Session Descriptions

Tools & Techniques Session Details

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Last Updated 05.21.19


A Guide to Theatre Marquees... Designing, Building, Installing, Maintaining

Tools & Techniques: 4th Segment
Wednesday, July 17, 2019
9:00 AM – 10:15 AM

Learn everything you need to know about your marquee. From the Theatre Marquee history to their new modern functions. Learn the proper way to start your marquee project so that you can make the best decisions for your theatre. From initial survey to final installation Eric Larsen of Wagner Electric Sign will teach you the process of theatre marquees so that your theatre will get the proper fit for your needs and budget. Wagner Electric Sign has been designing and building marquees since 1954. Eric has won the International Sign Associations Traditional / Historic, design of the year, and finished in the top ten twice in ten years. Learn about the Philadelphia Metropolitan Opera House and how Eric and WESCO designed and built a historically accurate and budget minded marquee project. In 2019, WESCO will be installing seven new Historic Theatre Marquees across the United States.

Presenters:
Chandra Jewell, Photographer
Eric Larsen, Marquee & Specialty Design, Wagner Electric Sign Company, Midland, MI

ADA Plan Planning - or - What is an ADA Plan and Why Should My Theater Have One?

Tools & Techniques: 1st Segment
Monday, July 15, 2019
9:30 AM – 10:45 AM and 11:15 AM – 12:30 PM

In 1992, The New Jersey Theatre Alliance established a partnership with the New Jersey State Council on the Arts to design and implement an innovative project called the Cultural Access Network, or CAN, to educate and support the cultural community on ways to provide the greatest access for seniors and people with disabilities. This session will review CAN’s initial development, how it has evolved, and how it functions today. The role of an access advisory committee, the importance of a self-assessment survey, the design and implementation of an ADA long-range plan, and innovative programs and marketing strategies will be discussed.

Presenters:
Janet Zoubek Dickson, Access Coordinator, McCarter Theatre Center, Princeton, NJ
John McEwen, Executive Director, NJ Theatre Alliance, West Orange, NJ
Michael R. Schnoering, FAIA, Partner, Mills + Schnoering Architects, LLC, Princeton, NJ

Breaking Barriers: Diversity, Inclusion and Equity in Arts Leadership and Programming

Tools & Techniques: 1st Segment
Monday, July 15, 2019
9:30 AM – 10:45 AM and 11:15 AM – 12:30 PM

Breaking Barriers explores the funding divides between mainstream theatres and culturally based institutions as well as the leadership roles having a lack of diversity. We will explore topics to help better understand how each theatre has an opportunity to expand their programming to include more cultures and creating a pipeline for diverse staff candidates and board members.

Presenters:
Donald Mason, Executive Director, Lyric Theatre, Lexington, KY
Tony Sias, CEO, Karamu House, Cleveland, OH
Latarika Young, Secretary, Lyric Theatre, Lexington, KY

Business Intelligence Matters: Using Data to Understand Donors and Unlock Wealth

Tools & Techniques: 4th Segment
Wednesday, July 17, 2019
9:00 AM – 10:15 AM

Understanding your patrons and recognizing trends embedded in your data could be the secret needed to catapult your organization to the next level. Follow the path from ticket buyers to members to major donors through data discovery in this insightful and engaging session—perfect for any art house operator who needs ideas and tips on how to turn your audience into donors.

Presenters:
Brooke Bernard, Development Director, Belcourt Theatre, Inc., Nashville, TN
Shane E. Burkett, Director, Strategic Marketing, Agile Ticketing Solutions, Hermitage, TN (moderator)
Darryl Moser, Business Development Manager, DonorPerfect CRM Fundraising Software, Fort Washington, PA
Becky Roubos, Director of Sales, Agile Ticketing Solutions, Hermitage, TN

Capital Campaigns 101 -- Raising Money for Renovation

Tools & Techniques: 1st Segment
Monday, July 15, 2019
9:30 AM – 10:45 AM and 11:15 AM – 12:30 PM

