Developing new audiences in arts and culture

This section houses research relating specifically to audience development. The two main issues covered by this section relate to attracting new audiences, and diversifying an existing audience base.

The research in this section should be seen as a complement to CultureHive and AudienceFinder: two relatively new resources that are rich with best practice guidance and insight.

The summaries in this category are:

Using mega events to increase profile and reach audiences

This research was conducted by Duncan Low and Peter V. Hall at the Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada.


This paper looks at the benefits of hosting a Cultural Olympiad for different kinds of arts organisations in the host city. It takes Vancouver 2010 as an example and argues that …

By | 11 December 2014 |

Attracting new audiences to contemporary classical music

This research was conducted by Alex Turrini, Michael O'hare and Francesca Borgonovi at Bocconi University, Milan, Italy; University of California, Berkeley, USA and the London School of Economics


The paper outlines the difficulties associated with the programming of recently composed classical music. The paper highlights a need to better …

By | 11 December 2014 |

Profiling visitors to contemporary art museums

This research was conducted by Laurie Hanquinet at the University of York


Socio-economic variables (class, education and income etc.) are often seen as the key determinants of attendance at art museums. This article goes beyond this simplistic approach by exploring the ‘cultural profiles’ of museum visitors (a set of cultural …

By | 11 December 2014 |

The viability of a theatre depends on the character of its local population

This research was conducted by Ken Willis, Jen Snowball, Colin Wymer and Jose Grisolia at Newcastle University, UK, Rhodes University, South Africa and Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain


This paper describes the findings of research that built a statistical model to identify what determined the likelihood that …

By | 9 May 2014 |

Increasing young people's attendance at performing arts events

This research was conducted by Andrew J. Martin, Michael Anderson and Ricci-Jane Adams at the University of Sydney and University of Melbourne, Australia


This paper examined a range of factors that determined whether or not adolescents attended a performing arts event (defined as live dance, music or drama). The study …

By | 6 May 2014 |

Cultivating theatre audiences through online activity

This research as conducted by Alex Turrini, Isabella Soscia and Andrea Maulini at Bocconi University, Italy, SKEMA Business School, France and Piccolo Teatro di Milano, Italy


This paper looks at the profile of theatregoers who were classified as ‘tech savvy’ by the authors. This segment tended to be younger, more …

By | 26 April 2014 |

A familiar repertoire will attract concert audiences, at least in the short term

This research was conducted by Jeffrey Pompe, Lawrence Tamburri and Johnathan Munn at Francis Marion University, USA


This paper reports the results of an analysis into the box office data of 47 major symphony orchestras in the US between the years 2001 and 2007. They found that a more standard …

By | 26 April 2014 |

Reducing stigma for disabled arts patrons

This research was conducted by Erin Ludwig at Corcoran Gallery of Art + College of Art and Design, USA


This paper looked at what factors influenced the decisions of disabled people to attend arts venues. The research was based two surveys: one of 28 arts organisations and another of 50 disabled …

By | 26 April 2014 |

Why do music aficionados use online forums?

This research was conducted by Terry O'Sullivan at the Open University, UK


This paper reports the findings of eight in-depth telephone interviews designed to discover the various ways that people use web forums to discuss orchestral music. The research found that people behave in a variety of different ways …

By | 14 April 2014 |

Digital broadcasts of live events do not reduce audience numbers

This research was conducted by Hasan Bakhshi and David Throsby at the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts, UK and Macquarie University, Australia


This paper tackled the question of whether digital broadcasts of live events lead to an increase or reduction in the number of attendees at those …

By | 11 April 2014 |