This guide was developed by the US nonprofit National Arts Marketing Project – a programme of Americans for the Arts, and is full of innovative case studies and fresh, bold ideas to boost audience development and revenue. Inviting naked cyclists into a museum to find new audiences? Bringing art to the local laundromat to promote community dialogues? Bringing random strangers together to interpret permanent collection pieces? These concepts may seem bold, but for the Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History, the Laundromat Project, and the Portland Art Museum, weird strategies like these have fostered an organisational culture that draws in the community and gives patrons an experience they won’t soon forget.
"We see art organizations shifting from seeing themselves as producers of content, to seeing themselves as platforms for engagement. This is a huge shift, one that requires a letting go of old ways of doing things and has profoundly exciting implications for organizations and the field," says Mangu-Ward. "For me, weird means being a little off center, but in a good way. I think audiences today are embracing their own weirdness and I can imagine a future where arts organizations do too.