So, it's time to start thinking about raising some serious money for your theatre's restoration or renovation project. Perhaps your theatre has been closed or under-utilized for a long time, and you have dreams to completely transform it. Or maybe your theatre's been operating for years, but it is severely limited in its functionality due to space constraints, outdated building or theatrical systems, or other logistical shortcomings. A comprehensive renovation will put the organization on the right path, but it will require a coordinated fundraising effort. What are first steps? What are the must-dos and must-nots? Who plans, who leads, and who provides support during this herculean task? This session will cover the basics of capital campaign fundraising, how it differs from operational fundraising, and sharing best practices to help ensure your success. You'll hear from two theatre directors who were involved in comprehensive renovations that hinged on well-planned and multi-faceted capital campaigns, both of which ended having met funding goals and securing a strong future for the theatres. Attendees will be welcome to participate in a Q&A to round out the session.

Presenters:
Becky Hancock, Executive Director, Tennessee Theatre, Knoxville, TN
Stephanie Silverman, Executive Director, Belcourt Theatre, Nashville, TN

Celebrating John Eberson’s Genius: The Renovation of the Historic Tampa Theatre

Tools & Techniques: 4th Segment
Wednesday, July 17, 2019
9:00 AM – 10:15 AM

Having recently undergone a major restoration effort, the Tampa Theatre’s CEO and members of the design team will discuss the extraordinary efforts they went through to maintain the authenticity of this historic atmospheric theater designed by John Eberson. Driven by the overarching vision to respect the original design intent, restoration efforts included intense research, public pleas, and community building to bring the theater back to its original glory. The panel will also discuss additional improvements made to enhance visitor experience and overall building health and longevity.

Presenters:
John Bell, President & CEO, Tampa Theatre, Tampa, FL
Scott Cryer, AIA LEED AP BD+C, Culture+Performing Arts Leader, DLR Group|Westlake Reed Leskosky, Washington, DC
Jeff Greene, Chairman & Founder, EverGreene Architectural Arts, Brooklyn, NY

Facilitation: An Introduction to the Technology of Participation Method for Meetings, Planning and Conversations

Tools & Techniques: 2nd Segment
Monday, July 15, 2019
2:00 PM – 3:15 PM

Have you even attended or led a meeting that wasn't very productive or energizing? Me, too. Learn the basis of meeting facilitation and participatory planning. This workshop introduces the techniques of the Technology of Participation, a decades old approach to getting the most from groups and motivating them. Attendees will use the method to understand the method. Multi-day training in the method is offered around the United States for those who want to learn more and acquire the skills. This session was presented at Americans for the Arts conference to a standing room only crowd.

Presenter:
Philip Horn, Advisor to the Board, Friends of the West Shore Theatre, New Cumberland, PA

Fine Tuning Your Programming

Tools & Techniques: 3rd Segment
Tuesday, July 16, 2019
2:45 PM – 4:00 PM and 4:30 PM – 5:45 PM (Note: times may shift)

If you have made the decision to expand your programming beyond rentals and become a presenting house, this session is a good refresher on what challenges and opportunities await you. What does an offer look like and how do you know if that show will work at your venue? What kind of staffing and technical resources will you need to have in place to make sure you can successfully present shows? Are you fully prepared to market a show to ensure tickets will sell? This session will provide you with insights from both a theatre operator and a promoter to make sure you leave ready to take your programming to the next level.

Presenters:
Jon Elbaum, Executive Director, Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, Troy, NY
Ron Knight, President, Knight Entertainment Group, San Diego, CA

Historic Theatre Renovation 101: A Framework for Planning Successful Projects

Early Bird Intensive Option 1
Sunday, July 14, 2019
2:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Thinking about acquiring, restoring, and revitalizing a historic theatre? Already have one and need some help? This early-bird, in-depth session – featuring a team of leading experts in theatre planning, design, operation and tax credit financing – presents an overview of a historic theatre renovation project. Designed for historic theatre owners, community leaders, board members, senior staff and others who are considering, beginning or participating in the renovation of a historic theatre, this in-depth session will help you develop a clear understanding of your role in the process. Group who want to renovate a historic theatre are encouraged to attend as a team.

