PERFORMING ARTS COMMITTEE
Monday, March 10, 2003
25 Van Ness Avenue, Suite 70
San Francisco, CA 94102
Commissioners present: William Meyer, Eddie Marshall, Ethel Pitts Walker, Blanche Brown, Dede Wilsey
Staff present: Rich Newirth, Nancy Gonchar
San Francisco Symphony staff present: John Kieser, Joyce Wessling, Sammi Madison, Oliver Theil, Michael Bartlett, Cindy Grzanowski
The meeting was called to order at 3:10 p.m.
The San Francisco Symphony staff presented the results of the FY 2002 Summer in the City concert series. John Kieser discussed the ways in which the SITC series, as well as the free concerts fulfilled the Symphony’s mission and goals in terms of reaching more diverse audiences and providing educational opportunities for the children and adults. Mr. Kieser presented a analysis of the gross and net revenue per concert, as well as a summary for the series. He explained that concerts such as Candide though an artistic success represented a financial loss. The Symphony was still committed to producing concerts like Candide and Sweeny Todd the previous season, in order to keep the series innovative and fresh.
Mr. Newirth appreciated seeing a budget breakdown and noted that all concerts netted similar incomes with the exception of Candide. He agreed with Mr. Kieser that even though Candide netted a loss it was very important artistically to produce concerts such as Sweeney Todd and Candide.
Commissioner Meyer requested a similar budget breakdown for 2001 so that we could begin a trend analysis.
Cindy Grzanowski presented a marketing report. She explained that in addition to direct mailing of the series brochures, advance notices went out to all subscribers and past attendees. Special promotions were aired on a number of radio stations (KDFC, KCBS, KGO, KBAL, KBRG, etc.) Print ads were run in the Chronicle and community newspapers. KGO was the media sponsor again this year. Targeted mailings were sent out if particular concerts were not selling well. The sales trends were similar to the 2001 season. The Symphony had a goal of increasing sales by 5% over the previous year and achieved 2.5%.
Commissioner Meyer asked if the Symphony had utilized the web for advertising.
Ms. Grzanowski responded that the Symphony didn’t pay for banner ads but that programs were on internet listing such as SFGate and that they were considering internet advertising for the future.
She also explained that subscribers only represent 11% of sales, with new tickets buyers 17% of sales. Single ticket buyers represent the majority of sales.
Michael Barlett noted that the classical programs were artistically successful with great reviews for Candide. Johnny Mathis was also extremely successful and will participate every other year.
Oliver Theil presented the press packet and pointed out that the coverage was excellent both in large market media and small community based media. There was a feature in the Chronicle on Candide, as well as a profile on Rita Moreno.
Sammi Madison discussed the evolving relationships between the Symphony, the Bayview Opera House and the Mission Cultural Center. She provided tickets to both cultural centers for Latin Rythms, American Fanfare and Johnny Mathis. She also met with London Breed, Executive Director of AAACC and provided tickets for her staff. She introduced Ms. Breed to other arts providers including San Francisco Performances, the Opera and the Ballet.
Joyce Wessling discussed the Sharon Meadow concert which unfortunately will not be in Sharon Meadow this year due to a conflict with the AIDS Walk. The free concert will be held this year in Dolores Park which will reach a community underserved thus far by the Symphony. Edwin Atwater will conduct again this year and the concert will be on July 20. Ms. Wessling also mentioned last year’s Chinese Cultural Center concert which featured a Beethoven and Bartok program and was a great success.
Michael Bartlett presented the 2003 concert series. Included are the following concerts: All Tchaikovsky, All Beethoven, Carol Burnett and Fredericka Van Strada, Carmina Burana, Patti Lupone, an all Russian program and Little Richard.
The meeting adjourned at 4:30
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