April 23, 2018
ArtsBoston Spurs Holiday Sales Via Innovative Online Program

November 11, 2010 — ArtsBoston, which represents more than 170 Greater Boston theatre, music, dance, visual arts, and film member groups, is collaborating with the City of Boston and the Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau to boost audiences during the holiday season and raise funds for many arts groups.

The program, operated for the seventh consecutive year through MayorsHolidaySpecial.com, which offers half-price tickets to all the area’s most popular shows, one-click access to every box office in town, plus listings of free and low-cost holiday fun.

The Mayor’s Holiday Special program emerged in 2003 on the heels of successful collaborations between ArtsBoston and Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino to counter reduced arts attendance patterns following the 9/11 terrorist attacks. In its first year it generated $60,000 for arts groups; now, ArtsBoston said it expects to write checks totaling around a half-million dollars.

During the last two years, the marketing program, known as the Mayor’s Holiday Special, has generated nearly $1.1 million for participating performing arts groups.

“The holiday season is a critical time for arts groups,” notes Catherine Peterson, executive director of ArtsBoston. “Holiday season income supports programming year-round. Strong holiday sales are what enable groups to offer adventurous and diverse productions at other times of year.”

The goal of the website is to increase audience engagement with the region’s arts and cultural scene from Nov. 1 through Jan. 1. While this two-month program focuses on holiday season shows, the patron database and awareness it generates also enables ArtsBoston to engage site visitors for arts and cultural events year round.

Over 100 performing arts groups—twice the number of previous years—have chosen to take part this year, offering a record 15,000 half-price tickets, from blockbusters such as Radio City Christmas Spectacular and Boston Ballet’s The Nutcracker, to traditions such as Boston Baroque’s Messiah and the concerts of the Boston Gay Men’s Chorus.

Also includes are shows throughout over the region, including Merrimack Repertory Theatre in Lowell, the Lexington Symphony Lexington Symphony, Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts in Worcester, and the newly renovated North Shore Music Theatre in Beverly.

A new enticement this year is a $10 restaurant voucher, created in concert with the Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau, tapping into its successful Restaurant Week program model.

Optimism Marks Arts and Cultural Sector

“The arts and cultural sector is brimming with optimism this year, even during hard economic times,” said Peterson. “Take a look at Boston’s expanded theatre district with the openings of the restored Modern Theatre and Paramount Theatre, the museum expansion and art openings all over the region, and the record number of arts groups participating in this program this year.”

“I credit the success of the program—for arts groups and arts goers alike—to the shared commitment the partners all bring to creating visibility and awareness of the program,” says Peterson. “All of us in the arts community who feel the impact of these ticket sales are deeply grateful to Mayor Menino and how he has championed this program through the years.”

The newly redesigned website provides a more robust experience than in previous years, and is now based on ArtsBoston’s arts-gateway technology with easy to use navigation and targeted search tools.

“The powerful combination of a well-built site with effective integration of digital and social media promotion attracts new and diverse audiences,” explained ArtsBoston Director of Marketing and Communications Jennifer Falk. “And yet the site itself equalizes opportunity for arts groups of all sizes to help those audiences discover new ways to engage with the arts that they may not have enjoyed before.

Lead media partners this year include Magic 106.7, Boston Globe, and boston.com, with supporting partnerships with Boston Metro and Boston magazine. ArtsBoston creates and manages the site, arts group half-price ticket inventories, half-price ticket sales. and core outreach.

Participation in the program remains open. Arts groups must be members of ArtsBoston, in order to enable the transactional capacity, but there is no additional charge to join in.

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