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TDF begins second year of "New Audiences for New York" - the audience development initiaitve which seeks to build theatre audiences in underserved community groups throughout New York City

Date: Feb 10, 2011


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Theatre Development Fund, the not-for-profit service organization for the performing arts, announced the commencement of the second year of their audience development initiative, “New Audiences for New York,” which is designed to build new audiences for Broadway among diverse and underrepresented New Yorkers across the City.

For the second year of “New Audiences for New York,” TDF has selected 20 community groups located in all five boroughs o New York City to participate in the program’s sophomore year.  Each participating group will have the opportunity to attend two Broadway productions at prices they can afford.  Each performance will be preceded and followed by a moderated discussion with a TDF teaching artist as well as TDF trained group leaders from each of the 20 organizations.

By training group leaders from each organization, TDF provides the individual groups with the skills to offer a theatre experience to future group participants.  Additionally, TDF is educating each organization on how to research and conduct the pre- and post-performance discussions, how to research and select appropriate shows for their group and how to handle the logistics of a group theatre outing.

“We’re thrilled to have been funded for a second year of ‘New Audiences for New York,’” said Victoria Bailey, TDF’s Executive Director.  “The program was established to bring New Yorkers who seldom or never attend Broadway shows. We started the first year with 20 groups and during the year expanded to 32 groups, each with approximately 50 members, most whom had never been to a Broadway show.  The key to the program is finding groups with strong leaders whom we can train to lead theatergoing in their communities. The feedback from the group leaders at the end of the first year assured us that the program had made a significant impact on their members.  They came to learn that the theatre was accessible to them, and with the tools they were given through the program, are seeking out the theatre on their own.” 

In a Wall Street Journal feature “New Regards for Broadway,” writer Pia Catton interviewed several of the group leaders after the program’s first year whose common thread was that prior to the program they felt the theatre was out of their reach, but after participating in “New Audiences for New York,” learned that wasn’t necessarily the case.

This year’s participating organizations in “New Audiences for New York” are (by borough):

Lehman College (CUNY)
Trinity Episcopal Church of Morrisania
    Church youth group for children ages 11-12

Black Girls Rock! Inc.
   Girl’s empowerment group that services girls of color from all five boroughs
Brooklyn College (CUNY)
Balance Dance Theatre
    Dance school for children ages 3-18
Creative Outlet
    Dance school for children ages 3-18
Morningside Center for Teaching Social Responsibility (PS 24) 
    Youth after school program

Youth Action Changes Things (YACT) / La Union
    Inter-generational outreach program for Mexican families

Abyssinian Development Corporation
      Community Development Organization in Harlem
Baruch College (CUNY)
New York Alumnae Chapter Delta Sigma Theta
   African American sorority
Los Pleneros de la 21
    Afro-Puerto Rican community group that uses music to teach culture and history
Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc.-Epsilon Sigma Chapter’s Sigma Beta Club
    African American Fraternity youth mentorship program
Westside Federation/ Manhattan Valley Golden Age Senior Center
  Senior Center for Spanish-speaking population on Manhattan’s upper west side

Amity Baptist Church
  Church group in Jamaica, Queens
Greater Allen Cathedral of New York Chosen Vessels Girls Rites of Passage
  Young girls mentoring program
Hindu Community Outreach, Inc.
  Hindu Temple providing social services and educational and cultural activities
LaGuardia College (CUNY)
Services Now for Adult Persons, Inc. – SNAP Brookville Senior Center
  Intergenerational program between Senior Centers and local elementary schools

Universal Temple of the Arts
  Youth arts, cultural and educational organization

Among the shows that the groups will attend are: The Addams Family, Arcadia, The House of Blue Leaves, The Importance of Being Earnest, Macbeth (at BAM), Mamma Mia!, Mary Poppins, Memphis, The Phantom of the Opera, Priscilla: Queen of the Desert, Sister Act, War Horse and Wonderland.
About TDF: Theatre Development Fund has played a unique role in strengthening live theatre and dance in New York City for the past 43 years. This not-for-profit service organization’s programs have filled over 78 million seats at discount prices (with theatre lovers who would normally not be able to attend live performance) and returned nearly two billion dollars in revenue to thousands of theatre, dance and music productions. Best known for its TKTS Discount Booths, TDF’s membership, voucher, access and education programs as well as its Costume Collection, help to make the unique experience of theatre available to everyone. TDF’s book, “Outrageous Fortune: The Life and Times of the New American Play” has spurred a national conversation about the way playwrights and theatre companies interact. TDF recently launched the Official TKTS iPhone app which has been embraced by theatre fans the world over.
“New Audiences for New York” is supported by funds from the
City of New York Theater Subdistrict Council, LDC and the City of New York

downloadable pdf photo below: 2011 New Audiences for New York group leaders at orientation session.