BASEMENT THEATRE’S  

STRATEGIC PLAN 

 

 2016  

- 2018

STRATEGIC PLAN

2016-2

018

OUR MISSION IS TO:

•  PROVIDE

 a platform to foster emerging 

artists, new work, and innovative 
presentation

•  Actively 

RECRUIT

 new audiences to arts 

experiences

•  SUPPORT

 a thriving creative ecology in 

Auckland

WHAT WE DO

We are the home for Auckland’s most 
adventurous emerging artists. We 
collaborate with an 

artistic mix-tape 

of theatre makers, dancers, visual artists, 
poets, musicians, comedians and everyone 
in between. We are a safe place to be 

experimental,

 brave and innovative. We 

provide an affordable, independent risk-
share venue for local talent and fresh 
work. We are the place to be entertained, 

discovered

 and inspired.

THE BASEMENT’S FOUR PILLARS

1. SPACE 

We provide a platform and venue 
- including performance and non-
performance areas, technical equipment and 
amenities. 

2. CONTENT 

We programme artistic work - including 
performances, events, artworks and 
experiences. 

3. HUB 

We build communities - connecting 
audiences, artists and supporters, and 
linking with other hubs to expand artistic 
networks. 

4. CRAFT 

We develop artists - growing skills, 
innovation, and professionalism. 

WHAT WE ARE IN THE BUSINESS OF DOING

We provide a multi-purpose, central city, 
risk-share venue and creative hub where 
artists can present their work and develop 
their craft, and audiences can have access to 
a diverse range of affordable arts experiences.

ARTISTS 

First and foremost we showcase the work  
of emerging and newly established artists 
who are seeking to develop a professional 
creative career. 

We also support established artists who are 
experimenting with new materials, methods 
and forms; or, where established material is 
being presented in new and innovative ways.

AUDIENCES 

We seek out new audiences from a diverse 
range of backgrounds and expose them to 
arts experiences that are varied, unique and 
affordable. 

PRODUCERS AND MANAGERS 

We support and develop emerging arts 
managers to experience leading and growing 
a sustainable organisation. 

We work with emerging producers to 
develop their skills in a low-risk environment. 

OUR KEY GOALS:

• OUR ARTISTS ARE SUCCESSFUL 

Success means all artists achieve at least 
break-even at the box office, and positive 
reviews from peers and industry experts. 

• OUR ORGANISATION IS SUSTAINABLE 

We continue to expand our operations, 
while maintaining the finances we need 
to fulfil our core purpose. We also future-
proof our organisation through regular 
planning and risk-assessment.

• OUR AUDIENCES ARE  

ENGAGED AND INSPIRED 

Our audience data indicates repeat visits 
and growing engagement across multiple 
platforms (e.g. newsletter, social media, 
events and forums etc).

• AUCKLAND’S CREATIVE ECOLOGY  

IS DISTINCTIVE AND RESILIENT 

Artists and work showcased at The 
Basement, continues to have a life (or a 
career pathway) beyond our walls. All roads 
can begin at The Basement. 

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We believe arts are vital to life! 

Between bangin’ art and bangin’  

  profit, we’ll choose art every time 

We are game changers, and we 

  urge others to change it up too 

We go hardout for our artists, 

  audiences and our community  

Our powers combined - 

   collaboration smashes  

 competition 

We want everyone to feel at  

  home at The Basement 

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C PLAN

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This framework guides the development of 
workplans that sit under The Basement’s 
Strategic Plan: 

THE BASEMENT’S PLANNING STRUCTURE

STRATEGIC PLAN

REVIS

ED EVER

Y

 3 Y

EAR

S

ANNUAL PLAN

Includes planning across 5 pillars:

MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS 

INVEST MENT & REVENUE

PROGRAMMING & ARTIST 

DEVELOPMENT

IT & TECHNOLOGY

SPACE

CONTENT

HUB

CRAFT

TOOLS

VENUE

BAR

COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT STRATEGY

REVIS

ED ANNU

AL

Y

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STRATEGIC 

PLANNING 

FRAMEWORK

HOW WE WILL ACHIEVE OUR GOALS

ORGANISATIONAL TOOLS AVAILABLE:

