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19th April 2013 Sara Lock

Assessment of projects to engage audiences

By: Rebecca Ratzkin, Alan Brown


This report takes stock of audience engagement activities. To help make sense of this rapidly developing landscape, an ‘Arc of Engagement’ model is proposed to aid in understanding the stages through which audience members pass
in constructing unique experiences around a shared work of art. Drawing from audience studies in the dance, theatre and classical music fields, six diverse audience typologies are described in terms of their engagement preferences and current practice in engaging audiences and visitors is illustrated through 11 brief case studies.

Engagement is more than what happens when someone sits in a seat or stands in front of a painting; it is the totality of the arts experience from the moment someone decides to attend. The path an audience member chooses to take through the 'Arc of Engagement' is partly influenced by the nature of the art itself as well as the audience member’s own appetite for engaging. From an institutional perspective, engagement is a unifying philosophy that bridges marketing, education, programming and even development, in the sense that engaged audiences are more likely to give.

| Published:2013

Smart tags: profiling personas engage engagement

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