Presenters:
Michael Schnoering, FAIA, Partner, Mills + Schnoering Architects, LLC, Princeton, NJ
Alec Stoll, ASTC, Principal, Stages Consultants, Highland Park, NJ (moderator)
additional presenters will be added

History Matters: Research Basics for the Theatre Professional

Tools & Techniques: 2nd Segment
Monday, July 15, 2019
2:00 PM – 3:15 PM

All historic theaters have a past. And that past should be used to inform and shape the future. But if you haven’t had (or can’t afford) the luxury of engaging a professional historian, how and where do you start to learn about your theater’s history? What are the basic questions you want to answer, where can you find the answers, and how can this information be useful? This panel discussion will offer tips and tricks for conducting historic research and putting the information to productive and entertaining use.

Presenters:
Meredith Arms Bzdak, PhD, Partner, Mills + Schnoering Architects, Princeton, NJ;
Numa Saisselin, President, Florida Theatre Performing Arts Center, Inc., Jacksonville, FL

How to Manage Your Theatre's Risk

Tools & Techniques: 4th Segment
Wednesday, July 17, 2019
9:00 AM – 10:15 AM

MDP Programs and National Trust Insurance Services administer the Historic Theatre Insurance Program designed for LHAT members. Kevin Sullivan will address the insurance coverages every theatre needs; whether just starting out or a fully operational organization. An overall discussion on what the different coverage options mean for a theatre will be provided as well as risk management tips. Ask the Expert Q&A session will follow where you can present your current insurance woes and have Kevin as a resource!

Presenter:
Kevin Sullivan, Client Executive, National Trust Insurance Services (NTIS), Baltimore, MD

In-House Promoting 101

Early Bird Intensive Option 2
Sunday, July 14, 2019
2:00 PM – 5:00 PM

You have saved and renovated your historic theatre, and now you need to do something with it. You’re finding out the hard way that nobody cares about your perfect acoustics, or that you’re a nonprofit, and artists don’t actually like intimate shows in small theatres, because they don’t like small and intimate paychecks. This 3-hour workshop is an introductory master class for owners and operators who want to start programming their venue themselves. The emphasis is on talent buying and the promotion of touring artists, but other programming options will be discussed, including film, theatrical producing, theatre rentals and co-promoting.

Presenters:
John Bell, President & CEO, Tampa Theatre, Tampa, FL
Jeffrey Gabel, Founding Executive Director, Gettysburg College’s Majestic Theater, Gettysburg, PA
Numa Saisselin, President, Florida Theatre Performing Arts Center, Inc., Jacksonville, FL

Life Beyond the Renovation: Plans to Survive the Day to Day Expectations and Operations of a Small Theatre

Tools & Techniques: 1st Segment
Monday, July 15, 2019
9:30 AM – 10:45 AM and 11:15 AM – 12:30 PM

After your major fundraising campaign, the renovation and opening of your theatre, what is the plan for surviving day to day life? This presentation will share the journey of a 420-seat theatre in North Central Kansas as they have experienced a troubled beginning and have persevered to become the best asset of Junction City, KS.

Presenters:
Joe Markley, Director, C. L. Hoover Opera House, Junction City, KS
Sheila Markley, Development Director, C. L. Hoover Opera House, Junction City, KS

Making the Most of a Milestone: Using Your Anniversary as a Marketing and Fundraising

Tools & Techniques: 2nd Segment
Monday, July 15, 2019
2:00 PM – 3:15 PM

Anniversaries are a great opportunity to celebrate an organization and create marketing and fundraising opportunities that make an impact. In this session, learn how the Tennessee Theatre leveraged their 90th Anniversary for a specialized marketing campaign, fundraising campaign, media blitz, and a brand refresh. See the marketing collateral they used across various platforms, get a look at the creative and first-time events they executed, and learn how they utilized this milestone to create awareness for the theatre and goodwill in the community, and enhanced donor, sponsor, and partner relations.

