Share and Learn: Audience Development

Sluzew Cultural Centre
March 24 - 25, 2015, Warsaw, Poland

The EMC in cooperation with the Polish Music Council offered an interactive capacity building workshop for its members at the Sluzew Cultural Centre in Warsaw. The aim of this workshop was to investigate best practice models of audience development, participation and experience in the culture and music sector.

The term ‘Audience Development’ has received much attention lately, but has been practiced by cultural operators for a long time: It is a collective term that describes strategic, dynamic and interactive processes that encompass all aspects of promotion, publicity, marketing, public relations, programming, membership, community engagement, communications and educational programmes aimed at making the arts widely accessible and addressing the needs of existing and potential audiences.

Audience development is increasingly being discussed in the academic field, and cultural organisations have always had an interest in reaching out to new audiences and strengthening bonds with existing ones. At the same time, the EU Commission has announced that increased access to culture is one of the priorities of the Creative Europe Programme, and has thus put a strong focus on audience development.

In response to these recent developments, the EMC decided to organise a workshop for interested members. Since the music sector is highly diverse and has many sub-sectors, different models practiced by EMC members were presented and compared to determine similarities and differences: What can a community choir learn from a pop festival? How can music education help classical orchestras reach out to more people? What can a conservatoire learn from the marketing strategies of a live music venue?

Pictures of the workshop are available online here.