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Maxwell X Lab

Project Report

Glimmerglass Festival

May 2019

Project Description

  • Partners: Glimmerglass Festival
  • Intervention: Breaking Glass versus other performing arts/opera podcasts
  • Method: RCT
  • Outcomes: Increased interest in opera, support for diversity, and interest to attend performing arts

Project Report

The Maxwell X Lab partnered with the Glimmerglass Festival to test how listening to the Breaking Glass podcast changes preferences to attend opera and performing arts, and to support diversity. Breaking Glass is a five-episode podcast that centered on how opera can connect to contemporary issues and diverse audiences, and what implications that has for equity and inclusion in performing arts.

Participants for the experiment were recruited from Qualtrics panels and Amazon Mechanical Turk (MTurk), a crowdsourcing marketplace in which requestors can publish paid tasks and workers complete them online. We randomized participants to listen to a Breaking Glass or an alternative comparable podcast and then asked the participants to answer questions related to their preferences to attend opera and performing arts, and to support diversity.

Our experiment found that Breaking Glass increases interest in opera (+47% on average); likely improves support for diversity and inclusion in performing arts (+22% on average); and seems to improve listeners’ desire to attend performing arts, broadly (+14% on average).

Maxwell X Lab
426 Eggers Hall