For ninety years, The Bushnell Center has been Greater Hartford’s crowning cultural jewel. It’s a unique venue for performing arts, but also for education and community activities.

Every time we highlight one of our venues, we focus on one or two unique concepts we admire about it. The Bushnell Center has so much to offer, it’s going to be a challenge. From a historic building that has served generations of Hartford, Connecticut performance arts patrons, to their dynamic 21st century performing arts center, to their modern message of cultural diversity and community outreach, the Bushnell has it all!

With so many wonderful attributes to highlight, we’ll need to go back to the very beginning, nearly a century ago.

History of The Bushnell Center: Founded by Father & Daughter Ninety Years Ago

Per their website, the Bushnell’s tale is a family-love story, which began with father Horace and culminated through daughter Dotha. Both individuals left tremendous imprints on the Capital City of Hartford, CT. (If you’re looking for a different kind of love story, check out our blog post about The Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts.)

Horace Bushnell was a well-respected man, perhaps one of the greatest scientific minds in a younger America.

  • He was a Yale-educated minister, theologian, reverend, scientist, and inventor.
  • He was also one of the founders of modern Protestantism.
  • Horace was a renowned and respected inventor, with many completed patents.
  • Scientists and inventors from all around the world consulted with him for advice.

Horace’s daughter Dotha had a vision for Greater Hartford. Her vision included a world-class performing arts center in that would be a memorial to her beloved father, and also a gift to her Hartford community.

  • She hired well-known architects Corbett, Harrison, and MacMurray to design the Bushnell.
  • These innovative architects designed the world-famous Radio City Music Hall.
  • Dotha sold her stocks and investments in December 1928 (right before the Great Depression) to fund construction in 1929.
  • In 1930 the Center opened and was called a “beacon of hope,” in the midst of the Great Depression.

Offering both employment and the distraction of entertainment for 2,800 seats per performance, the Bushnell has been cherished by Hartford families ever since!

The Historic Buildings of Bushnell Center

Every community has its landmarks. Seattle has the Space Needle, Las Vegas is home to the Stratosphere. The Bushnell is one of those special structures that creates a feeling of home and a sense of location for passersby. It’s a beloved landmark in the community, and established a sense of community and belonging among the locals.

The Audience Experience at the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts

The Bushnell Center offers a unique audience experience, blending original historic buildings with state-of-the-art theatrical technology. It’s a large campus, but any visit should include a visit to two primary buildings and a selfie with Drama.

Visit The William H. Mortensen Hall  an exceptional example of the Art Deco style. Images of the sun, moon, and stars -symbolizing light, knowledge, and eternity abound for the audience’s admiration.

The Mortensen Hall is home to Drama –  the largest hand-painted ceiling mural in the US! Barry Faulkner and the staff created this 1929 masterpiece, which features the Muse of Drama. Surrounding the deity are vivid representations of theatrical performance and hope, as well as astrological symbolism and zodiac references. One cannot help but admire the symbolism and beauty of Drama!

Admire The Maxwell M. and Ruth R. Belding Theater,  which seats 906 souls. This beautiful, modern theater known locally as “The Belding” opened its doors in 2002. Younger and smaller than the Mortensen hall, the audience experiences state-of-the-art acoustics and a more exclusive performance.

  • This ceiling mural, by Evergreen Studios of NYC, offers a more modern interpretation of Art Deco sun, moon, and stars in the main hall.

Our Role at Onstage Publications

At Onstage, our mission is to provide the finest luxury-level program books to illustrious performing arts centers, like the Bushnell. We are honored to work with these historic venues, and we love to help them modernize with high-quality digital signage for advertisers. Our goal is always to present performing artists and advertisers in the finest publications possible. Reach out to us today if you’d like to get your brand in front of Hartford, Connecticut’s most affluent audience.


Reach out to Kyle at (866) 503-1966 x109 or contact by email to secure your ad space.

Onstage Chosen For Prestigious Menuhin Competition Richmond 2020 Ad Sales

The team at Onstage Publications is elated to announce our exciting collaboration with the prestigious Menuhin Competition to be hosted this year in Richmond, Virginia. For violinists, competing at the Menuhin Competition is akin to competing at the Olympics. The world’s most talented youths will come from all around the globe to compete!

