This case study describes the efforts of the San Francisco Girls Chorus (SFGC) to raise its local artistic and cultural profile. Despite producing high-quality, award-winning vocal music, SFGC had difficulty attracting classical music patrons to its concert series in the San Francisco Bay Area. Focus group research revealed that the local audience was unaware of the artistic potential of girls’ choruses in general and the SFGC’s depth of artistry in particular. SFGC then embarked on a rebranding campaign to emphasize the chorus’s artistic excellence and, thereby, diversify its audience beyond “friends and family.” This effort included overhauling marketing materials, finding new performance venues and refining its choral programming presentation. The rebranding effort also required that SFGC’s leaders build an organizational consensus and recalibrate the focus of its board to define SFGC first and foremost as a world-class performing arts organization.
Early signs suggest that SFGC has achieved some success in reshaping its audience. But this effort requires ongoing work, and SFGC’s commitment to rebranding itself will continue to play a major role in key decisions about programming, marketing and performance venues in years to come.
This report is part of a set of case studies and reports looking at the efforts of arts organizations that received Wallace Excellence Awards to reach new audiences and deepen relationships with current ones.