PEOPLE

•  Management team 
•  Trust board
•  Venue staff
•  Mentors and advisors

MONEY

•  Bar revenue
•  Box office income
•  Corporate partnerships
•  Patrons/friends 

programmes

•  Funding relationships  

(public & private)

RELATIONSHIPS

•  Industry networks
•  Political relationships 

NAME

•  Brand/reputation
•  Marketing/social media
•  Media relationships
•  Visitor services 

relationships 

STRATEGY

•  Research and data analysis
•  Strategic and annual plans
•  Local and international 

benchmarking

SYSTEMS/TECHNOLOGY

•  Digital/technology
•  Organisational systems
•  Audience data gathering/

CRM 

GOVERNANCE

•  Trust Board
•  Stakeholder engagement
•  Reference/advisory group
•  Risk-share model
•  Artist contracts

INFRASTRUCTURE

•  Venue and facilities
•  Shared spaces/resources

ORGANISATIONAL TOOLS SWOT

GENERAL SWOT

STRENGTHS:

We are responsive to the needs of our 
industry - we are constantly assessing the 
landscape we work in and adapting what we 
do to fill the gaps we identify. 

We have the right people on board the 
bus - our management team, staff and 
Trust board members are all passionate and 
committed people with a diverse skill set and 
solid networks. We are a desirable place to 
work and are always attracting new talent to 
our team.  

WEAKNESSES:

Time and growth management - we are not 
effectively managing the time of our staff 
and may not be accurately judging what 
amount of activities are achievable relative to 
the number of people in our team.

OPPORTUNITIES:

We are ready to lead the way - our strategic 
planning and responsiveness has put us 
in the position of being ready to take on a 
leadership role within our industry that could 
attract greater resources for what we do.

THREATS:

A changing landscape could mean the loss 
of key revenue streams - if we can’t help to 
advocate for the value of the arts and our 
industry, we could be affected by increasing 
cutbacks to arts funding. Equally, changes in 
the hospitality landscape - especially liquor 
licensing could threaten our bar income. 

STRENGTH

WEAKNESS

OPPORTUNITY

THREAT

SPA

C

E

We offer a 
variety of flexi-
form spaces 
that provide an 
intimate theatre 
experience

The studio suffers 
from noise 
interference from 
the carpark and 
The Classic

Relocating to a 
fit-for-purpose 
space would allow 
us to continue to 
grow and serve 
our community 
into the future

A catastrophic 
event that requires 
us to move before 
we are ready

HUB

We have a strong 
core of loyal 
supporters

We lack the tools 
to effectively 
understand and 
engage with our 
audience and 
community

There is a growing 
momentum in 
Auckland around 
cultural activity

There is a large 
amount of 
competition for the 
leisure time of our 
audiences

C

O

NTENT

We have a full 
programme with 
a large amount 
of content across 
the year

There is a 
homogeneity of 
story and form 
across our content

Auckland has a 
diverse and highly 
creative pool of 
talent

For many, a 
creative career in 
NZ is unsustainable, 
causing a decline in 
the talent available

C

RAFT

We offer an active 
artist development 
programme and 
affordable venue 
arrangement

Due to a lack 
of resource, our 
development of 
artists is selective 
rather than 
comprehensive

Creating 
relationships 
within our industry 
to support the 
future life of work 
and artists

There is a lack 
of pathways for 
creative careers 
meaning many 
do not continue 
to develop their 
experience

STRATEGIC PLAN

2016-2

018

There are four pillars of work at The 
Basement, under each of these we have set 
two focus areas for strategic development. 
Each focus area contains a priority in the 
short, medium, and long term. 