In addition to adding the Richmond Symphony to our growing list of exclusive clients for their program book publishing and venue digital signage needs, Onstage will be handling the ad sales for this prestigious program book that is handed out to every attendee.

This elite audience is welcome to experience eleven days of masterful performance, as the finest young violinists from all around the globe compete before a jury of professional violinists. These jurors (judges) will also perform and teach violin masterclasses to the competitors.

This year’s 11-day violin competition and performing arts extravaganza runs May 14th through the 24th. 

  • Olympic-level competition of the world’s best violinists.
  • Then the audience will experience professional violin and performing arts concerts.
  • Masterclasses occur on Thursday.
  • The following weekend is full of special events, including the final Closing Gala Concert event!

Onstage will be representing our advertisers every step of the way!

Onstage Publications Welcomes The Menuhin Competition 2020

Eighteen nations are represented this year by a 44 youthful violinists. The US is well represented with 18 American competitors, one hailing from Virginia! Other countries competing include Spain, Italy, France. Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, Poland, Japan, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Switzerland, Taiwan, Ukraine, and the UK are all represented this year.

  • These artists range in age from 11 to 21.
  • Some are returning to Menuhin for the second time, but most of these youths are first time competitors.
  • About a third of them come from non-musical families.

And We Thank the Jurors

Imagine if the Olympic judges not only rated the competitions, but then proceeded to school competitors, and perform themselves! We appreciate each juror coming to share their wealth of violin talent and techniques with the superstars of tomorrow. Check them at Menuhin’s official juror page.

Why Advertise at the Menuhin Competition?

While our advertising opportunities are available to any organization, we feel some of the best sectors and product matches for this audience could be:

  • Banking and financial institutions
  • Insurance brokers and surplus lines insurers
  • Luxury level musical instruments
  • Fine art galleries and artists
  • Private schools and universities
  • Music schools
  • Private aircraft, flight and travel services

For a week-and-a-half, the world’s most illustrious musicians, and all their fans, will have their eyes on the Competition. Between the luxury program books, which will be in the hands of every single audience member, we’ll also be putting your brand on blast via digital signage. This is your opportunity to saturate an incredibly elite international target market!

  • It’s an incredibly rare opportunity for domestic organizations to increase their reach to eighteen other nations with a single media blitz.
  • This audience is affluent, educated, well-traveled and ready to invest!

Who other than Onstage Publications could burn your brand into the minds and hearts of the world’s most well-educated, wealthy, jet-setters? We are SO EXCITED to be involved!

Our Role

If you’ve been reading our blog for any length of time, you know our mission is to provide the highest quality program books for the most elite performing arts experiences. We’re proud to provide digital signage throughout the 11-day experience at the Menuhin Competition. Would you like to reach the most elite audience of the globe for eleven days? Reach out to us today!

Aside from writing about publishing performing arts program books in some of the most unique and exquisite places in the U.S., you may have also noticed a recurring theme throughout our Amazing Venues blog series: a focus on community involvement and youth enrichment among our performing arts venues. We’ve said it before: Who knows where we’ll find the next Pavarotti? He or she may be attending a public school in an urban jungle. We don’t know! That’s why it’s so important to expose our children to the performing arts and provide them opportunities for musical growth.

But what comes next? How can the next generation of performance artists make the leap from high school to mainstage?

The Palm Beach Opera (PBO) has the answer! PBO goes beyond the standard student exposure with affordable children’s concerts and free high school presentations. PBO provides three pathways for an aspiring artist to graduate from student to performer. These three programs bridge the gap between aspiring performing artists and actual performing artists.

Future Artist Training at Palm Beach Opera 

The Palm Beach Opera Studio

Per their website “the [PBO] Studio is an eight-month training program that fosters the skills high school students will need to pursue a successful music career in college and beyond. The Studio program is rigorous, the learning experience is exceptional, and participants are held to high professional standards.” PBO Studio offers two distinct learning paths for high schoolers:

  • The Performing Arts Administration Track: Future board members, managers, and CEOs take part in one-on-one meetings with PBO Directors and Managers to learn how a professional performing arts company functions from the inside. Students complete projects relevant to their interests and are welcome to attend working rehearsals and mainstage performances. They’ll learn about finances
  • The Performer Track: for future opera singers, classical-style vocalists, or any future singer looking to enhance skills and begin a resume. PBO Studio’s Performance Track singers will take part in private instruction, masterclasses, vocal coaching and workshops led by the professionals. Participants are welcome to attend working rehearsals, mainstage performances, and are offered genuine performance opportunities in front of an elite audience.

