Lummis Day, the Steering Committee, and Market Research

June 17, 2016 by Chris Morris

Many thanks to everyone who came out to the exhibit, poetry readings, and events during Lummis Day! And a special thanks to all of you who bought tickets to see the very special performance of “143 Days” by the phenomenally talented Heidi Duckler Dance Theater!

Tickets for the dance performance were a hot item and sold out well in advance of the show. The building was packed with visitors from across Los Angeles who moved through the building, outside onto the terrace, and into the tunnel as 6 dancers and 2 musicians performed a beautiful series of dances inspired by Charles Lummis and his walk across the country to LA. If you weren’t lucky enough to catch the show, HDDT will be posting photos and video of it in the near future. So check back here for more details.

The Steering Committee and Executive Committee have been meeting regularly in 2016, reviewing and analyzing the stakeholder interview report, online survey results, and lessons learned from the event series, and selecting a consultant for our market research and economic analysis. Minutes from the latest Steering Committee meetings are posted at the bottom Steering Committee page when the final versions are approved by the Steering Committee. You can find the minutes from the February 2 and May 6 meetings there now. The June 7 minutes will be posted after they are approved at the next meeting.

The recent work of the Steering Committee has been and continues to be focused on the market research and economic analysis prepared by our very experienced consultant, David Bergman of Metropolitan Research + Economics (M+RE). Several Steering Committee members were involved in the evaluation and selection process for this consultant, who is conducting market research and analysis for the National Trust. The Audubon Center in Deb Park is partnering with us on this research project because they also are deeply interested in understanding of local and regional markets and demographics to help determine the best options for programming, events, and revenue-generating activities in Deb Park. -At the completion of the project we plan to share the market research data with any local organizations or institutions who would find them useful.

David Bergman already has completed his initial market research and a small number of stakeholder interviews, the fascinating results of which were presented to the Steering Committee at their May meeting. (For instance…Did you know 777,000 people live within a 15-minute drive of the Southwest Museum Site? Or that 40% of the residents in any LA neighborhood moved in during the last 10 years?) You can read a summary of his market research presentation and key finding in the May meeting minutes.

The second phase of David’s work consists of evaluating “comparable” projects in the LA metro area and analyzing their annual budgets and operating structures. This will give us and the Steering Committee a much clearer understanding of how these places function and sustain themselves on a regular basis, and the range and type of funding sources they rely upon. The preliminary results of that detailed research were presented at the June meeting, but it was an enormous amount of information to absorb. The Committee will have a special meeting in July to continue their analysis and discussion of that research so they can begin the challenging work of assessing the options that are the most desirable, needed, and appropriate, and that also have the best potential for long-term sustainability.

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