There are associate boards all over this fair region of ours – providing ways for young people to get out, meet people, make connections, and do some good on behalf of nonprofits they care about. Off the top of my head, I’m thinking there’s the Red Cross Associate Board, Dayton Ballet Associate Board, and The Foodbank Associate Board (among others). Culture Works has jumped into the mix with an Associate Board for the arts-minded young professional up-and-comers. And turning leadership to action, the CW Associate Board created Jumpstart – the activity arm for YPs in the area to have fun while exploring the arts scene. Being a member of the CWAB and an organizer or our arts “jumps,” I’m here to tell you a little more about us (and ask for your feedback).
First things first – know your audience. A few months ago, we conducted a survey to gauge interest in the arts for our demographic. We learned that although young people (20s and 30s) acknowledge that Dayton has a great arts community, they felt disconnected to the events either because they were presumed to be too costly or because they didn’t consider the arts to be accessible enough. We also learned that sometimes our generation just didn’t feel as if they were informed about arts events. So – we’re working on fixing all that. Our goals are about providing YPs the information they need, the discounts they like, and the opportunities they want to include regional arts as a viable entertainment option. The Facebook page is collecting fans now, and we’re starting to pilot some events to encourage participation.
Event-wise, we’re hosting “jumps.” These are opportunities to hang out with other young people in formats that are easily accessible (parking/location/cost) and with the performance bookended by fun events that aren’t tied to stuffy notions of the arts (eat, drink, music, dance). We’re excited for this.
I hope you might join us or follow us on Facebook if you’re willing to learn about something new. Currently on the new Facebook page, we’ve started writing reviews of shows we’ve seen. You can read the official critic reviews in the papers, but this is a first-person account of what it’s like to go out and explore the arts as a 20- or 30-something. We highlight what we liked (and didn’t like) about the shows, but we also provide tips on parking, dinner, after-show drinks, and other experiences that shed some light on what a night out at the theatre (or philharmonic, or opera or gallery or ballet…) can be like.
Feedback is welcome – we are a very small group with small expectations, but we’re excited about the possibility of sharing Dayton’s culture. We’re slowly spreading the word about our group (we’ll be a featured resource at the updayton Young Creatives Summit this April!) If you are in your 20s or 30s and have a cool idea to get more people out to arts events- we’re open to feedback. Right now we’re working on pizza partys before shows, desserts and drinks after the performances (sometimes featuring the performers!), pub crawls highlighting our local arts venues, and some general fun ways to let people hang out together while appreciating the Dayton arts scene. What would get YOU out to explore the arts with us?