Friday Tips: Reaching Out to the Smaller Towns


Spoke today at a Topeka Rotary luncheon, as I speak at different functions from Des Moines to Wichita when not on the coasts.  Why these smaller towns?  Man, there’s great business to be done there.

Certain corporations and collectors in each of these cities are passionate about the arts, involved in their communities, and anxious to promote the arts.  They understand that doing this enriches their schools, institutions and businesses.  This means that they’re interested in working with regional galleries.  And although Topeka is 50 miles from KC, that’s still in my region.  In fact I’ve many great clients there.

So if I lived in Atlanta, Seattle or Philly, you can be sure I’d be doing this with the smaller cities nearby.  I trust your galleries are doing the same.  It’s not enough to hope the clients will walk through the door as a result of marketing; sometimes you must reach out to them.  When done with humor, inclusion and integrity, they’ll often reach back.

3 thoughts on “Friday Tips: Reaching Out to the Smaller Towns

  1. Paul – I enjoyed your presentation yesterday at the Topeka Rotary Club. I am the editor of our monthly newsletter, the Rotopeka and I plan to include a story in our December issue. In the meantime, I posted a quick update about your presentation on our blog at There is something about the Midwestern mentality I think has a negative effect on art, whether it is visual arts, theater or writing. As a writer, it was refreshing to hear someone who found great success in the arts. I’ll forward you my article when I get it finished.

    Greg Hill

  2. Greg: Glad you enjoyed it. I had a great time, though I trust the meals don’t always score so high on the cholesterol chart. I was kidding some of the Rotarians about that, urging them to request curry chicken next time. They said they would.

    Yeah, for decades the Midwestern attitude toward the arts has been limiting, if not inhibiting. Gordon Parks and John Steuart Curry had great stories about that–Curry’s often laced with bitterness. It was because of this that he left Kansas, much to the state’s detriment. Same with Parks.

    But now I believe we’re in different waters. The region is maturing culturally, and artists able to make a living because the business community is recognizing their cultural importance, and is willing to pay what they’re worth. That’s one of the most important steps, and bears with it profound rewards. I see businesses and private collectors taking it every day. Good. One reason I moved back from NY was to encourage that, and help make it happen.

Leave a Reply