Connecting with communities

Connecting with communities

By Cath Hume
Ed Newsome


Community engagement - learning, participation, education and outreach - is a vital way of tapping into communities around the arts. This guide explains, using case study examples from the Welsh National Opera and Museums at Night, how to better engage with communities to encourage audiences to take risks, and to get the community involved in the arts.

Cath and I are going to talk about community engagement. What we mean by that is learning, participation, education, and outreach; all of those connected elements.

Here are some definitions:

COMMUNITY: Any population that is currently or may in the future engage with your organisation. These can be online or offline and made up of visitors, non-visitors, artists or professionals who are local, national or international.

ENGAGEMENT: Participation, involvement and connection of that community with an arts organisation. Someone who is engaged in this context is not a passive spectator but someone who is a part of the art.

Can community engagement projects develop audiences? If not, what does that mean for arts organisations and marketers? And if so, then how do we apply it?

Resource type: Guide/tools | Published: 2013