Livestreaming Cultural Events: How to Engage and Grow Your Community

For the past 30 years, Jazz at Lincoln Center has entertained millions with performances from jazz heavyweights such as Wynton Marsalis, Cecile McLorin Salvant and Joey Alexander. But there’s also another notable achievement – it’s now into its fifth consecutive year of successfully livestreaming cultural events with Livestream.

In 2017 alone, over 4 million tuned in from around the world to watch live broadcasts of Jazz at Lincoln Center’s concerts.

As a cultural institution, Jazz at Lincoln Center’s mission is to entertain, enrich, and expand a global community for jazz through performance, education, and advocacy. Simply put, its focus is on creating shared experiences and common ground among jazz lovers.

Creating Shared Experiences by Livestreaming Cultural Events

“[Since 2012], we have grown a dedicated global audience for jazz through the platform,” says Aaron Bisman, the venue’s Director of Audience Development. “Livestream has strengthened Jazz at Lincoln Center’s brand by helping us connect with people all over the world.”

Livestreaming cultural events has served as an outreach tool for Jazz at Lincoln Center. “We have viewers from all over the world in real time. When you open yourself up to digital opportunities, such as livestreaming, you can speak to an exponentially larger audience. Why wouldn’t you make your art, music, and content available to the widest audience possible? It’s a no-brainer,” says Bisman. Since adding Facebook Live to its livestreaming strategy, Jazz at Lincoln Center’s total live views have increased 818% year-over-year.

While some venue organizers fear that livestreaming performances could cannibalize in-person attendance, Jazz at Lincoln Center believes those views have been disproved. “We’re four years into presenting free concert livestreams and our ticket sales have only increased during that time,” Bisman shares.

Reaching a Global Audience by Livestreaming Cultural Events

Located at the corner of 92nd Street and Lexington Avenue, 92nd Street Y’s audience extends far beyond its neighborhood and the city of New York.

“We are not just for a New York audience, so live video fits in perfectly,” says Andrew Krucoff, Director of Digital Content at 92nd Street Y. “The programs that we do are for a worldwide audience.” The institution has been broadcasting its events with Livestream since 2012.

Established in 1874, 92nd Street Y is a Jewish cultural institution and community center that brings people together through performance and visual arts, literature and culture, and education. Each year, the organization holds over 2,000 events in New York, including its high holiday services, special conferences like the Social Good Summit and The Fast Company Innovation Festival.

As part of its livestreaming strategy to reach a global audience, the organization broadcasts events to its Livestream account,, Facebook page, as well as Periscope.

The ability to stream to multiple platforms simultaneously – specifically Facebook Live – has yielded impressive results for the institution. A recent livestream of CBS Sunday Morning to the show’s homepage and Facebook page recorded a total of 39,000 views, 1,300 reactions, 835 comments, and 129 shares.

“Being able to stream directly to Facebook is huge. Facebook is such a beast in the world. You need your content there. It allows us to collaborate with other organizations,” says Krucoff.

Connecting the Community by Livestreaming Cultural Events

Another institution successfully engaging its community by livestreaming cultural events is A customer of Livestream since 2012, the organization seeks to bring together the Native American and indigenous community by demonstrating the diversity of cultures through dance and song events.

Since its first powwow livestream in Oklahoma City in 2004, has seen exponential growth in its viewership, from “a couple thousand viewers” to over 1.9 million views in 2017. Similar to 92nd Street Y, it is also seeing the results of its ability to stream to its Livestream account and Facebook Live simultaneously. In 2017, received over 2.2 million live views of its events, with the majority coming from Facebook Live.

Its live video strategy is underpinned by its goal to engage the community. “We like to stream because it builds our community, gives great engagement, and helps people feel connected to their culture,” says Paul Gowder, CEO of, adding that livestreaming is “the ultimate connectivity tool.”

Livestreaming gives followers real-time access to events, in turn creating more authentic engagement. “It’s not just in history books. People can interact with our culture and see it firsthand.” For that reason, Gowder believes all cultural institutions should be investing in live video.

“It’s important to educate the public on a culture,” says Gowder. “Exposing more people to a culture helps bridge the gaps. No more hiding behind things or not understanding it. You can dispel myths with livestreaming. You can see it, you can watch it.”

You can learn more about livestreaming cultural events and growing your community from our full webinar. Watch the video below to learn:

  • Why livestreaming is key to your event’s audience growth strategy.
  • How to grow your audience by streaming to multiple destinations.
  • Best practices from 92nd Street Y, and Jazz at Lincoln Center.

This Week on Livestream | March 19, 2018

Watch live as Cleveland Cavaliers’ Larry Drew speaks with the press, John Oliver joins Nell Scovell in conversation at 92nd Street Y, and the Jazz for Young People series continues with an interactive celebration of Mary Lou Williams.

The Path Forward: Incarcerated America | New York Public Library
Monday, March 19
6:30 PM ET
“New York Public Library President Anthony Marx brings together criminal-justice-reform advocates from the right and left to discuss the complex of issues that our nation confronts when it comes to incarceration, particularly those faced by American youth.”

Mysterious Travelers Featuring Mike Kennedy | Author Events
Monday, March 19
“Mike Kennedy is a guitarist, composer, recording artist, and music educator. He has been performing in Philadelphia and the Mid-Atlantic regions since 1989 and continues stretching his boundaries.”

Coach Drew Postgame Media Availability vs. Milwaukee Bucks | Cleveland Cavaliers
Monday, March 19
9:30 PM ET
“Cavaliers associate head coach Larry Drew speaks with the media following Monday’s game against the Milwaukee Bucks at Quicken Loans Arena.”

The 3:59 | CNET
11:15 AM ET
“Hangout while CNET covers a multitude of stories from around the tech world. CNET staff will take your questions and comments in the chat.”

Nell Scovell in Conversation with John Oliver | 92nd Street Y
Tuesday, March 20
7:30 PM ET
“John Oliver, the Emmy-award winning comedian and host of HBO’s Last Week Tonight, joins Scovell to discuss her recently-published memoir — Just the Funny Parts: … And a Few Hard Truths About Sneaking Into the Hollywood Boys’ Club.”

Fashion Icons with Fern Mallis: Iris Apfel | 92nd Street Y
Wednesday, March 21
7:30 PM ET
“Hear from this singular personality and visionary when she sits down for a career-spanning conversation with New York Fashion Week founder Fern Mallis.”

Cohabitation: Cities, Nature, and the Evolving Ecosystem | Hammer Museum
Wednesday, March 21
10:30 PM ET
“Examine the intersection of the built environment and Los Angeles’s natural habitat as the region prepares for a hotter and more populous future that can challenge the dynamics between urban environments, wildlife, and nature.”

Family Concert: Who is Mary Lou Williams? | Jazz at Lincoln Center
Friday, March 23
“The Jazz for Young People series continues with an hour-long, interactive celebration of composer, arranger, and pianist Mary Lou Williams. Families will learn the inspiring tale of a young woman who realized her dreams through determination, imagination, incredible talent, and a famously big heart.”