Audience Development: audiences at the epicentre!

12 March 2021

People are finally widely accepted as the epicentre, namely the very “heart” of cultural initiatives and organisations: staff and volunteers; funders, advocates and supporters; audiences and visitors – people are the lifeblood of culture!

Audience development, boasting both a quantitative and a qualitative dimension, aims not only to cultivate the numbers of people interacting with culture, but also to broaden the individuals’ intellectual, emotional, aesthetic and personal capacities and horizons through their contact with cultural expressions.

Audience development has been recognised by the European Commission as one of the main pylons of the “Creative Europe” programme. One of the significant outputs produced is the “Study on Audience Development – How to place Audiences at the centre of cultural organisations”, by Fondazione Fitzcarraldo, Culture Action Europe, ECCOM and Intercult (2017). This study provides innovative approaches in the area of audience development and offers cultural leaders tools and rules to promote audience-centrism within their organisations, and to investigate peer-learning opportunities. Among others, the study includes a practical guide and key recommendations on audience development for cultural operators. You may read it here: 

Should you prefer a shorter read to get acquainted with audience development and with the basics of writing an Audience Development Plan for your cultural organisation or cultural initiative, you might find Ben Gammon’s quick guide helpful:

Source: Katerina Grabowska,