SHORT = end of 2016 

MEDIUM = end of 2017 

LONG = end of 2018

CRAFT

CRAFT: YOUTH DEVELOPMENT

RE-EVALUATING THE YOUNG  
& HUNGRY PROGRAMME

SHORT
Design an alternative programme/s that 
meets the same key outcomes as Young 
& Hungry, as well as being responsive 
to current industry needs and gaps, and 
undertake a feasibility assessment around 
the immediate implementation of this 
programme. 

MED
Evaluate the success of the pilot programme 
in comparison to Young and Hungry 
outcomes and industry gaps, and make 
refinements to the model. 

LONG
Expand the programme to include more 
participants and disciplines and ensure all 
involved are appropriately remunerated for 
their time. 

ARTIST DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMMES

SHORT
Maintain (not expand) current artist 
development activities (e.g. Young & Hungry, 
Playscience, Breakfast Plays, Producer’s 
Development Initiative, Play Chats, Touring 
Programme, Budget Mentoring and other 
artist meetings).

MED
Look to expand existing programme to 
benefit more artists and companies. 

LONG
Look to expand the range of programmes 
and the artist development team delivering 
that programme.

PREMIER DEVELOPMENT SPACE 

SHORT
Establish The Basement as a premier 
development space in Australasia through 
research and benchmarking.

MED
Research and benchmark our positioning 
relative to international venues and their 
development programmes. 

LONG:
Identify and develop a plan to become a 
world leader in artist development in the 
emerging performing arts. 

STRATEGIC  

PRIORITIES  

2016 - 2018

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SPACE

DISABLED ACCESS

SHORT
Work with Council and funders to install 
a level changer at the entrance and adapt 
bathroom provisions to comply. 

MED
Work with community organisations and 
artists around catering to disabled audiences 
through programming and systems. 

LONG
Disabled artists and audiences can use the 
space as easily as an able-bodied person and 
are aware of our programme and facilities as 
it relates to them. 

ALTERNATIVE SPACE

SHORT
Create relationships with Council and 
commercial property managers to explore 
CBD options for alternative spaces to be 
used either: in the event of a crisis; as an 
additional performance space to add to our 
offering; and/or as a future, purpose-built 
opportunity for relocation. 

MED
Make a plan for acquiring a desired space.

LONG
Formally secure the opportunity to relocate 
to a new venue when needed; and open and 
operationalise any additional spaces already 
secured. 

CONTENT

HUB

AUDIENCE EXPERIENCE

SHORT
Launch a new website that provides a 
seamless booking experience and effectively 
engages potential audiences. 

MED
Hone our front of house systems across box 
office, bar, ushering so that it is an efficient, 
slick and friendly experience.

LONG
Provide an exciting and unique food option 
and specialised hosting experience that 
makes us into a destination hospitality venue 
that reflects our creative identity. 

COMMUNITY ANALYSIS

SHORT
Continue to update (through surveying and 
ticketing data) our current audience analysis 
and review existing community engagement 
strategy. 

MED
Carry out relationship mapping and 
engagement analysis, as well as 
documenting and communicating this to our 
community. 

LONG
Implement a database management system 
that supports effective targeting and 
reporting on our community, that is updated 
through regular data collection. 

PROGRAMMING STRATEGY

SHORT
Maintain (not expand) current programming 
approach and develop a strategy that 
documents what we are delivering and how.

MED
Implement a strategy to continue to increase 
diversity (cultural, artistic, geographic) in our 
programme. 

LONG
Grow our programming team and resources 
to continue to expand the reach and offering 
of our programme.

COLLABORATIVE PROGRAMMING 
RELATIONSHIPS

SHORT
Investigate potential collaborations with 
organisations to identify and access 
opportunities for practitioners within our 
community.

MED
Formalise a few key relationships that directly 
contribute to our programme and activities. 

LONG:
Have a network of strong relationships into 
key organisations and diverse communities 
that represent ongoing symbiotic exchanges. 