After completing this rigorous instruction, PBO offers two more tiers for aspiring youths to develop their skills as artists and staff, and to build their professional resumes.

The Bailey Apprentice Artist Program 

The Cornelia T. Bailey Apprentice Artist Program offers real-life performance experience for recent music-school graduates. The Bailey Apprentice Artists are truly PBO’s community ambassadors. They’ll perform all over the region in community engagement concerts, cover supporting roles, study the leading roles in famous opera productions, and add their fresh vocal strength and youthful glow to mainstage choruses.

The Benenson Young Artist Program 

The Benenson Young Artist Program creates the final stepping stone for these young artists to launch a successful career as a performing artist. The Benenson Young Artists will spend a five-month residency at PBO polishing essential stagecraft and putting the final finish on their performance skills.

PBO’s experienced administrative and artistic staff, together with their distinguished visiting guests from around the globe, will provide aspiring artists with career insights and artistic instruction. These future opera superstars are offered supporting roles in mainstage productions, cover coveted leading roles, and perform at special events in the Palm Beach community.

Reach the Unreachable

Here at Onstage, our role is to provide the finest program books available to the performing arts industry. We are thrilled to be part of the professional development of opera’s future stars (and the staff who support them.) As you can see from this focus on The Palm Beach Opera, as well as our other performing arts partners, Onstage can get your business in front of a hyper-focused, hard to reach demographic that other forms of advertising simply cannot reach. We call it reaching the unreachable. We also provide digital signage in lobbies and halls and offer a unique, direct mail product for opera fans as well as all other performing arts genres. Get in touch with us today to learn more about our unique performing arts advertising opportunities.

Our mission at Onstage is to produce the highest quality, luxury program books available to venues and performing arts groups. Along the way, we’ve developed long relationships with many venues, and we know better than anyone that every organization offers a unique audience experience.

Sitting down to write an article about the AT&T Performing Arts Center (ATTPAC) in Dallas brought us a different challenge, as very few venues offer such extensive programming, such a variety of genres, and so many community programs. That’s before we even consider the massive size of the campus itself and it’s many options for performing artists!

We had to stew on this one overnight because so many aspects of this venue deserve recognition. After much thought, we decided to honor ATTPAC’s unique Elevator Project, a division of ATTPAC created to bring Dallas area’s more marginalized artists a professional performance platform.

AT&T Performing Arts Center’s Elevator Project

According to their website, the Elevator Project launched in 2014 to provide small, emerging, and historically marginalized arts organizations and artists with a quality performance venue in the Dallas Arts District. Each season offers audiences a remarkable variety of performances across all genres, with the projects chosen through a competitive process.

Elevator project applicants must be Dallas-based. We appreciate the fact that special consideration is given to groups who don’t have a performance space to call home, for these are the groups who truly need exposure! Successful projects often include:

  • new and experimental works
  • ethnically and culturally specific projects
  • performances designed for unique spaces on the sprawling ATTPAC campus

Performances can range from single-night presentations to multi-week runs. They include:

  • music
  • cabaret
  • theater
  • spoken word
  • dance
  • comedy
  • opera
  • and others

Historically made possible by the support of the City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs (now the Office of Arts & Culture), this program encourages small arts organizations and individual artists to take this opportunity to excite, entertain, and stimulate an appreciative audience.

Most of these shows occur in Hamon Hall in the Winspear Opera House, or in the 6th Floor Studio Theatre in the Wyly Theatre.

The Winspear Opera House & Wyly Theatre at AT&T Performing Arts Center

Our admiration of the Elevator Program is so fierce because these artists get to experience genuinely world-class venues!

