Derek Kwan, director of the Lied Center in Lawrence, explained the process that he and his staff use to book a winning season of programs. The goal is to devise a selection of options where every potential patron can find something that appeals to their taste. The task is to juggle quality with relevance, Kwan says. A successful selection will bring the necessary critical mass of audiences to the Lied.
A judgment about quality involves research about what awards and positive reviews a program has received in other places.
Relevance is an educated assessment of the needs of the various stakeholders that the Lied serves: the Lawrence community and schools; KU and its students; and supporters such as Friends of the Lied, Kansas Public Radio, Osher Institute for Lifelong Learning, and local businesses.
As Lawrence is a secondary market near Kansas City, the Lied seeks to avoid over-saturating the market. In addition, they must consider the size and cost of the production itself as well as exclusivity concerns.