At Swift Creek Mill Theatre, our mission is about educating and entertaining the public. We have been a gathering place for a diverse community for over three centuries. Our mission statement reads, “Swift Creek Mill Theatre provides central and Southside Virginia with professional theatre in a variety of genres, including its Youth Theatre and Educational Programs, and preserves its historic building.” We uphold tradition in presenting accessible world class theatre to the entire region and print advertising is necessary for us to properly communicate our mission and work with the community. With this grant for printing, we would be able to expand and grow our networking and success as a center for the arts.
Each season, Swift Creek Mill Theatre features MainStage performances, youth shows, summer camps, cabarets, wine dinners, art shows, and other programs. For us to succeed, both external and internal print marketing is a priority. Each of our MainStage productions go through thousands of playbills that feature not only performance information but local businesses’ advertisements as well. Our number of playbills correlates with ticket sales which are returning to pre-pandemic levels as COVID19 fades. For our MainStage shows we also print wall posters for our theatre entry way to celebrate the current show and create excitement for what is next to come.
Direct mailing is a significant part of our annual marketing. Our reach extends to over 14,000 households and we send out at least four mailings a year. In 2022, we sent out our annual donation request, a pamphlet with our season calendar, an informational postcard on our wine dinner series, and a postcard about our lineup of local cabaret performers. We find a direct correlation to our mailings and an increased number of ticket sales, donations, and interaction with our digital platforms.
Youth Programming is a significant portion of our mission and dedication. Helping foster imagination and creativity in the next generation is one of our greatest goals. For each of our youth shows we print posters or small playbills depending on the show. In 2022, we printed 6,000 playbills for our beloved winter show in the “Drifty the Snowman” series. They unfolded from a playbill into a full poster that featured signatures from the characters. For our performance summer camps, we print mini playbills with the names of all the campers as well as posters for them to have their castmates sign and hold as a souvenir.
Having these in hand mementos provide physical reminders of the memories they created at Swift Creek Mill Theatre. Our email newsletter sign ups soar after a direct mailing arrives at the homes of our patrons. Ticket sales skyrocket after brochures are passed out. Printed playbills foster community engagement through shared advertising. Children pin up the posters on their wall with the names of their friends and favorite characters. Receiving a grant through Conquest Graphics, we would be able to further educate our patrons about new programs, find greater success in continued outreach and extend our commitment to the greater Richmond community.
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