The Winspear

John Allison of Opera Magazine has hailed the Winspear as one of America’s finest opera houses. Per their website, The Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House is a 21st-century reinterpretation of the traditional “horseshoe” style opera house, engineered specifically for the performance of opera and musical theatre.” Its stages are also equipped perfectly for ballet and other types of dance.

  • Foster + Partners designed it under Pritzker Prize-winning architect Norman Foster and Deputy Chairman Spencer de Grey.
  • It seats an audience of 2,200.

The Wyly Theatre

The Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre is arguably the most versatile theatrical performing space on the planet! It was designed by REX/OMA, Joshua Prince-Ramus (partner in charge) and Rem Koolhaas.

The Potter Rose Performance Hall in Wyly can be shaped into several configurations: including proscenium, flat floor, or thrust configurations.

This variable sort of space adds to the uniqueness of each Elevator Program event hosted at ATTPAC, and keeps audiences wanting more!

Our Role

Program book publishing is the core of our business at Onstage. We seek to shine a spotlight upon artists, venues and advertisers in the best light and present them to a well-cultured audience. If you are interested in reaching patrons at the The Winspear Opera House & Wyly Theatre at AT&T Performing Arts Center we’re the people to call.

Onstage Publications is proud to work with such an illustrious organization as AT&T Performing Arts Center, and we appreciate their endeavor to bring lesser-known performing artists and performance styles to the front of the industry. Who knows where the next Tchaikovsky will come from? We have a feeling he or she might be from Dallas!

The Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra is All About Diversity

Our program book publishing clients at Onstage comes from all over the nation! We love to be part of their vision of diversity. One of our most culturally diverse customers must be The Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra, a group of outstanding performance artists who are dedicated to bringing joy to the central Florida region in the form of enriched music and performances.

The “Orlando Phil” has it all!

Each of our program book customers brings unique talent and vision to the modern performing arts world. The Orlando Phil provides more than 150 concerts to the Orlando area, and venues ranging from parks and schools to traditional auditoriums.

  • Classical concerts & pre-concert lectures for ticket-holders
  • Educational programs & youth programs
  • Community involvement
  • Cuban and Latino cultural programming
  • Performances in all price ranges, even free!
  • Performances by visiting musicians

We appreciate all the musicians and the dedicated administrative staff that make these events happen!

About the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra

The Orlando Phil is growing! Next year will be their 27th Season.

This 2019 – 2020 fall-winter season is chock full of concerts; with such a wide variety of performances, we almost don’t know where to begin!

The Fairwinds Classics Series of concerts will all be held at the Bob Carr Theater and include

  • Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony– October 26, 2019, at 8 pm. The orchestra will perform the most iconic piece of classical music in human history.
  • The Sounds of Revolution, Freedom and Joy– February 1, 2020, at 8 pm. Soloists Colleen Blagov and guest Jeremy Kittel perform themes from the American Civil and Revolutionary Wars. The evening will close dramatically with a performance of Shostakovich’s Sixth Symphony.
  • American Rhapsody– March 21, 2020, at 8 pm. A night of American composers, featuring Gershwin’s jazzy Rhapsody in Blue, which has enchanted American audiences since 1924.

A Note on Administrative Staff & Volunteers

While this blog series focuses mostly on venues and artists, we need to tip our hats to the administrative staff and volunteers associated with the Orlando Phil. As marketing professionals and business people, we understand the values and constraints of budgets.

Have you ever put together a big event, like a wedding? You know the amount of time and preparation it takes. Now imagine hosting 125 – 150 big events every year! We must point out that the Orlando Philharmonic’s administration must be doing it right because they are one of the few American orchestras that have balanced their budget every single year of their existence! That’s a major accomplishment!

Would we like to take a little crumb of credit for their success as partners who provide outstanding publication of their luxury program books? We would! At Onstage Publications we do more than publish luxury program books for clients. We help organizations stay on-tasks by removing the stress and busywork of quality program book production.

About Music Director Mr. Eric Jacobsen

According to the Orlando Phil website Mr. Jacobsen is nearing his fifth year as Music Director for the Orlando Phil. In 2016 he stepped down from his position as cellist of the string quartet Brooklyn Rider, to focus on his position as conductor and Music Director.

