The Arts Council, in collaboration with Temple Bar Cultural Trust, has rolled out a new site focused on Irish arts audience development, www.artsaudiences.ie. Here’s the skinny on their rationale for the initiative:
- Attendance and consumption; attendance for some artforms is falling; we need to increase the frequency with which people come to, for instance, our venue or festival and we need to keep people coming back year-on-year.
- Customer service and experience; customers care about more than just the show or event and we need to see what we can do to make sure their experiences are good ones
- Working together; arts organisations should collaborate more to speak to and attract audiences
- New media; All of us need to know more, to help us take advantage of the opportunities which a new media landscape have brought. We recognise that organisations operate at different levels of online activity and will strive to reflect this as we address this.
- Information; we need to address the gaps in our information about audiences – who they are and how they behave. Figuring out what we need to know is a key step in figuring out what to do.
(see the full manifesto here.)
Plans so far include:
- A low-tech no-cost project where arts organisations will recommend each others work and we will report on what worked and what didn’t
- A large-scale national promotion of the performing arts for a period of time in the autumn
Future plans include online resource material, and new training & mentoring programmes.
More imminent, however, is a series of one-day workshops on Web 2.0 and audience development to be offered in Dublin, Galway and Cork in September. They’re looking for registration ASAP, unless the slots have been filled already… it’s only €45 for a full day session, and looks to be a promising build on the excellent Arts Council-sponsored New Media & the Arts conference held last November.