Chelsea Sadler is with the Performance Network Theatre in Ann Arbor. She says "theaters across the country and in this area definitely saw a decline in sales and donations when the economy was really hurt a couple years. And I think that we’re now at a point where everyone’s starting to recover from that."
So much so that Sadler's theater had their most successful box office this past season - with sales up 13%. Sadler attributes the uptick in sales to better advertising and strong programming.
Hogle projects ticket sales will be "somewhere between 75% - 78% sold on our classical concerts," compared to around 63% of tickets sold the year before the strike.
Several arts leaders are hopeful this is a sign the economy is recovering. To quote Grand Rapids Ballet director Glenn Del Vecchio: "All indications at the moment are that things feel pretty good."
But it’s not all coming up roses. It seems people are less willing to commit to a full season. Many arts groups say they’ve seen a big drop off in the number of subscriptions they’ve sold. Performance Network, which saw a 12% increase in subscription sales last season, is the exception.