How Funikijam World Music doubled their business with the help of the Sawyer Marketplace.
FunikiJam offers classes and shows that introduce children 9 and under to a variety of global cultures through music. Founded in 1999 by Brian Barrentine, FunikiJam started with a weekly audience of six families. By 2019, that same audience had grown to over 70,000 patrons. Barrentine’s unique program blends music from around the world — inspiring young children to become global citizens through the arts.
Through a partnership with Sawyer, FunikiJam World Music's bookings have tripled through digital class offerings on the Sawyer Marketplace.
At the beginning of March 2020, FunikiJam was in the third year of an off Broadway run, rehearsing for its Los Angeles theatrical premiere, preparing two musicals for international summer tours, and running over 50 weekly classes in and around New York City. By mid-March everything was suspended. “Like many, I was paralyzed when the industry shut down so quickly,” says FunikiJam creator, Brian Barrentine.
Faced with an industry shut down, FunikiJam combined elements from live theater, video, production, streaming series, and interactive classes to create digital programming. Reaching an even bigger audience was the next step.
With the help of Sawyer, Barrentine’s program has experienced unprecedented growth — doubling the number of orders generated through the use of online classes and expanding reach to thousands more families across the United States. FunikiJam quickly pivoted to online classes — answering the call of parents looking for themed activities for children.
The new interactive programs have been designed to meet a need for daily young audience activities, and to put our talented cast members back to work!
Program director and cast member
Funikijam World Music
This growth has a global reach through Agents of Jam, teaching artists from across the globe — including instructors from Puerto Rico, Brazil, Italy, Omaha, Oklahoma, Nashville, New York, and San Francisco. These artists host daily musical episodes that share stories about their homes and cultures with children, facilitating global education in a time where global travel is inaccessible for many.
The Sawyer Marketplace has driven hundreds of new orders for FunikiJam, in so growing their audience across the country. Acquiring new customers during a pandemic through sliding scale programming has allowed FunikiJam to continually employ instructors and grow as an international leader in global music education.
FunikiJam veteran, and Italian television actor, Andrea Galata says, “the online platform allows us to enhance our programming and expand our audience in a way that truly meets our mission of ‘global exploration’. Now when I am ‘on stage’ with FunikiJam, my audience members may be in Italy, California, and Brooklyn while my cast-mates may be in South America, Puerto Rico, or Nebraska.”