'The Road to Results: Effective Practices for Building Arts Audiences'

'The Road to Results: Effective Practices for Building Arts Audiences'

Arts organizations looking to expand and diversify their audience need to recognize when change is needed and secure organization-wide buy-in for any sustained change efforts, a report from the Wallace Foundation finds. Based on case studies of ten arts organizations that undertook audience-building projects as part of the Wallace Excellence Awards initiative, the report, The Road to Results: Effective Practices for Building Arts Audiences (107 pages, PDF), examines the practices that successful efforts had in common — including identifying a target audience, determining which barriers needed to be removed for the target population to become regular audience members, conducting audience research, providing new audience members with multiple entry points, and aligning the organization's efforts around a coherent strategy. The study notes that audience-building initiatives most often succeeded when organizations were able to tailor their strategies to the target audience, thereby creating a meaningful connection with audience members, and when both leadership and staff brought a sense of urgency and commitment to the effort.