In an age when breaking news and the latest trends are announced in 140 characters or less, and a quick blog post reaches thousands of readers instantaneously, people are finding more and more information sources to help them make decisions about cultural activities. The Walker communicates with patrons directly through Twitter, blogs, Facebook, and other digital-age innovations, but also recognizes that so-called “traditional” media remains one of the most effective means to reach broad audiences—including those that are new to the institution or may not be part of its established communications loop.
The Walker is fortunate to have partnered for decades with Star Tribune, Minnesota’s leading media brand. The Star Tribune newspaper is delivered to readers far beyond the Walker’s core membership, reaching those who may not be on mail or email lists but who wish to keep up with modern and contemporary art. Star Tribune’s reach extends far beyond the printed page. StarTribune.com has a monthly audience of more than 7 million unique visitors, making it by far the region’s top news and information destination. The Walker’s own surveys show StarTribune.com is also one of the most visited websites by Walker audiences, providing a perfect platform for promoting new exhibitions, film screenings, and performances. Vita.mn, Star Tribune’s weekly guide to arts and entertainment, connects the Walker with younger individuals interested in new and experimental music, films, performances, and visual art. Add mobile platforms, and Star Tribune offers an unmatched mix of communications options for reaching arts enthusiasts.
In addition to its longtime advertising partnership, Star Tribune has supported the Walker as a Premier Partner since 2005, bolstering the success of major exhibitions such as Picasso and American Art in 2008 and From Here to There: Alec Soth’s America in 2010. Outside the galleries, when the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2008, Star Tribune was there to highlight the many special activities. “Thanks to Star Tribune’s ongoing support, the Walker has been able to significantly expand its marketing reach,” says Ryan French, director of marketing and public relations. “In addition, their onsite presence at events has been great. It’s clear that our visitors—and Minnesotans from all walks of life—look to Star Tribune to keep them connected to our vibrant arts community.”
Some of the Walker’s best-attended annual events, including the British Television Advertising Awards and Rock the Garden, have grown year after year, due in part to Star Tribune’s generosity. “We’re thrilled to have such a long and rich tradition of supporting the Walker,” says Star Tribune chairman Mike Sweeney, who is also on the Walker’s board of trustees. “This organization is a landmark within the Twin Cities’ cultural landscape, and we’re proud to do our part to build awareness to its fantastic programming.”