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4 ways the Coppell Arts Center is growing its audience

The band "Sammy Miller and the Congregation" perform.
Courtesy of the Coppell Arts Center
The band "Sammy Miller and the Congregation" perform on the catwalk of the Coppell Arts Center Main Hall.

In the suburbs of Coppell, the city’s art center has become a hub for local residents to enjoy performances from K-rock concerts to crafting classes.

Following the pandemic, arts and cultural facilities have struggled to grow their audiences. But the Coppell Arts Center has seen year-over-year growth since its first full year open in 2021. From 2022 to 2023, attendance grew by 17% and ticket sales revenue increased by 12%.

Ginene Delcioppo, managing director of the Coppell Arts Center, said “the goal is to get the community and introduce them to a new experience in their backyard.

Here are some of the strategies the Coppell Arts Center has used to grow its audience:

1. Focus on multigenerational programming

Delcioppo said when selecting shows, she considers whether the content can appeal to different generations so that families can come enjoy an experience together.

“The community is very interested in what we call multigenerational shows, shows that the grandkids can come to all the way through the grandparents,” she said.

She said those performances can include anything from its Bohemian Queen tribute band or Japanese taiko drumming.

2. Market to a hyperlocal audience

Coppell residents make up about 70% of the art center’s audience. The other 30% come from suburbs like Irving, Flower Mound, Lewisville, Carrollton and more.

“We really focus on that community interaction and that connection that we make,” Delcioppo said.

That’s why the center markets to a radius of about 25 miles around the center and other neighboring cities. They advertise on social media, city channels, online and also local print publications like the Coppell Gazette.

The Dallas Symphony Orchestra performs.
James Coreas
The Dallas Symphony Orchestra performs at the Coppell Arts Center.

3. Find the balance between new and familiar programming

While the center features popular programming like a Queen tribute band, Delcioppo said she also makes a point to include performances that might be less familiar to audiences.

Visitors can also see a juggling show or experience a mini-Trans Siberian orchestra.

“We try to have variety because with our hyper local audience, we want to make sure that they have opportunities to see new things,” she said.

4. Make it affordable

With concerns over rising inflation, it helps that the art center’s tickets run at around $35 to $50 per show. Events in downtown Dallas are usually priced at that cost or higher with the added expenses of gas, parking and food.

“We're looking at trying to bring the best quality without draining people's piggy banks,” Delcioppo said.

It’s something that patrons seem to appreciate if Google reviews are any indication. There are rave reviews about the facilities and events, and one commenter notes it’s “affordable for all.”

Arts Access is an arts journalism collaboration powered by The Dallas Morning News and KERA.

This community-funded journalism initiative is funded by the Better Together Fund, Carol & Don Glendenning, City of Dallas OAC, The University of Texas at Dallas, Communities Foundation of Texas, The Dallas Foundation, Eugene McDermott Foundation, James & Gayle Halperin Foundation, Jennifer & Peter Altabef and The Meadows Foundation. The News and KERA retain full editorial control of Arts Access’ journalism.

Elizabeth Myong is KERA’s Arts Collaborative Reporter. She came to KERA from New York, where she worked as a CNBC fellow covering breaking news and politics. Before that, she freelanced as a features reporter for the Houston Chronicle and a modern arts reporter for Houstonia Magazine.