The Commission is organising a conference on audience development in autumn 2012 and is looking for good examples from projects supported by the Culture and Media programmes.
"Creative Europe", the Commission's proposal for its future funding programme for the cultural and creative sectors for the period 2014-2020, proposes an important new focus on audience development in order to foster long-term audiences for European cultural works.
The European Commission will therefore organise a conference in autumn 2012 in Brussels on the topic of audience development with a view to fostering European exchange of practice. As part of its preparation of this conference, the Commission wishes to identify and showcase some projects already being supported by the EU's Culture and MEDIA Programmes with an essential and built in audience development component.
Audience development is a strategic, dynamic and interactive process of making the arts accessible. It aims to engage individuals and communities in experiencing, enjoying, participating in and valuing the arts through various means including arts marketing and synergies with customer relations. Audience development embraces the long term process of attracting and engaging diverse and new audiences, as well as retaining them by establishing and maintaining strategic, dynamic and sustainable relationships. It therefore has both a widening sense (bringing new audiences) and a deepening sense (improving experience and deepening engagement of the current audience).
As well as widening access to culture, audience development is complementary to cultural education in schooling through activities conducted directly by cultural operators. It has cultural, social and economic benefits: cultural in the sense that it helps European works reach larger audiences and fosters meaningful engagement; social in that it is often about reaching young people and the disadvantaged, which has benefits for social inclusion; and economic in that developing audiences can also have the benefit of increased or new revenue streams.
The conference will seek to provide inspirational examples of audience development by cultural organisations and to foster European exchange of practice on audience development strategies.
Current and former beneficiaries who have an essential and built in audience development component in their projects and who are interested in presenting their projects are invited to fill out the project template attached and submit it by 9 March 2012 to EAC-UNITE-D2@ec.europa.eu
Selected projects will be invited to present their projects at the conference. Travel and accommodation for 1 promoter will be covered by the European Commission. The European Commission will notify the selected beneficiaries.
Whilst it will not, unfortunately, be possible to showcase all interested projects on this occasion, the conference will be open to other operators as participants free of charge and will offer a valuable opportunity for discussion, networking and learning.