AURORA | Members of the Aurora Fox Arts Center’s board of directors outlined several of the theater’s annual accomplishments for the city’s Foundations, Quality of Life, and Boards and Commissions Policy Committee last week, including a significant bump in season subscriptions.
The Fox theater saw a 26-percent increase in season subscriptions between 2014 and 2015, according to Charlie Packard, executive producer at the East Colfax theater.
“I’ve never seen a jump like that, and it was a big enough jump that it was surprising to me,” Packard said. “What it tells us is that there’s a high degree of trust in the quality and the value of what we’re doing. It makes us feel really good, proud and confident stepping out into the next season.”
Now in the final stretch of its 31st season, the Fox announced the five shows that will comprise its 32nd season on March 15.
Packard said that he can’t point to a specific reason for the Fox’s increased business in 2015, but he said that ongoing efforts by Tracy Weil, managing director of the ACAD, have slowly helped to lure people to the area and reshape longstanding perceptions of East Colfax as an undesirable destination.
“My goal for the year was to be up 10 percent, which in itself was a pretty bold promise to make my board of directors,” Packard said in a December interview. “But (the increase) probably just means that Tracy’s efforts of image control for the neighborhood have been successful.”
The ACAD welcomed more than 100,000 visitors for the first time in 2014, which is a 25-percent boost from the year prior, according to Weil. Exact numbers for 2015 have yet to be calculated.
The Fox hosted about 40,000 visitors in 2015, according to Packard.
Next year, Packard said that he aims to bump his season subscriptions an additional 15 percent and promote trickle-down outreach efforts led by city council members.
“One of the greatest things that council can do for the Aurora Fox is be an ambassador,” Jeff Sharp, chair of the Fox board of directors, said at the committee meeting. “When you attend a performance, tell people about your experience and get the word of the Fox out.”