Michael Kaiser, The Huffington Post, 4/4/11
One of the major new initiatives I announced for the Kennedy Center's 2011-2012 season was a project aimed at bringing "20 somethings" into the theater. We in the arts face a major problem: we now have an entire generation of young people who do not go to theater, concerts, dance performances or operas. If we don't address this problem we will not have the subscribers, single ticket buyers, donors, volunteers and board members we need to sustain our organizations in twenty years as the members of this group hit their 40s and 50s. The arts have survived and grown in this nation because there is always a new group of middle aged people who replace their parents as our supporters. But the current group of twenty-year-olds (deemed the Millennials) does not have any experiences with us. Will they be there for us when we need them? The goal of our Millennials project is to do remedial work; to bring a group of Millennials into our theaters often enough that they build a habit of arts participation. We are attempting to attract this group with targeted marketing, ticket pricing incentives, and especially repertory that is attractive to them but also stretches their comfort zones. We also hope to develop enough projects that allow them to interact with artists and art forms and to participate in art making. We cannot do this alone. Our hope is that every major arts organization will join in this fight.