Based around a case study of Theatre Passe Muraille, Canada’s oldest new work theatre, this explores what ‘audience engagement’ really is – should cultural organisations challenge themselves to reconsider the relationship they want with their communities? It considers how an organisation can engage a diverse community of people with its artistic work.
Engagement is not an adjunct to what we do, it is central to our values.
We need a sea-change in institutional culture if we expect to have any meaningful impact on issues of engagement. You, as marketers, are best suited to lead that change because you recognise its necessity. However, this responsibility cannot lie solely with the marketing staff. Arts institutions are facing a huge challenge now and our ability to respond is dependent on the leadership and staff of our institutions as much as it is on the good efforts of marketers. You need everyone in your organisation to value engagement as much as you do.