What We've Learned from Hop@Home

Michael Bodel, Director of External Affairs

Artists and audiences need institutions that provide reliable platforms for creating and presenting work. But the arts themselves are magnificent disrupters, and artists are skilled at finding power and beauty in instability. 

This spring, we at the Hop learned a lot about disruption and creativity as we committed to continue our mission in a time when we all were distanced.

We pivoted dramatically to digital spaces and launched Hop@Home. Since then, we have presented about thirty events in two months, all for free. 

Reaching far beyond the Upper Valley, Hop@Home presented intentional, impactful work for audiences to enjoy (and share) and pioneered new platforms for artists and students. Even when live events return, some virtual programming is here to stay. Nothing replaces the power of the live experience. But this period has shown us the inspiring potential of Hop@Home.

Here's what we have learned

  • Hop patrons are unflinching in their commitment to the arts and the work we support. Over 85% of you who had tickets to postponed events decided to keep the cost of your tickets as an account balance at the Hop. Thank you.

  • Nothing beats the heart and talent of Dartmouth Idol students. "Live with the Idols" drew hundreds of comments and 1,500+ views in the first week.

  • Living room concerts are also popular, and the process of producing these concerts is invaluable for the artists themselves, who are looking to build their own technical ability to self-produce.

  • About a quarter of our views came from outside the US as students and alumni tuned in from afar.

  • Nation-wide reach was also inspiring with 40% of views coming from outside New Hampshire and Vermont. Top states were New York (8%), California (8%), Massachusetts (7%), Illinois (4%), Michigan (3%) and Minnesota (2%). 

  • YouTube is preferred over Facebook for live-streamed events, so if you haven't subscribed, you might now.

  • Folks love Downton Abbey (or at least Julian Fellowes) and Mahler (or at least the stunning concert halls of Siena). There were over 300 people watching each event live.

  • 9 pm is too late for many.

  • Dancers are down to keep moving. And kids love dancing too

  • You like emails or Facebook reminders right before events start. We are working on the ability to add Hop@Home events to your personal calendars.

  • Chats with artists from the stage (Hop to Broadway) and screen (#smallscreenfun) were well received and widely shared. We'll be continuing those series.

  • The creative sector is chock full of fantastic virtual arts ideas, which we've shared with you weekly as HopTakes. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, so we plan to mimic some of these fine examples over the next months. 

  • Alumni across the world enjoyed reconnecting with their Ensembles and dropping comments in our Coast or Wind Ensemble rewatch parties. 

On July 1, Hop@Home will continue for the summer, so stay tuned for a fun and thoughtful slate of summer events.

If you are a Hop Member, or are renewing your membership, thank you for such a tangible statement of belief in the arts. If not, please consider supporting what we do.