"Getting their attention

Thanks for the kind words in your recent column "Teaching an Old Dog" (Hoppe, Sept. 20-27). As always, we appreciate the coverage and content.

By way of background, here are a few programs/projects in the works:

We are beginning new phases of work with Rebecca Ryan and Next Generation that include enhanced customer behavior research for organizations, the development of a centralized ticketing system, and a national summit to be hosted in Indianapolis next year.

There are five working components in young audience generation that target "traditional" arts organizations:

1) continuing board and organization presentations on the research and counseling folks on implementation;

2) doing one-on-one customer behavior work with organizations. Rebecca is writing the benchmarks and outline of this work now, and we will begin later this fall;

3) implementing collaborative projects among organizations, such as testing unique and new programming, sampler packs and other things that were identified;

4) developing centralized ticketing, consumer Web site and so forth — work in progress now; and

5) hosting a national summit on the topic next year, with national speakers, case studies, model programs, etc. to not only talk about our research but also bring in other folks to talk about what's happening nationally.

I think your point about finding innovative ways to help folks do their work and earn recognition is dead-on; I believe I recently sent you a release about Sean Derry, winner of our Great Ideas competition, and recipient of a national award from the Public Art Network. Additionally, the recent "Shared Spaces/Shared Voices" project on IndyGo included (to my knowledge!) the first sanctioned live readings of poetry about public transit.

To be sure, there is plenty more for us to do, and I think you'll continue to see more developments over the coming year.

Mike Knight

PR and Communications Manager

Arts Council of Indianapolis