On behalf of the Institute of World Culture, I want to thank you for the many years you have published our free events. Without this wonderful community service, our organization would not exist, and the general public would miss some wonderful opportunities to participate in educational seminars, talks, films and discussion groups on all aspects of world culture.
We thought you would want to know that the recent changes in how you list events has, however, had a significant negative impact on attendance at our events. Where you used to list all events, you now highlight a few, and refer your readers to your online calendar for additional listings (actually, you ask your readers in very small print at the bottom of the page “Need More?”).
Many of those interested in our events are not computer savvy, some do not read carefully and only choose from the highlighted events, some do not have computers or Internet service (hard to believe), and those who are out-and-about and pick up a hardcopy to decide how to spend an afternoon or evening may have no access to events they might be very interested in attending. Every year we hold a summer film/discussion series and it is rare that the room is not full. Our last film, held on July 28, had about 1/3 of the normal number attending, and that has been true of other of our events since the new formatting began.
The new look is certainly more modern, but do you think it serves your readers and your community as well?
One reason I love the Santa Barbara Independent is its sense of community and integrity, and, especially for those of us who refrain from subscribing to the Santa Barbara News-Press, it is our primary source of community news and information. I would like to encourage you to return to serving a wider community by displaying all events, not just a few, in your weekly printed publication.