Audience Development – Student Engagement

Site: Hancher Auditorium

Hancher is a multidisciplinary performing arts presenter committed to connecting artists and audiences with transformational artistic experiences. For 47 years, Hancher has supported the University of Iowa’s mission of teaching, research, and service by presenting the world’s finest performing artists; developing, engaging, and enlightening audiences; initiating and supporting the creation of new works; and providing artistic, educational, technical, human, and physical resources to the University and the people of Iowa.

Project: Audience Development—Student Engagement

For eight years following the flood that destroyed our original building in 2008, Hancher functioned as an itinerate presenter, maintaining our commitment to the university’s mission and charter while programming full seasons at various venues in and around the Iowa City area and across the eastern Iowa region. The newly built Hancher Auditorium opened as a state-of-the-art facility in September 2016, but eight years without a dedicated venue represented two full generations of UI students that had no experience of Hancher Auditorium as a place of memory during their collegiate career. Since 2016, Hancher has committed to reacquainting UI students with the value and impact of experiencing the performing arts in our new facility. To that end, in fall 2018, we launched a student-centered event called Hancher is for Hawkeyes, which featured deeply discounted student tickets, tours of the building, free snacks, info booths featuring important campus and community resources, and drawings for tickets to Hancher’s Broadway shows.

Key Responsibilities

  • Helping plan and organize the 2019 Hancher is for Hawkeyes event
  • Cataloguing and analyzing Hancher’s student engagement history
  • Researching best practices in student audience development and student engagement in performing arts settings
  • Researching formal and affiliated student organizations at the UI (e.g., Greek system, social clubs, etc..) and formulate strategies and proposals for engaging groups with Hancher presentations and engagement participation
  • Working with Hancher staff to develop additional programs and opportunities that can improve the Hancher student experience

Qualifications and Skills Preferred

  • Experience with strategic planning
  • Knowledge of the University of Iowa campus and community
  • Researching
  • Interviewing

Supervisor: Micah Ariel James, Education Manager