College Market Performing Arts Centers

– Posted in: Biz Booster Hot Tip! Book the Gig
College Market Performing Arts Centers

College Market Performing Arts Centers - by Jeri Goldstein     

College Market Performing Arts Centers may be the next largest event producer along with the student activities office. These events, however, are mostly booked by the performing arts program or artistic director rather than a student committee. The director may also be connected to the theater department.

Performances booked into this facility tend to include theater, classical concerts, and other genres of music that the student activities office generally doesn’t book. Productions booked into the performing arts center may also include shows for children where schools bus their students in and season series that cater to a campus and community audience.

Shows booked into the performing arts center are generally booked 12-18 months in advance. The program director may be an active member of a presenting organization or network that hosts booking conferences and showcases. They may do a majority of their booking by attending a regional conference such as Western Arts Alliance or a national conference such as APAP- Association of Performing Arts Presenters. These conferences are well attended by performing arts center programmers nationally and internationally, and many of the programmers rely on the attending agents to provide them with the bulk of their talent.

If your act fits college market performing arts centers, there are two options for bookings.

  1. When you are ready, check out one of the regional presenter booking conferences closest to you. I’ll cover more on attending conferences in next week.
  2. Explore your region for college campuses that have a performing arts center and book them on your own. You can often find a listing of these venues through your state arts council.

    They have a database or a presenter’s network on the state agency website. Not only will this give you a great listing of potential venues, but you may also learn what benefits the state arts council offers performers in your state.

    Many art councils have artists touring directories that the presenting organizations use to find talent for their programs. Applying to be on the state arts touring directory is a step in establishing your credibility with many of these performing arts centers.

A review of a performing arts center’s website will give you the contact person and a wealth of information about the venue and their past and current season’s programming. This can help you determine of this, in fact, is a good venue where you might pursue a booking.

You can call directly, without an agent and without having been to a conference and you should call, and get your act on their radar.

These programmers are always looking for new acts to offer their audience. But, they are also more concerned with selling their tickets, filling their halls and making money. Many of these centers do apply for and receive grants from the state arts councils, the university, and private donations, but they still need to make their budget. The programmers are savvy negotiators who have been booking talent for a long time. They are professionals as compared with the student committee members on the concert or coffeehouse committees. So in the case of dealing with college market Performing Arts Centers, you need to have your A game on with your materials to make a more professional pitch.

Is your act right for college market Performing Arts Centers? Have you been performing at college performing arts centers? What has been your experience dealing with the artistic director?

Leave me a comment below or on the Performingbiz Success Strategies Facebook page.

I can’t wait to hear about your success.

Thanks to Carol Ehrlich for this week’s Biz Booster graphic image, “The College Market Performing Arts Centers.”

Now, Thanks to the Band Curfew from the UK for providing the Biz Booster theme Music, Future Dance. Check them out at

And for more career-boosting tips, articles, books, resources, teleseminars and online courses, visit me at

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