His vision launched a new trend in community engagement with his creative and diverse programming; intending to engage a broader audience, and the entire community is grateful!

The New York Times calls him “an interpretive dynamo”! He has a reputation for innovative presentations and collaborative works, and is probably known most for his skill at engaging an audience.

You Know that Audience Engagement is the Key to Experiential Marketing

Our specialty is experiential marketing. We get excited about music directors and orchestras who involve the audience and leave them feeling like they were a part of the concert.

We are experts at getting your brand in front of affluent, involved audiences all around the nation with luxury program books, digital signage at venues and our direct mail program Artspac. Would you like to learn more about marketing to this coveted opt-in mailing list? Contact us today!

With our ongoing blog series, Amazing Artists & Venues, Onstage Publications has thus far highlighted performing artists, organizations, administrators, and venues all over the nation. Today, we look much closer to our home state as we bring to you the Dayton Opera of Ohio; and the gorgeous theater which houses them.

The Dayton Opera has enriched Ohio’s Miami Valley since it’s inception in 1960. The Dayton Opera is one prong of the three-pronged Dayton Performing Arts Alliance, which also includes the Dayton Ballet & Philharmonic. It all began when a group of opera-loving locals met in December to discuss the region’s lack of a genuine professional opera company.

History of the Dayton Opera

  • The Dayton Opera performed its first season in 1961-62.
  • It was formally incorporated in 1962. Since then, Dayton’s audiences have grown from 3,000 in its first season to over 20,000 souls!
  • Dayton Opera’s founder Lester Freedman led the young opera company for 20 years, producing memorable nights for opera-goers in Dayton Downtown’s Memorial Hall.
  • In 2003, Dayton Opera moved from its long-time home of Memorial Hall to the Benjamin and Marian Performing Arts Center.
  • The move has enabled the company to produce bigger and better productions in a modern, acoustically superior theater.

We get excited about outstanding auditoriums here. They are the cornerstone of a memorable audience experience!

The Benjamin and Marian Schuster Performing Arts Center

Also known to Daytonians as the Schuster Center, this fantastic venue is two separate structures – a performing arts center and an office/condominium tower. Per their website, “The performing arts center serves as the focal point of the facility and includes the Mead Theatre, the Mathile Theatre, and Citilites restaurant and bar. Performance Place, the office/condo tower attached to the Schuster Center, rises 224 feet from the sidewalk…”

The Mead Theatre is the heart and soul of the facility, and it’s home of fantastic performing arts venues, including our beloved Dayton Opera. This state-of-the-art facility accommodates an audience of 2,300, who attend to see a diverse selection of artists from opera to ballet, orchestral performances and more.

The audience experience begins Architect Cesar Pelli’s design intended to feel like an evening outside, under the starry skies. Cool blues and orange-reds of the interior reach the domed ceiling. There, circles of fiber optic lights depict the Dayton sky precisely as it looked on December 16, 1903, when the eve of the Wright Brothers’ first flight.

A close focus on acoustics enhances this unique audience experience. As per their website, world-renowned planning and design consultants created a close, intimate setting for the audience. The last row is only 120 feet from the stage!

Seating options include:

  • orchestra
  • loge (also known as box seating)
  • upper balconies
  • lower balconies

Such a stunning venue has attracted world-famous performers from diverse backgrounds and genres!

Noteworthy Artists

Numerous performance artists have graced the Dayton Opera with their amazing performances. Some opera legends they’ve hosted include:

Whether attending a world-class performance or spending a night out with local musicians, Dayton’s audience enjoys one of the most beautiful theaters built in modern history!

Audience Experience Matters

Classical musicians and performing artists make up the lion’s share of our program book clients here at Onstage. We know theater-goers are thrilled to experience a once-in-a-lifetime experience when they go to a production by the Dayton Opera. And for that, we salute them!

Our purpose is to present audiences with incredibly high-quality program books. The audience learns about the organization, the performers, and the history of the performance they’re about to experience. Program books are cherished tokens of an adventurous night out. Contact us if you’d like to learn more about luxury program book publications with Onstage!

Related Reading & Resources: Benjamin and Marian Schuster Performing Arts Center

A few of our satisfied clients.

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