Focus all cultural institutions activities on the audience!
Trešnjevka Cultural Centre, Peoples' University Dubrava and Cultural and Information Centre jointly organized an Expander Workshop on 14th November 2014, at the Cultural and Information Centre, Zagreb.
The Main topic of the Workshop was audience development.
The Aim of the workshop was to suggest answers to several questions and define aspects of the term itself:
- what does this concept imply?
- why is it in focus today?
- there is a correlation between simple audience development and development of the potential donors
- audience development is a very important part of the business plans within cultural institutions with emphasis on strategic planning
Ms. Daniela Angelina Jelinčić dr. sc. - Institute for International Relations - IMO -
Department of Culture and Communications
Ms. Jelinčić gave insight into the concept, methodology and rules of audience development. The aim of this concept is to attract new audience and to keep them interested in cultural events. She explained the differentiation of cultural audience by Michael Kaiser, with special emphasis on need for good relations to keep the numbers of cultural event consumers constant as well as to attract potential donors.
Ms. Ljiljana Perišić - CEKATE (Trešnjevka Cultural Centre)
Ms. Perišić explained the need for this workshop as it supports one of the aims supported by Creative Europe, namely innovative approaches to audience development. She explained how the networking between Cultural Centres can work by giving an insight into the co operation between the ENCC's members.
Ms. Perišić put emphasis on visibility as one of the most important parts of audience development by giving an example of project networking of Zagrebs' Cultural Centres through KvARTura - a project that brought together eight cultural centres delivering events in collaboration and successfully attracting new audiences.
Conclusions of the workshop
- Audiences are not to be approached as passive consumers; it is very important to engage audience in cultural institutions' activities
- In order to expand the numbers of visitors, we should protect the quality of programmes; although pop culture is in expansion, we should find ways to use it, but not at the expense of quality
- There is audience for each type of culture
- Not all entertainment culture is bad by definition; there are several examples where pop culture elements are introduced into elite cultural events that improved audience development, for instance "Maestro Show" produced by BBC Classical Music Department
- It is crucial to research audience needs and interests before any introduction of pop culture elements into Culture Centres' programmes
- A basic principle of audience development is that the audience should be the focus of everything that any cultural institution does
Good practice presentations
Mr. Leo Vukelić - PU Dubrava
Mr. Vukelić gave example of innovative practice to attract audience to theatrical events by explaining how they started European Theatre Night. It started in 2008 and this year has attracted 42.000 visitors.
Mr. Veselko Leutar - CEKATE
Mr. Leutar presented „Book Festival", held since 2007; a series of events that aim at young audience in order to promote reading. This project is done through collaboraton with schools and children books authors. Children are invited take part in various activities such as bookmaking workshops, debates with authors and „Book Harvest" - an event where books are hung on trees and children are invited to harvest and read them. Feedback given by school teachers is that children who took part in these events show increase of interest in books and reading.
Ms. Zdenka Sviben - The Zagreb City Libraries
Ms. Sviben has presented World Book Night and activities done by Zagreb City Libraries. Activities aim at different age groups and are developed accordingly; more fun and interactive for young children, topic orientated for older audiences and socially targeted when done in nursing homes, hospitals and prisons.
All three presenters mentioned problems with continuing decrease of financial support. Ms. Perišić optimistically concluded the workshop stating that by finding partners and networking it is possible to overcome financial problems.