Audience (R)Evolution


Applications for this program are not being accepted at this time.
Future cycles of funding have not been announced.



A breakout session at the 2015 Audience (R)Evolution Convening in Kansas City

Audience (R)Evolution was a multiyear program designed by TCG and funded by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation to study, promote, and support successful audience engagement and community development strategies for the U.S. not-for-profit theatre field. At its core, the program supported risk-taking, reflection, experimentation, and collective action toward implementing new strategies to help theatres cultivate and maintain attendance and demand.

Audience (R)Evolution built upon TCG's longstanding commitment to audience engagement with programs such as Free Night of Theater and New Generations: Future Audiences, as well as continued conversations and programming at TCG's annual Fall Forum on Governance and National Conference. The program traditionally supported four phases of programmatic activities: research and assessment; convenings; grantmaking; and widespread dissemination.

  • Year One of the program concentrated on four primary goals: to define success in audience engagement and identify practices that work; to share with theatres how to adapt these strategies to their own organizations and communities; to offer theatres the funds to test and implement the models; and to understand the future direction and trends in audience engagement for the field.

  • The second cycle of the Audience (R)Evolution program built on the success and learnings of the first cycle, focusing on helping theatres sustain and grow attendance and demand and increasing engagement through revolutionary strategies and models of audience building. This round of cohort-building programs helped theatres to share knowledge while partnering on new strategies for audience engagement and community development via Travel Grants and Cohort Grants. This round also supported the 2015 Audience (R)Evolution Convening in Kansas City, MO as well as "mini" learning convenings in Minneapolis and Milwaukee in 2017 and 2018, respectively.

  • Audience (R)Evolution Round 3 had the specific focus of audience engagement and community development as they related to theatre for youth and multigenerational audiences. This round sought to inspire and challenge theatres to develop meaningful partnerships and artistic work in an effort to better understand and fuel the apparent growth trend in attendance for youth and multigenerational audiences. Like the other cycles, Round 3 supported grantmaking initiatives through cohort and travel grants; convenings at the annual TCG Fall Forum and National Conference, and disseminated audience engagement resources to the field, including case studies.

Program Support

The mission of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation is to improve the quality of people’s lives through grants supporting the performing arts, environmental conservation, medical research and the prevention of child abuse, and through preservation of the cultural and environmental legacy of Doris Duke’s properties.