In an effort to draw more young adults to engage in the arts, Proctors Collaborative announced a new audience development initiative, Collaborative Social.

Goals of Collaborative Social include eliminating barriers to the arts for adults ages 21–35; introducing members to different types of programming; offering networking opportunities with like-minded individuals and reducing economic impediments to participation.  

Collaborative Social is being coordinated through the marketing department of Proctors Collaborative in conjunction with The Collaborative magazine.  

“We have the resources to launch, nurture and promote the group,” says Jim Murphy, director of marketing and corporate relations and publisher of The Collaborative. “But our real goal is to turn a lot of the decision-making around activities over to members themselves. We’re working with a few individuals now who are genuinely excited about this new organization and informing our direction.”

Programming, education and social opportunities across the Capital Region are being organized, and participants are being encouraged to volunteer and engage creatively. The group is not focused solely on Proctors Collaborative; the objective is to explore all of the arts—visual arts, performing arts, dance, film, music, fashion, food—at institutions across the region.   

The group’s first activity was a social hour and evening of laughter at Proctors with Emmy-winning television writer and stand-up comedian Matt Koff presented by Pretty Much the Best Comedy Show. About 25 individuals affiliated with the group attended.

In late March and April, members participated in a Broadway Trivia night at a Schenectady restaurant and attended an opening night performance of “Avenue Q” by Playhouse Stage at Cohoes Music Hall.

“The leaders of Cohoes Music Hall and Playhouse Stage were extremely generous in their donation of tickets,” Murphy reports. “From the buzz after the show, I am certain they gained new fans and returning audience members.”  

An Albany Symphony Orchestra’s First Draughts Reading Session was also planned at press time for late May, as well as a summer History Happy Hour at Schuyler Mansion.

Each of the first four events were free to participants although Murphy says some activities in the future may require a paid ticket or admission fee, “but hopefully at a significant discount”.

Currently, membership is gained simply by signing up for the group’s Facebook page; more than 425 people joined in the organization’s first two months. “The enthusiasm and interest in this is real,” Murphy remarks.

More formal registration policies will develop and long-term plans include creating a regional art pass for young adults, and offering discounts and access to special programming.

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