Theater season is in full swing. Hopefully, your holiday stockings will be stuffed with tickets! Whether it’s visions of sugarplums or "Hamilton" dancing in your head, the Cincinnati Arts Association (CAA) has an important message for all of us. As the nonprofit organization that oversees programming and management for the Aronoff Center for the Arts, Music Hall and the Weston Gallery, the CAA reminds us that where you purchase your tickets matters.
The CAA brings schools to the theater and vice versa with their Schooltime and Artists on Tour programs. They work with medical providers to offer a creative outlet for those experiencing trauma through their Arts in Healing program. When you buy tickets to a performance at the Aronoff, part of your purchase also supports initiatives like these that make Cincinnati a better place through the arts. This is not the case if you purchase your tickets from a different ticket broker on the “secondary market.” When you use a secondary ticket seller, rather than purchasing directly from the box office, you are likely to pay more and get less, and the organization you intended to support gets less, too.
Knowing how to get tickets can be confusing and frustrating, especially for a highly popular show. It may be difficult to tell whether you are dealing directly with the arts organization. Ticket exchange websites often buy ads on certain keywords or phrases to ensure that they will appear at the top of search results. For instance, if you search for "Buy RENT tickets" and click on the first result you see, you likely won’t be buying tickets directly from the Cincinnati Arts Association. Scalpers are sneaky to say the least!
Unless you are buying your tickets directly from the box office, you will almost certainly pay more than necessary. Since secondary markets are not official representatives of the theater, you may also be seated in a different area than you thought. You won't receive important updates in the event of cancellations or delays. In some cases, your tickets may not even be legitimate.
How to avoid this unintended trap? Make sure you're in the right place. Look for the official website of the organization or venue you'll be attending. For the CAA, that is CincinnatiArts.org. If you're unsure, look for a phone number and call the organization directly.
In our busy world, experiences that turn into great family memories can be even more appreciated than tangible gifts. When you buy your theater tickets directly and support local arts in the process, your generosity goes that much further.