Pursue virtual artistic performances for the sake of sustainability, accessibility (Your letters)

For the editor:

One of GreeningUSA’s 12 Sustainable Communities Traits is Trait 9: Local culture, art and entertainment which is well rounded and inclusive. Central New York is blessed with an abundance of equally important cultural and sporting sites, ranging from the Syracuse Opera House to 39 golf courses. And thanks to funds from the Federal American Rescue Plan, most of these sites have not only survived, but have adapted – in most cases – by switching to electronic remote options such as Zoom and Vimeo as well as returning to in-person attendance recently as Covid subsides.

But now that nearly everyone has returned to in-person attendance, organizations and their marketing departments — including all of our local churches — must decide whether to continue paying the extra cost of Zoom or Vimeo options for the season of next fall. Continuing to give seat holders a remote option should be strongly considered. But we should also consider selling remote viewing only – at, say, senior fares – and adding a ‘family’ ticket option costing a bit more than a remote single for the reasons listed below. below.

As someone who just a few years ago was a skier, in-line skater and 5k runner, but now has poor balance and has to use a walker, I would like to present the case of our local organizations not only by continuing the virtual home presentations, but also offering remote ticketing options only.

1. My seat at Syracuse Stage and Symphoria was left empty this season because I’m too disabled to go now, but I enjoyed the remote presentations they did. They could have sold my seat to someone else if they had a remote only option for people like me.

2. All local people with disabilities – whether seniors or not – are remote candidates.

3. Every family with children in need of a babysitter is a remote candidate.

4. Every year, a percentage of us move to another city, but might want to continue virtually. Multiply that by, say, 10 years and that number becomes significant.

5. Snowbirds who might not get a ticket because they would miss so much of the season.

6. Each ticket holder has friends, family, or out-of-town siblings who could enjoy a virtual ticket as a gift. Ticket holders could be offered a special discount for out-of-town gift tickets that could arrive in an attractive gift envelope.

7. A surprising number of people don’t own a car — the young, the old, the poor — or don’t like driving at night or from distant suburbs.

8. If every seatholder also continues to have the remote option, people who are sick or recovering from illness, injury or Covid can stay at home where they belong.

9. If you can sell all the seats, every distance sale is a profit.

Most local venues have marketing departments and here is an opportunity for them to turn a seemingly extra cost into an opportunity to continue the technologies they already have to provide better service to more people in the community, sell more tickets and improve our standing with GUSA trait 9 for sustainable communities.

David C. Ashley


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