Building Arts Audiences

APAP and The Wallace Foundation support arts organizations’ efforts to reach new audiences and deepen relationships with current audiences. Together, we are proud to share The Wallace Foundation's findings and resources on audience-building efforts with the performing arts field. 

APAP NYC 2017 Opening Plenary

 

What you’ll find here:

  • Best practices you can start using now

  • Case studies of success and failure in growing audiences

  • How you can engage more deeply with these resources

9 Effective Practices for Building Arts Audiences

The Wallace Foundation has identified nine practices that successful audience-building efforts have had in common. Review the nine practices and read more about them in the downloadable report, The Road to Results: Effective Practices for Building Arts Audiences

9 Effective Practices Infographic

  1. Recognize When Change Is Needed

  2. Identify the Target Audience that Fits

  3. Determine What Kinds of Barriers Need to be Removed

  4. Take Out the Guesswork

  5. Think Through the Relationship

  6. Provide Multiple Ways In

  7. Align the Organization Around the Strategy

  8. Build In Learning

  9. Prepare for Success

Focusing on one of the nine effective practices, this guide Taking Out the Guesswork: A Guide to Using Research to Build Arts Audiences, seeks to help arts organizations get over the hurdles of research. It details how to carry out the research effectively – in both low-cost and more elaborate ways – and how to bring together an organizational team to manage the work. This separate infographic summarizes the guide’s key points.

These principles emerged from case studies of ten arts organizations that undertook audience-building projects as part of the Wallace Excellence Awards initiative. You can read more examples of successes and challenges from the work of museums, opera companies, a theater and other institutions.

Opportunities to Engage

5 Minutes to Shine: "Building Arts Audiences" Competition

The APAP|NYC “5 Minutes to Shine” (5MTS) competition is an opportunity to share a compelling story about an individual's or organization’s stellar idea aimed at audience development at APAP|NYC 2018. Stories are based upon one or more strategies identified in The Wallace Foundation publication The Road to Results: Effective Practices for Building Arts Audiences. Applications will be available in the fall of 2017.

 

More Resources

Presentations

Case Studies

Learn More

At APAP|NYC 2015, APAP and the Wallace Foundation hosted a professional development session on Welcoming New Audiences featuring participants from case studies. Listen to the audio recording to learn about their strategies, successes and setbacks.

Learn more about the vision behind the Building Arts Audience initiative, visit the Wallace Foundation website at ThrivingArts.org.

Inside Arts articles on Building Audiences

APAP has reported on the importance of building arts audiences, the tools and research needed to this and how the 5 Minutes to Shine competition brings forth new ideas.