Community Engagement Project
The Next to Normal project bridged the worlds of art and behavioral health in a new and exciting way. Based on the concept that art can not only entertain, but convey important messages to the community, this project moved Broadway in a direction that promotes education, understanding and community outreach. Inspired by the content of the show, we sought to create an open environment where mental health issues can be discussed in the context of the musical, without fear of stigmatization or judgment.
The Next to Normal Community Engagement Project turned out to be a great success.
- 56 guests attended a pre-show lecture; 65 stayed for the post-show discussion. The pre- and post-show activities convened segments of the community that do not usually interact. Guests included: city policy-makers; health care providers; philanthropic leaders; loyal Broadway patrons; individuals suffering with bipolar disorder; and students from the Drexel School of Public Health, Penn Medicine, and the University of the Arts.
- Total attendance for the run of Next to Normal was 10,714 individuals, with 4,379 individual ticket buyers purchasing one or more tickets. Of the 4,379 ticket buyers, 1,170 had not purchased tickets to any other 2010-2011 Kimmel Center performance.
- The project facilitated honest, provocative interaction about mental health issues, and post-event feedback was overwhelmingly supportive, including the testimonial below from Sharon W. Goodill, Ph.D and Chairperson of the Department of Creative Arts Therapies at Drexel University:
“Thank you again for including the Drexel creative arts therapies department in this visionary exploration of art, mental health, and community awareness. The musical was of course, moving and superb, and the discussions so important in that you brought together a unique mix of voices and perspectives speaking about treatment and social issues.”