The Art of Participation: Shared Lessons in Audience Engagement

The Art of Participation: Shared Lessons in Audience Engagement

Building broad and engaged audiences not only helps arts organizations secure their financial base, it also pushes them to innovate and grow artistically, a new report funded by the Wallace Foundation and published in partnership with the Boston Foundation and the Massachusetts Cultural Council finds. The report, The Art of Participation: Shared Lessons in Audience Engagement (100 pages, PDF), describes the capacity-building and audience-outreach efforts of twenty-two Boston-area arts organizations as part of a four-year, Wallace-funded peer learning initiative, including targeted outreach to younger audiences and multilingual families, digital outreach and education through blogs and online communities, and a focus on personal interactions and enhanced educational tools. The study found that in giving their time and attention, audience members helped to refine the organizations' programming and communications efforts, while the organizations in the study were able to helped one another avoid costly mistakes by sharing insights.