This year we are shining a spotlight on our AMA conference 2018 — The Power of Play speakers, finding out how ‘play’ helps them in their organisations.
The first speaker under the spotlight is Elizabeth Heague from Liverpool Philharmonic:
What does ‘The Power of Play’ mean to you?
In my role as Leap into Live Music! coordinator at Liverpool Philharmonic, using the ‘The Power of Play’ is vital when working to engage hard to reach audiences and finding new ways to challenge traditional perceptions of a classical music organisation. We have successfully established the Leap programme by going out into the community to form relationships through open conversation, and delivering activities that range from specially tailored workshops in local children’s centres to surprise ‘pop up’ performances in workplace settings. These approaches have allowed us to understand barriers in attendance so that we can create original ways for local communities to engage with music making and live music.
What is the biggest risk you have ever taken, as part of your job?
Part of the Leap into Live Music! offer, and a primary motivation for first time attendance, is access to free and discounted tickets across our wider programme which was originally managed by a dedicated member of staff. However, in order to ensure the programme’s sustainability long term, we ultimately needed to increase ticket prices and handover the booking process to our Box Office team. In making these changes we risked confusion at the point of booking, losing the personal approach we had worked hard to establish and a decline in overall attendance.
Did that risk pay off and what did you learn from it?
The feedback we received around the new pricing structure and Box Office handover was overwhelmingly positive from Leap members who continued to book tickets and attend performances without issue. As Leap coordinator, I was especially worried about the impact these changes might have had on our work, but came to recognise the need to challenge my own assumptions in order to strengthen the legacy of the programme.
What are you most looking forward to about AMA conference 2018?
Liverpool is a really vibrant, forward thinking city with a massive appetite for the arts so I’m expecting a lively conference with plenty of debate. It’s always energising to meet others working in the sector and to share knowledge and experiences. I’m especially looking forward to meeting Liverpool Girl Geeks and learning more about what they do.
What do you hope delegates will get out of your session?
I’m hoping that delegates get to see a side of Liverpool Philharmonic they may not be familiar with, learn about our unique place in the city and maybe even take away ideas they can apply in their own organisations when working with local communities to reach new audiences.
24 — 26 July | ACC Liverpool
Early Bird member rate: £458 + VAT
Non-member rate: £577 + VAT
Our full list of rates and available bursaries can be found on the AMA conference 2018 web page.