Family-Oriented Performing Arts Events at Public Gardens in the United States

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University of Delaware
Performing arts events in public spaces, specifically public gardens, enhance the community, the visitor’s experience, and the audience diversity. Performing arts programs benefit both the institution and the surrounding community by promoting family leisure time activities. Families today have numerous options for spending their money and, even more precious to many, their time. Performing arts programs provide an avenue for public gardens to compete with other family leisure time attractions in their community. Public gardens, with the addition of performing arts programs, will appease their visitor base by supplying more entertainment for the value of their admission into the gardens. This research was initiated through a postcard survey to gather generalized data pertaining to performing arts events in public gardens and establish potential case study sites for the primary data collection. Four hundred and forty-one American Association of Botanical Gardens and Arboreta (AABGA) institutional members located in the United States participated in the survey. The case study visits were conducted at five public gardens from Dallas to Pittsburgh. The case study visits examined the actual organizational procedures, benefits, and obstacles of familyoriented performing arts events. The resultant guidelines from this research provide a framework for developing performing arts programs at public gardens in the United States. Seven areas of the knowledge collected from this research include the benefits, community relations aspects, family-related aspects, mission statement aspects, obstacles, financial aspects and location aspects of performing arts events. This research creates a basis for understanding the benefits and obstacles when organizing a performing arts event in a public garden.
Performing arts, Visitor experience, Special events, Families