The Minneapolis Star Tribune has a fascinating article on Mixed Blood Theater’s new free admission program. Turns out, there’s a whole lot of unexpected value in offering free tickets, including new audiences and new donors.
Most important for the future of the theater, 36 percent had never been to Mixed Blood. That statistic is already translating into growth: The number of new donors culled from the audience tripled compared with last year at this time.
Here’s how they explain the program, intriguingly named “Radical Hospitality”, on their website:
Radical Hospitality provides no-cost access to all mainstage productions for any audience member. An expansion of Mixed Blood’s egalitarian mission, Radical Hospitality erases economic barriers in pursuit of building a truly inclusive, global audience. Whether a patron is a long-time Mixed Blood attendee, a new immigrant living in Mixed Blood’s Cedar-Riverside neighborhood, a person with low income or disabilities, a college student, or someone who has never been to theater, he or she will be welcomed, free of charge—with radical hospitality.
Why is Mixed Blood doing it?
Revolutionizing access is a core part of Mixed Blood’s vision. In pursuit of that goal, Radical Hospitality aims to: 1) Build relationships with those who have been traditionally underserved by the arts; 2) Eliminate real or perceived barriers to participation; and 3) Increase the number of Minnesotans participating in the arts.