Beyond the division of attenders vs. non-attenders : a study into audience development in policy and practice
Kawashima, Nobuko (2000) Beyond the division of attenders vs. non-attenders : a study into audience development in policy and practice. Working Paper. University of Warwick. Centre for Cultural Policy Studies, Coventry.
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Audience development has been one of the most discussed topics in the UK cultural sector in recent years. With resources specifically for audience development increasingly available, arts and cultural organisations have started various projects and schemes to increase the number of attenders, broaden their base or enrich their experiences. The term of audience development however has been used in various ways, and this paper identifies four distinctive meanings: Cultural Inclusion, Extended Marketing, Taste Cultivation and Audience Education. Across the definitions, there are some assumptions which need examination. The paper argues that the policy of audience development has been based on the Liberal Humanistic idea of Culture for all. This has been contrasted to the sociological theories on the relationship between culture and society. Culture is in fact a powerful tool for marking divisions between groups of people, and often functions even if unconsciously to institutionalise social inequality. Inequality in cultural participation and differences in taste come from the possession of ‘cultural competence’ acquired through family socialisation and formal schooling. Whereas the policy of audience development believes in Culture for all and has the product-led approach, good practice accepts the sociological view and recommends the target-led approach. Part 2 of this paper is a case study into a particular audience development project in contemporary music conducted in a relatively homogeneous rural area. The paper sees it as a Taste Cultivation project, as it has attracted music lovers who are relatively well-educated and well-accustomed to classical music on which the kind of contemporary music the project introduced is based. It reveals however a variety of views and responses the audiences had to the concert they attended and the music they listened to, which suggests the complexity involved in audience development. The policy implications drawn from Parts 1 and 2 are twofold. One is that audience development as an issue in cultural policy will require sustained efforts and resources for a long term to a much larger scale than is apparently assumed by government at the moment. The other is that it is necessary for audience research of various kinds to be developed on a continuous and regular basis to inform both government policy and cultural management practice. Specifically two broad topics of research are suggested. One topic is the dynamics of audience creation and progression. The other is to examine various aspects of the relationship between people and the arts, eg whether passion for or interest in music leads to efforts made to acquire musical knowledge and in what way concert attendance and participation in music making may affect each other.
|Item Type:||Working or Discussion Paper (Working Paper)|
|Subjects:||H Social Sciences > HM Sociology|
|Divisions:||Faculty of Arts > Theatre, Performance and Cultural Policy Studies > Centre for Cultural Policy Studies|
|Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH):||Performing arts -- Public relations, Culture|
|Series Name:||Research papers|
|Publisher:||University of Warwick. Centre for Cultural Policy Studies|
|Place of Publication:||Coventry|
|Access rights to Published version:||Open Access|
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