Presenters:
Lila Honaker, Director of Marketing and Outreach, Tennessee Theatre, Knoxville, TN

Netflix Kills Theatrical Cinema? NO WAY! Screening Movies Successfully in your Historic Theatres

Tools & Techniques: 3rd Segment
Tuesday, July 16, 2019
2:45 PM – 4:00 PM and 4:30 PM – 5:45 PM (Note: times may shift)

Are people really going to stop going to stop watching movies in theaters? No way! This great American art form is thriving and theaters from commercial to independent, non-profit to for-profit saw record box office numbers in 2018. This session will help historic theaters imagine the many ways they can include film programming in their mix while utilizing the historic theatre advantage to make those programs truly special. From a full-time film venue to summer film programs to occasional film series, movies can be added to any kind of programming mix. This session will explore the various models available to theaters, the kind of equipment required, the agreements you need to have in place and what is possible or not possible depending on what kind of space and time you devote to film programming. Join a panel of historic theatre operators for conversation and a Q&A.

Presenters:
Chris Collier, Renew Theaters, Doylestown, PA
Russ Collins, Executive Director & CEO, Michigan Theater Foundation, Ann Arbor, MI
Stephanie Silverman, Executive Director, Belcourt Theatre, Nashville, TN (moderator)
additional presenters may be added

New Ways to Diversify and Expand Your Audience

Tools & Techniques: 3rd Segment
Tuesday, July 16, 2019
4:30 PM – 5:45 PM (Note: times may shift)

In today’s world, there are endless ways to communicate to your patrons, both new and loyal. How do you ensure that you’re not sticking to the same script? How do you attract both new and diverse patrons to fill your seats and sell out your shows? How do you then convert them to loyal and returning members and donors? In this panel, an expert from Vendini, the company that makes the business of running live events simple, will be discussing new ways, in addition to foundational tactics, for increasing ticket sales across a more diverse audience. We will also be discussing industry examples of campaigns that have successfully attracted new audiences.

Presenter:
Shannon Everley, VP, Marketing, Vendini, San Francisco, CA
additional presenters to be announced

Non-Profit Board Governance Best Practices

Tools & Techniques: 1st Segment
Monday, July 15, 2019
11:15 AM – 12:30 PM

Boards can lift an organization up, but they can also unknowingly tear them down. Who runs the organization? Are term limits good? What are bylaws and do we really have to follow them? What does fiduciary responsibility mean? What is the difference between an operational board and a governing board? Learn about best practices around governance, policy and board/staff relations from Ken Stein, CEO of the League. He has over 25 years of nonprofit management experience and is certified in Board Governance Best Practices by the nation’s leading non-profit board resource, BoardSource.

Presenter:
Ken Stein, President & CEO, League of Historic American Theatres, Austin, TX

Reseating the Royal Alexandra Theatre: Considerations, Challenges & Opportunities

Tools & Techniques: 3rd Segment
Tuesday, July 16, 2019
2:45 PM – 4:00 PM (Note: times may shift)

Theatre consultants Athos Zaghi and Kurt Wehmann will present a Case Study of Toronto’s Royal Alexandra Theatre, a beautiful heritage venue built in 1907 that recently underwent a re-seating project. The presentation will itemize criteria and considerations for seating replacement and discuss the inherent challenges of renovating an historic venue – in short, what you need to know if undertaking the re-seating of a grand old theatre.

Presenters:
Kurt Wehmann, Principal, Theatre Consultants Collaborative, Hudson, NY
Athos Zaghi, Principal, Theatre Consultants Collaborative, Toronto, ON

Risky Business? Assessing Disaster Risks at your Historic Theatre

Tools & Techniques: 1st Segment
Monday, July 15, 2019
9:30 AM – 10:45 AM

Historic theatres can be both beautiful and dangerous! It's important to develop a plan to help your organization deal with large-scale disaster and minor emergencies. Through a combination of exercises and discussion, the session will help participants identify risks, hazards, and vulnerabilities in their buildings. Information on new tools and resources for disaster planning and developing networks for disaster planning and recovery will also be featured.

