Report on Engaging Audiences
In the midst of hard economic times, it is clearly more challenging for arts organizations to take the long view and continue to devote time and effort to building new audiences. But this report on a recent gathering of representatives from more than 50 Wallace-funded arts organizations in six cities concludes that participation-building efforts and the resulting lessons are more vital than ever to the long-term health of arts organizations and the entire arts sector. Especially in hard times, the report says, it’s essential for leaders of arts organization to take careful stock of the long-term influences and challenges affecting the arts sector such as demographic shifts and new technologies that are creating entire new “spaces” for people to come together and experience the arts. The report describes how organizations are responding creatively to those challenges using such means as market research, re-branding, and drawing audience-building lessons from other sectors such as professional sports.