To the Steadfast TeenTix Family,
Woah - here we are. We are living through an unprecedented and extraordinary moment for Seattle’s arts community - and the world at large. I’ve found myself starting my conversations with “are you OK?” TeenTix, our close family, friends, teens, and all of our TeenTix Partners are doing everything we can to slow the COVID-19 pandemic. Right now, we are all faced with a thousand and one decisions on how to respond, how to do more, how to do less, and how to do the right thing.
TeenTix was founded by Seattle Center as a way to tighten the bond between the community - young and old - by centering the arts. Sixteen years later, as an independent nonprofit, we are more adaptable and resilient than ever, but our humble purpose remains: building bridges between young people and our arts community. We will continue to do just that during this time.
This is an extraordinarily challenging time for our TeenTix Partner organizations. They have to make it through the next few months, possibly the whole year, with the loss of ticket sales, donations, and that irreplaceable energy around in-person arts-going and community building. This is also a tough time to be a teen. Young people in our community are feeling the stress of being restricted to their homes, some without anything to do.
We’ve been thinking deeply about our role in mitigating this crisis. As our staff works from home, we remain diligently committed to our service to young people and the arts sector. We are small but mighty, and right now, we are going to maximize that adaptability. Here’s how:
- This is going to be a hard year financially for TeenTix Partners. They are going to be facing really hard decisions. Over the last two years, TeenTix has implemented an annual partner fee, to both strengthen our infrastructure and allow us to build a new TeenTix Pass Program that provides our partners valuable information on how their teen arts audiences engage with them. This year, we expected to receive about $25,000 in partner payments. In light of how COVID-19 is affecting our Arts Partners, we have decided to forgive all upcoming fees for a full year, effective immediately. Arts Partners are critical to TeenTix - we are invested in their work, their success, and their audiences. Without them, teens would not have access to the arts experiences that shape them as the next generation of audience members, critics, influencers, advocates, patrons, and leaders.
We did not make this decision lightly. That $25,000 is about 10% of our total annual operating budget. We have committed to raising those funds ourselves, but it will require us to raise more money from our community in a single year than we ever have before. If you are inspired to give a gift to TeenTix right now to help us through this, click here.
- The TeenTix.org calendar is the most robust and inclusive arts calendar in the community. With things shifting so quickly, we want to use our unique resource to help the broader arts community connect audiences to these virtual events. We have removed live performance events from the calendar and are populating it with the virtual experiences, live streams, or other digital artistic pivots that our community is producing. Don’t worry, we’ll be ready to add the live events back in when our amazing Arts Partners reopen their doors.
- As our Arts Partners shift to digital engagement strategies, we are shifting in real time with them. Our Press Corps coverage of arts events will bring you the teen perspective on the many virtual experiences and live streams that so many organizations are pivoting towards. I can’t think of a better group of people to innovate virtual coverage of these programs than teens - our most technology-savvy, artistically eager generation.
- It’s also a new time to focus on young people! Teen artists are making, creating, and dreaming - that doesn’t stop because they’re at home! You’ll see us amplifying teen voices by showcasing their writing on the TeenTix blog, highlighting their art on social media, and generally providing them a space to express themselves during a time where they feel just as cramped and confined as the rest of us.
- The New Guard - our teen leaders - are connecting online, and working independently to create space for themselves within the arts while continuing their arts business education. What better real-world experience is there right now than working alongside professionals in our community to figure out how to shift strategies around spring events, to continue fundraising during a crisis, and to imagine and develop new ways of exploring art and bonding with their peers during social distancing? This group is sticking to their roots - steering our organization through a unique time and making sure we are doing everything we can to support the teens who want to engage with art right now.
Thank you for being family. Thank you for being the fiercest advocate for young people and our arts community that you can be right now.
Be safe and stay healthy -
Monique Courcy & Ariel Glassman on behalf of TeenTix and the Board of Directors