Presenters:
Tom Clareson, Project Director, Performing Arts Readiness project, and Senior Consultant for Digital & Preservation Services, LYRASIS, Atlanta, GA
Janet Newcomb, Executive Director, National Coalition on Arts' Preparedness and Emergency Response, Corning, NY

Saving a Piece of American Theater...One Family’s Success Story in Staten Island, NY

Tools & Techniques: 2nd Segment
Monday, July 15, 2019
2:00 PM – 3:15 PM

The St. George Theatre (SGT) has resurrected from a white elephant to a vibrant performing arts center, for the Staten Island community and all of NYC. "If you can make it there, you can make it anywhere, NY, NY". These ladies and their team will show you their secrets to success. From carefully planning a great board and staff, to cultivating relationships, fundraising efforts, working with tight budgets, knowing everyone has choices and how to design quality programming and VIP services to ensure repeat customers and rave reviews.

Presenters:
Alfred Cerullo, III, SGT Board Member and CEO of the Grand Central Partnership, Lawyer, Staten Island, NY
Doreen P. Cugno SGT Co-Founder and CEO, Staten Island, NY
Vincent Innocente, SGT Manager of Marketing and Audience Services, Staten Island, NY
Brian Laline, Chairman, SGT Board of Directors and Executive Editor of the Staten Island Advance, Staten Island, NY
Luanne Sorrentino, SGT Co-Founder and Fundraising Efforts, Staten Island, NY
Jim Steen, SGT Programming and Talent Buyer, Staten Island, NY

Scaling Up: Using Facility Expansion to Strategically Grow your Organization and Increase its Overall Community Impact

Tools & Techniques: 3rd Segment
Tuesday, July 16, 2019
2:45 PM – 4:00 PM and 4:30 PM – 5:45 PM (Note: times may shift)

This presentation will examine the why and how of facility expansion by looking at two LHAT theatre case studies, the Count Basie Center for the Arts in Red Bank, New Jersey and the Academy Center of the Arts in Lynchburg, Virginia. The Count Basie made a strategic decision to expand their facilities based on meeting the demands of their expanded programming. They found that to meet their full potential, they needed more than their historic theatre alone. The Academy has existed in a partial campus, without a restored historic theatre, until they recently completed their restoration project this past December. The Academy took specific strategic steps to incrementally increase their operational output, staff size, and budget during the three-year theatre restoration period to increase their funding base and prepare their operations for a 200% budget increase with the opening of their new facility.

Presenters:
Geoffrey Kershner,Executive Director, Academy Center of the Arts, Lynchburg, VA
Adam Philipson, Chief Executive Officer, Count Basie Center for the Arts, Red Bank, NJ

Sell More Tickets: Become an Event Life Cycle Marketing Master (A Miller Theatre Case Study)

Tools & Techniques: 2nd Segment
Monday, July 15, 2019
2:00 PM – 3:15 PM

Many theatres today do not align their marketing messages and ad spend with the natural event sales cycle. As a result, precious marketing dollars are wasted, and many tickets go unsold. Learn how Rockhouse Partners worked with the historic Miller Theatre in Augusta, GA to take full advantage of what we call “high ticket conversion periods” to sell more tickets by using the right marketing tools, with the right message, at the right time. We’ll discuss how to tap into specific audiences, generate buzz, and develop #FOMO (fear of missing out) to increase online sales earlier in your sales cycle.

Presenter:
Aaron Bare, Director of Marketing, ETIX, Raleigh, NC

Thank U, Next: A Case Study for Creating Venue Experiences in the New Age

Tools & Techniques: 3rd Segment
Tuesday, July 16, 2019
2:45 PM – 4:00 PM and 4:30 PM – 5:45 PM (Note: times may shift)

Stay at home and watch Lady Gaga in Sound of Music on Netflix or buy a ticket to Sound of Music at the Theatre? It’s a choice we are confronted with every day. All venues have challenges today for providing both content and unrivaled experiences. Historic venues have unique challenges when creating experiences that meet the expectations of diverse audiences that are accustomed to the newest technology and instant conveniences. This session will provide a case study for three successfully launched initiatives at the historic Majestic Theatre: an in-seat ordering and delivery platform for concessions, a Happy Hour Tour that encourages (if not demands) selfies, and an Entry Level VIP option that is affordable and exclusive. Following the case study, there will be a brainstorming session for creating and implementing other initiatives which provide patrons more autonomy over their experiences.

