BLOG: Audience Wanted

Matt Lehrman's blog, AUDIENCE WANTED, addresses how arts & cultural organizations ATTRACT, SUSTAIN, CULTIVATE, DIVERSIFY & ENGAGE their attenders, donors and supporters.  

The Audience Wanted blog is published by ArtsJournal.


"Enormous Substance"

”This is one enthusiastic and dynamic arts marketer … There is enormous substance behind what Matt is advocating. It was a well thought out, clear-headed workshop, peppered with Matt's unique brand of humor, and with ample opportunities for interaction with the attendees.“

Richard Stein, Executive Director, Arts Orange County


"Best Cheerleader for the Arts"

”For some, arts marketing is a career. For Matt Lehrman, it’s a calling. His enthusiasm is genuine and infectious.“ 

The Arizona Republic, March, 2011



The aim of arts & cultural marketing must be far higher than "the low hanging fruit."

In an era of omnipresent social media and boundless options for entertainment, It's never been more necessary for organizations of every size and genre to be able to execute a cohesive strategy to attract, sustain, cultivate and diversify their audiences.

This "mind-opening, rut-clearing & possibility renewing" workshop provides a dynamic audience development framework whose exercises reveal new and compelling ways to delight, inform, inspire and awaken your audiences and engage your community.  


Non-profit arts & cultural organizations are increasingly being told to “Be More Entrepreneurial”.

This workshop takes that as an audience development challenge as we examine and invigorate the connections between your organization's relevance (i.e. artistic mission) and it’s revenue.  

Expect this workshop to ignite your capacity for "creative disruption.”  The goal is to return you to your organization energized with options and opportunities to be even more artistically ambitious, audience-engaging and financially successful.

(No financial expertise is required.)   


You’re invited to a candid, thought-provoking, and entirely unscripted conversation with actual audiences and members of your community.

Facilitated by Matt Lehrman, there is no one-way mirror - in fact, there's no distance at all - between you and this unfiltered focus group.  You are live and in-person with a direct opportunity to seek answers to the most sensitive and profound questions you have ever wanted to ask your patrons.

Share this learning experience with your Board of Directors, management team, staff, and key stakeholders as a way to spark new ideas and fresh approaches to longstanding challenges.


We live in times of dramatic change and incredible opportunity - fueled by technology, demographics, economics and much more.  

Matt Lehrman stretches your capacity to anticipate, recognize, and adapt to change via a series of thought exercises that energize leaders of arts & cultural organizations to think beyond the constraints & imperatives of today in ways that advance artistic mission, enhance financial stability and strengthen audience engagement. 

(These exercises stretch mental flexibility only.  Stretchy pants are, thankfully, not required.)


One of the most insightful things I took away from Matt's presentation was that we should attempt to "inspire" our customers instead of trying to “market” to them.  

Today’s students of arts management and administration will graduate into a field in which the imperatives of artistic relevance and financial sustainability demand ever-more innovative and expansive approaches to audience and stakeholder engagement.

Matt Lehrman visits colleges & universities to deliver presentations, conduct workshops, and lead immersive projects that connect students' artistic ambition to their approaching imperative to engage a diverse and distracted community.

Upcoming Presentations

ArtsBoston - Boston, MA

May 24, 2017

Audience Development 2022: The Futurecast Workshop 

Artsreach - Live Webinar

May 31, 2017

How to Crack the "Devotion" Code

Chorus America - Los Angeles, CA

June 21, 2017

Opportunity Everywhere™ Workshop


"I love how this workshop challenged conventional wisdom about audiences and shifted my thinking. Opening up new ways of thinking about my company’s challenges."

"What a great workshop! It is very easy to feel defeated about re-getting new audiences, particularly when you feel you are checking all the boxes. This woke me up and showed me assumptions I was making."

"I was surprised by how many different arts organizations could benefit from this workshop. It is vital information for any arts group attempting to orient the public to its mission while remaining within the resources available."

"I learned so much about how to shift our museum's thinking toward seeking opportunities and embracing them in order to create positive change!"

"This is how 21st century organizations need to think about their audiences.  Do not just send your marketing staff!  Send someone from each department!"

"You’ve gotten us to think about the deepest needs and values of our communities. If we want to really do the work of audience development these discussions need to happen throughout the organization all the time. It’s not daunting, it’s invigorating."

Audience development CLIENTS

Consulting & Teaching Clients

  • Arizona State University
  • Arizona Theatre Company
  • Artsopolis
  • Arts Council of Fort Worth
  • Ashkenaz Music & Dance Community Center
  • Bay Path University
  • Bologna Performing Arts Center/Delta State University
  • Childsplay
  • City of Peoria
  • Desert Foothills Theater
  • Frequent Flyers Aerial Dance
  • Grand Canyon Association
  • Jewish Community Association of Greater Phoenix
  • Norfolk Convention & Visitors Bureau
  • Northern Arizona University
  • North Valley Symphony Orchestra
  • Patron Technology
  • Skidmore College
  • SVCreates
  • Texas Christian University

Presentations & Workshops

  • Arizona Commission on the Arts
  • Arts & Business Council (Miami)
  • Arts Boston
  • Arts Council of Indianapolis
  • Arts Council of Hillsborough County (Tampa)
  • Arts Council of Fort Worth
  • Arts Memphis
  • Arts Orange County
  • Artsreach
  • ArtsWave (Cincinnati)
  • Arts & Science Council (Charlotte)
  • Association of Performing Arts Presenters
  • Broward County Cultural Division
  • C4 (Atlanta)
  • Chorus America
  • City of Dallas, Department of Cultural Affairs
  • City of Las Vegas
  • City of Providence Department of Art, Culture & Tourism
  • City of Sacramento
  • City of San Diego Commission for Arts & Culture
  • City of Tempe (AZ)
  • Council for Culture & Arts (Tallahassee)
  • Cultural Council of Palm Beach County
  • Culture Capital (Washington, DC)
  • Culture Republic (Scotland)
  • CultureWorks (Richmond)
  • Culturesource (Detroit)
  • Flagstaff Arts Council
  • Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council
  • Houston Arts Alliance
  • LA Stage Alliance
  • Maine Arts Commission
  • Metro Arts (Nashville)
  • Minnesota Theater Alliance
  • POINK Regional Ticketing Association (PA, OH, IN & KY)
  • Portland Area Theatre Alliance (Oregon)
  • Saratoga Arts
  • Scientific & Cultural Facilities District (Denver)
  • SouthArts
  • Springfield Area Arts Council (Illinois)
  • Springfield Central Cultural District (Massachusetts)
  • St. Louis Regional Arts Council
  • Theatre Bay Area
  • Theatre Puget Sound
  • United Arts of Central Florida (Orlando)
  • United Performing Arts Fund (Milwaukee)
  • Vermont Arts Council
  • West Valley Arts Council