Some Louisville arts groups say they will continue a program that offers discounted tickets to many performances. WFPL’s Elizabeth Kramer has more.
The Kentucky Center, the Fund for the Arts and its member groups launched the Arts Rush program in January. From then through the end of the season, the program sold more than 2,500 $10 tickets that were offered just before nearly 70 performances.
Many arts administration officials say the response dispelled initial doubts about offering discounted tickets. One is Kentucky Center president Stephen Klein.
“There’s always a little bit of a nagging doubt that we’re going to be putting these tickets out; they won’t be valued as much; we won’t have the kind of revenues,” Klein says. “But we’re seeing a lot of people we just haven’t seen before and that’s very healthy.”
Several participating arts officials say the program is helping build audiences, in part, by making tickets affordable to families with children. One is Allan Cowen, the Fund for the Arts president and CEO.
“Arts Rush is, at its heart, built on a simple premise: you make the arts available and you make the arts reasonable and people will utilize the programs,” Cowen says. “And as people rally around the arts, it will build many, many opportunities.”
Klein echoes that sentiment and says it hasn’t hurt the market for full-priced tickets, which secure seats in advance.
“Filling the house is always good — and a lot of the people who buy the rush tickets would not be able to go period, much less for expensive tickets,” Klein says. “A lot of folks still buy the full-price tickets in advance; they know they want to go see a show and they buy the tickets at the full price.”
Throughout this season, seven arts groups are offering rush tickets for more then 90 performances. Click here for a list of performances.
Tickets are sold in person on a first come, first served basis at the box office just two hours prior to the selected performances.