Presenters:
Vanessa Martinez, Theatre Services Manager, Majestic Theatre & Charline McCombs Empire Theatre, Ambassador Theatre Group Venues, San Antonio, TX
Justin Sullivan, Customer Experience Director, Majestic Theatre & Charline McCombs Empire Theatre, Ambassador Theatre Group Venues, San Antonio, TX

The Effects of Poor Seated Posture on the Theatre-going Audience

Tools & Techniques: 2nd Segment
Monday, July 15, 2019
2:00 PM – 3:15 PM

On average, customers making up your theatre audience will be physically bigger now than when your venue was built. But is lower seat density and larger seats the only solution to a more comfortable audience or should we be looking at how we sit in seats (whatever their size) rather than how many seats are in a venue? This interactive presentation covers physical and ergonomic factors causing people to sit badly; poor posture’s negative influence on physiological well-being and emotions; clinical findings; history of improving seated posture; ideas to improve seat comfort and customer satisfaction.

Presenter:
Ian Moore, Chief Executive Officer, NuBax Limited, Hadlow, Kent, UK

The Perfect Ask

Tools & Techniques: 3rd Segment
Tuesday, July 16, 2019
2:45 PM – 4:00 PM and 4:30 PM – 5:45 PM (Note: times may shift)

The Perfect Ask is a participatory workshop which explores tried and true strategies for soliciting face-to-face gifts. Using a linear approach to outline the process, workshop participants are provided with a practical checklist of solicitation considerations, from scheduling the meeting to closing the deal. A centerpiece of the workshop is the power of storytelling – the encouragement to tap into your narrative assets to build the most compelling case for support. Whether you are a newcomer to fundraising or a seasoned development professional, by the end of the workshop, participants not only build a comfort level for leading up to and delivering their own “Perfect Asks” but more importantly, understand why process is just as important as outcome!

Presenter:
Robert Bull, Managing Partner, The Compass Group, Baltimore, MD

Thriving in the Digital Age: A Candid Conversation on the Future of Technology

Tools & Techniques: 1st Segment
Monday, July 15, 2019
9:30 AM – 10:45 AM and 11:15 AM – 12:30 PM

We are increasingly living in symbiosis with technology, from our phones to our homes. But how does that technology, paired with analytics and artificial intelligence, impact our industry? What are the latest trends, and where might we be headed? Hear from these experts during this candid panel discussion on the future landscape of technology as it relates to culture and the arts.

Presenters:
Maureen Andersen, CEO, INTIX, Indianapolis, IN
Gene Carr, Chief Innovation Officer, Patron Technology, New York, NY
Linda Forlini, Vice President, TicketPhiladelphia, Philadelphia, PA
Robert Friend, VP Business Development & Consulting, PatronManager, New York, NY (moderator)
Mark Sylvester, Managing Director, Walnut Street Theatre, Philadelphia, PA

Uncovering the History of Your Theatre or Cinema: Knowing Where to Look

Tools & Techniques: 4th Segment
Wednesday, July 17, 2019
9:00 AM – 10:15 AM

Tracking down information pertaining to any historic theater is a challenge. Important records are lost, and significant artifacts disappear over time. The search for your theater’s history may seem impossible. Fortunately, we live at a time when access to historical information is just waiting to be discovered online – one just has to know how and where to look for it. This session will help you locate information about your historic theater or cinema. Uncovering little gems connected to your theater’s past not only draws a community together, but also helps market your theater, generate community support, and secure grant funding.

Presenter:
Wendy Waszut-Barrett, PhD, President, Historic Stage Services LLC, Minneapolis, MN