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SPAC turns to cyberspace, passes 2012 budget

Venure aims to keep patrons engaged in the off season

— In an effort to keep its patrons engaged throughout the year, the Saratoga Performing Arts Center will now release new information about the coming season each week on its website.

The new initiative, called “The Building of a Season,” is meant to give event-goers a look behind the scenes and provide a “seamless transition” into the off season.

“Our major goal for 2012 is to keep our audience connected,” said SPAC's President and Executive Director Marcia White at the final board of director’s meeting of the year. “But we have a problem with trying to keep the audience engaged. There’s a long period between the time the curtain falls and when the curtain rises for the next season.

The board saw demonstrations of the types of announcements that would now made to the public digitally at its Dec.1 meeting at the Desmond Hotel in Colonie.

Each Thursday, starting on Dec. 8, Building of a Season components will be released on SPAC’s website and will feature information on new artists or programs lined up for the coming season. White said that unlike announcements made in the past, providing the programming information online allows SPAC to highlight the artists using photos, videos and other digital media.

“Making the arts more accessible and interactive has been one of our most important goals in recent years,” said White. “Building a Season takes us further in that direction by giving the public a virtual front row seat to our programming process.”

She said the performing arts center currently does not provide previews of attractions to come and “to not take advantage of that opportunity is mind-boggling.”

The new digital initiative is part of a larger marketing effort. Interact@SPAC was started last year to further emerge patrons into the SPAC experience.

According to White, those involved in entertainment industry understand the “strategical need” to implement visuals. For SPAC, vacant or “dead” space is an issue prior to performances and in between acts.

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