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Besides sharing best practices in attracting and retaining new audiences, this conference helps guide arts leaders into new realms of organizational transformation resulting in fresh revenue, energized patrons and greater community impact. In the brave new world of audience-building, marketing directors, development directors and executive directors vibrate on the same frequency, opening the door to increased numbers, diversity, artistic excellence and long term sustainability.  Join Penelope McPhee, president of the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation, Terri Theisen of Theisen Consulting Group and Keri Mesropov of TRG Arts of Colorado Springs for this exciting experience, introducing the newest methods of:

Expanding audiences and contributed revenue dramatically – even in the first year.

Providing innovative new tools for Marketing and Development officers.


The Audience Building Summit is hosted by the Georgia Repertory Theatre, an innovative partnership between the Springer Opera House – the State Theatre of Georgia – and the Columbus State University Department of Theatre. For three years, this organization has engaged in the development of out-of-the-box techniques for American arts institutions to have a greater economic impact in the communities they serve, create jobs and make their programs more essential to its citizens.


The Springer Opera House, the 148 year-old State Theatre of Georgia and a National Historic Landmark.  The Springer is located in the heart of the vibrant arts district of Uptown Columbus, Georgia – home to nine theatres, numerous galleries, a public art walk, university art, music, theatre and dance departments, restaurants, cafes, pubs, shops, bakeries, bike rentals, a zipline between Georgia and Alabama, a gorgeous 22 mile long Riverwalk along the Chattahoochee River and the world’s longest urban whitewater course.


According to a recent study by the National Endowment for the Arts, about 13% of adults in your community want to attend arts events but somehow never make it to the show.  For those who take a chance and come for the first time, over 90% of them don’t return for the next event.  What’s going on here.  The basic answer is personal engagement but the tools for engagement are many. The Audience Building Summit puts you in the same room as the trail blazers in this new field and their message is:  “Transformation begins here.

Places to Stay

Looking for a quick getaway or an extended stay? Columbus, GA offers affordable lodging options with amazing amenities and stellar service you’d expect from a great southern host city. From ultra-modern hotels to comfy budget inns, we have more than 4,600 rooms from brands you know and trust. With most offering special packages throughout the year. Sweet dreams!

Special Rate:
Marriott Columbus

Marriott ColumbusTo book your room at the conference rate, you must call directly to The Marriott at 706-324-1800. Ask for Amy and she will help you with the reservation. For more information, please visit our page.

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Things to Do

Whether you’re visiting Columbus, GA for business or pleasure, you’re in for a great time. There are so many things to do, restaurants to sample, stores to shop, and events to experience. If you’re still in the planning stages, you’re at the right place to get all the info you need to prepare for your trip. If you’re already here, our website makes it easy to locate a museum or music venue, look up fun events, or find the perfect place to buy a gift or grab a beer. So what are you waiting for, adventure awaits!

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Places to Eat

One of the best parts of exploring Columbus? The food! Our local chefs are insistent about quality, innovation and flavor. So pack your appetite, and make a “must eat” list of your favorite Columbus restaurants, bistros and sidewalk cafes.

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