When faced with all the challenges that are genuinely out of our control, it never ceases to surprise me when nonprofit performing arts organizations overlook the things they have control over.
Earlier this week, Joe Patti published an article that examines one of the most commonly overlooked issues: creating an environment that fosters a sense of inclusion and belonging. Or to perhaps be more specific, it’s an issue that does get addressed, but winds up using counterproductive methods.
Creating a sense of inclusion and belonging aren’t out of our control but in order to really capitalize, we need to come to terms with how our patrons really see us. Patti hits this beartrap square on the nose.
…she had never entered the gallery due to concerns about whether she would be allowed to enter and if she was dressed properly.
Looking at the same gallery through the windows from the street, I would describe it as having a welcoming homey quality, but that isn’t what she saw.
Her candid conversations just reinforced for me the research findings that point to just how strong an influence one’s sense of belonging has in whether people participate in an experience or not. It is the invitation to participate, how the invitation is framed, who extends it and what the experience is that matters much more than the sticker price.
The full post is a great read and a thoughtful way to end your week.