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Bay Area Arts Mailing List Exchanges Go Big

Are you a Domestic Duo, a Fast Track Family, Country Casual, or New Homesteader? Do you have “Gray Power” or belong to the “Second City Elite?”

These are just a few of the monikers used to label audience members in “The Big List,” a mailing list pool maintained by Theater Bay Area. Because 200 organizations (not all in the Bay Area) have participated in the list since 2008, if you have attended a concert in the Bay Area in recent years it is very likely someone is sharing your name. It was built by Enterex Marketing, a Madison Avenue firm. You may read about the list here.

With funding from the San Francisco government and major foundations, the list appears to be well-intentioned. Still, audience members should realize information sharing is an opt-out process, not an opt-in process. It is easy to forget to opt out when buying a ticket at the door of a performance at the last minute.

Sadly, the limited public data drawn from big list tells us something we already knew about Bay Area arts audiences: they are overwhelmingly white and wealthy. Bay Area average audience income is over $100k for every ethnic group except blacks and hispanics, and even they average $83k and 99k. 77% of of those listed are white.

You may opt out of the list by contacting Clay Lord at or 415-430-1140 x22. Also, the next time you buy tickets, you might also want to clarify if you are one of the Shotguns and Pickups, Bohemian Mixes or prefer Greenbelt Sports. If you don’t, you might end up with the Back Country Folk and singing the Blue-Chip Blues.