Public engagement

Journal of Arts Marketing Issue 30 – June 2008

How do the public engage with culture?
Heather Maitland explores what we know about the way people experience the arts and what we are learning from this …
Research into public engagement with cultural activities divides into four areas:
· What kind of people visit, attend and participate in culture and who is missing?
· What types of activity do they engage with and what is the crossover between them?
· What motivates people to engage, and what prevents them?
· How do people actually experience a particular cultural activity?

Taking Part is commissioned by DCMS, surveying 29,000 people each year to answer the first two questions. Detailed findings for different regions and artforms are useful for benchmarking our own research into public engagement with our arts organisation and can be downloaded from the Arts Council England website. You can download an annual report with data on visits to museums and galleries from the MLA website.
Research into motivations and barriers to cultural attendance is abundant. Arts Council England commissioned extensive research as part of their Arts Debate published in February 2007…
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