Report on a seminar on developing culturally diverse audiences, focusing on Black and Asian audiences. The Arts Marketing Association (AMA) hosted a seminar called ‘Opening Doors’ in June 2001. With notable exceptions, the audiences of most arts organisations do not reflect the makeup of the UK population. Opening Doors focused on two objectives: 1. To help delegates understand some of the barriers that may prevent Black and Asian people from attending. 2. To equip delegates with the knowledge to create a workable plan to develop a culturally diverse audience for their organisation.
There are no ‘races’ – only the human race. Yet the notion of ‘race’ is a powerful construct in many people’s minds, and it is these perceptions that arts professionals and audiences need to deal with.
While some people will think in terms of ‘race’, it is more helpful to think about ‘culture’. Culture is flexible, non-static and diverse. Being aware of how you define your own culture – and knowing how a particular target audience regards itself – can significantly improve the effectiveness of your communication.