Audience Development

Artists give meaning to the work of art, but the audience gives it life - or vice versa?

No matter for whom (we think) we create - for ourselves or for them, without an audience we can't prove the extrinsic value of our practices, nor can we earn our bread and butter.

How can we make sure our rapidly changing society doesn't abandon the habit of participating in the arts?  What are the ways to develop a mutually enriching and continuous connection between artists and audiences? Is it about authentic relationships or marketing strategies - or both?

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A gathering at Los Angeles's Kirk Douglas Theatre to dicuss the findings of the Triple Play study of new-play audiences. (Photo by Victoria Bailey)
In the middle part of the last century, the nation’s big advertising firms started hiring behavioral experts with Ph.D.s in psychology under the assumption that advertising might be more effective if the firms knew something about what made consumers tick. While they may have been looking for concrete answers, what they found instead was that buyer behavior changes as fast as the tides.
Sylvia Botella interroge le sociologue Éric Fassin sur son point de vue sur le lien entre la sociologie, les arts du spectacle et la politique à l'ère du populisme.
Sylvia Botella interviews sociologist Éric Fassin about his views on the connection between sociology, the performing arts, and politics in the age of populism.
This presentation by Stephen Hadley (Queen’s University, Belfast) at the Audience Development è innovazione sociale conference analyses the relationship of audience development and publicly subsidised art to discourses of democracy in European cultural policy.
Dans le cadre des recherches pour le #133 d'Alternatives Théâtrales, nous avons recueilli des propos d’artistes, de directeurs de structures et de représentants d’institutions, en France et en Belgique. Ces paroles sont passionnantes, polémiques, souvent émouvantes et très stimulantes. Nous publions chaque semaine des extraits sur le blog, et présentons la totalité des textes dans cette publication sur le site. Plusieurs personnes ont participé activement à la récolte de ces témoignages : Christian Jade, Laurence Van Goethem, Antoine Laubin, Nancy Delhalle (Alternatives théâtrales), Lisa Guez...
All cultural organisations are experts in audience engagement – it’s an essential part of what we do. But an audience development plan is more than just an expression of how we do it. It is a forward-looking statement of intent and key to delivering public purpose, to staying relevant and resilient.
We develop and test the idea that public appreciation for authentic lowbrow culture affords an effective way for certain elites to address feelings of authenticity-insecurity arising from “high status denigration” (Hahl and Zuckerman 2014). This argument, which builds on recent sociological research on the “search for authenticity” (e.g., Grazian 2005) and on Bourdieu’s (1993) notion of artistic “disinterestedness,” is validated through experiments with U.S. subjects in the context of “outsider” art (Fine 2004).
In a conversation on “How Tech Companies Think About the Arts” at the 2017 Americans for the Arts Annual Convention in San Francisco, artists and arts organization had an opportunity to connect with philanthropic representatives from Silicon Valley companies to learn and exchange ideas on how to better engage one another.
Data suggest that audiences do not “age into” greater concern about arts and culture. If organizations want people to care, they need to work to change people’s cause priorities.
Recent report of the OMC expert group from EU members states, in the context of the EU workplan 2015-2018 on Policies and Strategies for Audience Development.

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