An Exploratory Study of how Arts and Cultural Festivals Most Effectively Develop New Audiences through Widening Access.
(2017) An Exploratory Study of how Arts and Cultural Festivals Most Effectively Develop New Audiences through Widening Access., no. 116.
The aim of this study is to uncover the most effective methods used in widening access and developing new audiences at arts and cultural festivals in the U.K. The following objectives have been set: • Explore the need for widening access at arts and cultural festivals. • Explore current methods used by arts and cultural festival directors in widening access and audience development. • Identify and evaluate the most effective methods used in widening access and audience development. A comprehensive review of the literature was developed to identify existing research on the topic and highlight the key areas for discussion. The areas discussed within the literature review include arts and cultural festivals, audiences of the arts, the benefits of participation in the arts, widening access and audience development, and gaps in the literature. In relation to the main aims of the study, 8 semi-structured interviews were carried out with different arts and cultural festival directors from across the U.K. Interviews were then transcribed and coded for analysis. In addition, a total of 93 questionnaires were collected from members of the public at Craigmillar Library in Edinburgh. Results from the questionnaire are presented in tables and graphs. The prevailing findings of this study are that outreach methods of audience development appear to be the most successful in widening access and creating a more inclusive environment within the arts. It was also discovered that different audience development strategies tend to work better in different environments due to the varied nature of the arts and cultural festival industry.