Attend an opera in New York for $5

All you have to do is accompany a teen, and buy your tickets online. Patron Technology recently featured High 5 Tickets to the Arts in their monthly newsletter as an e-marketing superstar. High 5 offers tickets to hundreds of performances and events in New York for the low price of $5 per ticket. In 2006, the New York non-profit conducted roughly 85% of ticket sales online with some tickets sold out in a matter of hours. High 5's idea of making arts more accessible to young audiences through inexpensive tickets has also spread to other cities including Columbus, OH, and Montreal. Cultivating younger audiences is a hot topic in my arts management program at the Heinz School of Public Policy and Management, so I imagine it may also be of interest to you as arts managers in the field.

It would be interesting to evaluate the effectiveness of High 5's service. Will the teens snatching tickets up today be our loyal patrons and donors twenty or more years from now? Some of my classmates believe the best way to ensure a lifelong commitment to the arts is through arts education more so than just accessibility. I agree with them to some extent, since through my own experiences, I was exposed to the wonderful world of opera in Dallas through an education program focused on introducing new (and diverse) audiences to the art form. The combination of severely subsidized tickets and education sessions made the experience complete. I doubt I would have attended an opera out of my own volition if it weren't for the empowering educational experience I had through that program.