HUB: COMMUNITY PROJECTS

SCHOOLS PROGRAMME

SHORT
Maintain relationships with existing school 
partners and continue to refine delivery of 
programme. 

MED
Access greater resources to expand the 
programme to include more students or 
schools. 

LONG
Continue to grow fundraising to include 
more shows in both the onsite and 
offsite programme, as well as making the 
fundraising model more sophisticated 
to access different types of support 
opportunities (e.g. Private school buddy 
system).

CHRIST MAS  SEASON

SHORT
Continue the success of the 2015 season - 
hitting our fundraising target, working with 
a trusted creative team, and producing an 
artistically strong result. 

MED
Collaborate with another trusted producing 
company in a joint Christmas season that 
meets the same outcomes and enhances our 
reputation by association. 

LONG
Continue the above model with a support 
partner on board that allows us to eliminate 
the financial risk associated with the project. 

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TOOLS

REVIEW THE RISK-SHARE MODEL

SHORT
Trial new risk-share arrangements with 
selected hirers to decrease our risk where 
appropriate, and identify the criteria for who 
the model applies to.

MED
Implement a system of venue hire deals that 
are more responsive to the nature of the hirer 
and reduce risk overall for the venue. 

MAXIMISE THE POTENTIAL OF OUR 
BAR AS A REVENUE STREAM

SHORT 
Acknowledge the importance of our bar 
revenue as an independent and reliable 
contributor to our operating expenses, with 
huge potential for growth, and create a 
strategy to further leverage that opportunity, 
supported by consultation from a hospitality 
business expert.

MED 
Seek a partnership to provide a unique and 
affordable dinner and dessert food offering 
that is compatible with the constraints of the 
space. 

LONG 
Establish a programme of regular 
entertainment in the bar area that is 
complementary to the theatre programming, 
aligns with the values of our venue and is 
managed independently. 

CREATE AN ORGANISATIONAL 
STRUCTURE AND OPERATIONAL 
SYSTEMS WHICH ARE EASILY 
TRANSFERABLE

SHORT
Finalise job descriptions and a reporting 
structure for all positions in the team and 
establish a professional and communicative 
team culture. 

MED
Review our current organisational structure 
(roles and responsibilities) and arrive at a 
structure that is responsive to the current 
needs and demands of the organisation (e.g. 
time budgeting and team size), and which will 
provide a strong foundation for the future. 

LONG
To complete a comprehensive ‘Basement 
Manual’ containing all operational systems, 
human resource structures and organisational 
strategies, which can effectively support a 
transition in management. 

EMPOWER OUR TRUST BOARD TO 
BETTER ACCESS NEW FUNDING 
OPPORTUNITIES

SHORT
Board to introduce friends and potential 
supporters to the organisation and 
encourage them to attend social events  
and productions. 

MED
Set fundraising goals that involve actions 
from the Board.  

LONG
The Board will actively assist the 
management team in identifying prospects 
and work with them to leverage board 
involvement with the aim of maximising our 
chance of engaging new individual, corporate 
or funding bodies.

MAINTAINING FUNDING RELATIONSHIPS 
AND ACCESSING MINOR GRANTS

SHORT
Create a timeline of relevant small grant 
deadlines and match this with Basement 
fundraising priorities. 

MED
Complete a compelling package of document 
templates and collateral (e.g. videos) that can 
be used in pitching for support. 

LONG
Deliver a programme of fundraising events 
and communications that return a high 
degree of support. 

SET UP A FORMAL REWARDS 
STRUCTURE TO VALUE OUR PEOPLE

 

SHORT
Create a schedule of performance reviews 
and rewards, so that through either wage 
increases or non-financial benefits, we 
continue to review and improve how we 
value our human resources in line with their 
professional growth.  
 

MED
Design an innovative leave system that 
supports all members of our team to be 
practicing artists alongside their careers with 
The Basement. 

LONG
Establish a formalised system of professional 
development that produces industry leaders 
of an international standard (e.g. mentoring, 
leadership training, conferences and 
relationships).

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