The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage's Marketing Innovation Project (MIP), a two-year effort, was established to enhance audience engagement for specific grantee projects that our selection panels believed demonstrated special potential to benefit from additional marketing funds. These resources have been deployed to raise project awareness, visibility, and impact through strategies that utilized traditional means and new technologies, as well as other inventive, less conventional solutions. This page will feature a series of case studies supported by MIP.
September 2010 Audience Engagement Study
The Design Center at Philadelphia University Sews up a Success with Lace in Translation
The Design Center’s historic Quaker Lace Company provided the inspiration for Lace in Translation, an exhibition funded by the Philadelphia Exhibitions Initiative that explored the intersection of luxurious handcraftsmanship with modern, mass production. European designers Tord Boontje and Demakersvan, and Canadian artist Cal Lane created remarkable installations for The Design Center’s unique and intimate space: a 1950s era, Hollywood-style ranch house. From the intricacy of a handwoven raffia curtain, to the industrial art forms of laser-cut fabrics, a welded filigree oil tank, and an incredibly detailed chain-link fence, Lace in Translation played with the concept of lace, utilizing unexpected materials and new technologies.
The exhibition provided The Design Center with an opportunity to engage new audiences, specifically those who practice the art of handmade laced, crocheted, cross-stitched, knitted, tatted, embroidered, quilted, beaded, and woven works. The Cultural Engagement Index of Research Into Action, a report on cultural participation implemented by the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance and funded by The Pew Charitable Trusts and the Wallace Foundation, stated that “personal practice is a gateway” to engaging with cultural institutions. With this as its foundation, the Marketing Innovation Program (MIP) assisted The Design Center in implementing a campaign that provided audiences with interactive engagement and insight into the artists’ creative process.
Read more about the collaboration between MIP and The Design Center and view images from Lace in Translation in the slideshow below:
SLIDESHOW: Click to see a slideshow of images from Lace in Translation and read more about the marketing collaboration between The Design Center and the Marketing Innovation Program. Photo by Kerry Polite, courtesy of The Design Center.
More than 350 people attended the opening reception compared with an average of 75 at past openings, and the exhibition's total turnout quadrupled that of past shows, attracting 5,150 visitors. Below are a few of the many testimonials provided by those who experienced Lace in Translation in person and online.
Truly inspiring. [It] is so amazing to see the unusual materials and hear the stories.
—from The Design Center guestbook
I can’t wait to see this in person…..the website is beautiful.
—TB, Dupont Corian Design Studio
I came upon this exhibition about lace via the NYTimes website. Wish I could see it in person. I am sitting at my desk in England but I have passed on info to my sister who is living and working in Phili so she can go to the show.
—AD, Oxford, England
Audience Engagement Study Archives
August 2010: Kùlú Mèlé African Dance and Drum African Dance and Drum Ensemble Realizes a Long-Term Dream in Conakry, Guinea
July 2010: Brat Productions' Haunted Poe: Scaring Up a Record-breaking Audience
June 2010: Presenting the Great Works of Tomorrow, Today: Repositioning Network for New Music
May 2010: Stories from The Paul Robeson House