapes and sizes. Many of

          from the larger academic institution. Operations and programming   the university as a whole. The survey data reported half of the survey participants had fund-

 - tunities associated with fundraising for a collegiate PAC within a larger institution that is always raising money for varying priorities. Overall,   When it comes to connecting the academic and surrounding com-

munity, this research found that it must be a truly strategic and mis- sion-driven decision. Survey question 20 asked, “Is it a priority of your PAC to serve as a connector and/or bridge to the surrounding com- munity?” The survey data revealed 86% answered “yes” and 18% left      role. While the survey represents only a small piece of the collegiate  a large number of collegiate PACs have some interest in serving as a bridge. Leaders considered the most successful collegiate PACs to be the ones that successfully serve and connect both the internal and external communities. Serving as a bridge or connector between the academic and surrounding communities must be supported by upper administration, whether the collegiate PAC is under an academic pro- gram or is a separate division/entity on campus. Managers of collegiate PACs play a crucial role in gaining institu- tional support, ensuring a strategic and deliberate plan for serving as a bridge, and promoting general awareness of the value of the collegiate PAC. In order to connect these communities, there must also be an awareness of the internal and external communities, their leaders, and initiatives. FM

Susanna Brown graduated from Berry College with a Bachelor of Arts in Music, Vocal Performance in 2011. After graduation, she worked for Berry College as   She moved to Eugene, Oregon, in the summer of 2015 to attend the University of Oregon’s Arts & Administration program. Susanna graduated in June 2017 with a Master’s of Science in Arts Management, a performing arts specialization, and  higher education with a focus on fundraising and the performing arts.


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