Jason Kelly | October 6, 2016
I came away from a conversation with Ted Barron, the new executive director of Notre Dame’s DeBartolo Performing Arts Center, thinking his job is sort of like being a fortune teller. Not in a crystal-ball or palm-reading kind of way. It’s 2016. Even soothsaying is a data-intensive endeavor these days.
On the July afternoon when we spoke, DeBartolo’s 2016-17 marquee schedule of music, theater and dance performances had not yet been announced, but Barron already had an eye trained on the 2017-18 season.
In the Venn diagram of demographics to which an arts organization must target its shows, the sweet spot where the audience categories overlap can be small. What students like might not appeal to young families or to the older members of the community who have become loyal patrons over the years.