In 2001 six major arts organizations, located in Pittsburgh’s newly designated Cultural District, came together to explore the then scary proposition of sharing services. As a first step we reanalyzed each organization’s past research in order to assess what they collectively knew and didn’t know about their patrons, brands, and the downtown district. We followed this with in-depth interviews among a diverse range of arts attenders and non-attenders, and a large scale quantitative study among the broad target market.
Our findings, insights, and recommendations were instrumental in leading the group to develop the country’s first-ever shared transactional database, conduct joint marketing efforts, and effectively position the Cultural District as a destination brand. The Shared Services department of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust continues to be a national model in arts collaboration and the organizations continue to play happily in the same sandbox.