Arts Audience Insights CIC

Working to increase access to the arts for traditionally unengaged, underrepresented and discriminated audiences, we partner with arts organisations, in conjunction with community groups and charities, to conduct psychographic research into an audience’s participation with the arts.

Our research is conducted as an element of an established programme or through the design of an outcome-specific offering. 

Our Mission

Arts audiences have clear and determined psychologies influencing their engagement with the arts. Understanding this psychological make-up is essential to ensure the industry appreciates the personal, situational, cultural, institutional and historical factors of audience groups, that may be influencing their willingness to engage.

 

Through the exploration of the psychological needs and preferences of traditionally unengaged, underrepresented and discriminated audiences, our mission is to widen access through increased opportunities for participation and active removal of barriers to engagement to ensure the arts remain relevant and essential to the wider public good.

 

Our passion lies in working with niche and innovative people and projects to develop a wider body of audience engagement research and in turn enabling more people to choose, create and take part in brilliant arts experiences.

Our Work

Through research and close collaborations with arts organisations, we inform future approaches to audience development, allowing for more democratised participation with the arts; with the hope of contributing to Art Council England’s equality and public engagement work and future strategy.

Our work is supported through three pathways, Arts Council England grant funding, the hosting of audience engagement workshops for arts organisations and consultations with our Equality Advisory Board, for organisations wishing to develop their equality policy and practices.

How Our Work is Beneficial

For arts and

cultural organisations

Through collaborative research, partnering organisations will have a better understanding of their audience and how to effectively engage and develop them, feeding into their equality and diversity planning. As a consequence, the organisation will begin/continue to meet Arts Council England’s equality and public development criteria, demonstrating a clearer public value in grant funding applications whilst their name is part of wider conversations.

For unengaged, discriminated & underrepresented audiences

Through specific projects and collaborations with community groups and charities, audiences will be presented with cultural offerings that are more relevant, easier to access and that deepen their experience with the arts. From this starting point, it is hoped continued engagement take place once barriers to participation have been reduced, new motivations introduced and pre-held misconceptions challenged.

For audience engagement theory & ACE audience participation strategy

All research findings will be made public and submitted to ACE as to contribute to their future public engagement planning. New areas of focus will be suggested to be included within long-term strategies to ensure that audiences remain the main beneficiaries of the industry.

Our Equality Statement

As cis, white and non-disabled we recognise our privilege and the need for us to be taking action in support of those who face discrimination in everyday life and within the arts. 

 

We have set our focus on using the platforms available to support changes in the industry through wider, deeper and more democratised audience engagement. Our continued goal is to facilitate the work of discriminated groups to further the individual and as to raise awareness of this discrimination. 

Our Activities

Publicly Funded R&D

Practice-based R&D work, exploring arts audience engagement and development, including researching audience psychology, as to increase the theory base and inform the industry's wider audience work, with equality and diversity considerations always in mind.

Research will focus on traditionally unengaged and underrepresented audiences as to allow for wider access, deeper engagement and enriching of experience. 

Workshops & Training

For staff of cultural organisations. Build knowledge of effective arts audience engagement planning and strategies, develop understanding of how to better connect with audiences and build a more relevant cultural experience for them. Focused on increasing access for underrepresented and traditionally unengaged arts audiences.

 

Although conducted free of charge, a voluntary donation of £150 for a two-hour workshop is welcomed.

Equality Advisory Board Consultation

Our Equality Advisory Board is a group of volunteers from varied walks of life who could be described as, or who identify as, unengaged, underrepresented or discriminated against.

We offer the opportunity for cultural organisations to work alongside the Advisory Board to explore both identified and unidentified equality, diversity and access issues of which that organisation is facing.

Research, Beyond Data

Audiences aren’t just numbers to report back to ACE with. Audiences have clear and determined psychologies influencing their engagement with the arts. Only through exploration of psychology can the arts remain relevant and essential to the wider public good, data driven research simply can not cut it.

That being said, much of current audience engagement work is being based upon impressive seeming census-style data reports that provide extensive results but give no explanation as how these are relevant to the arts or arts engagement planning.

We feel it's a dangerous, ineffective and impersonal approach to be developing cultural experiences based upon statistics and not recognising audiences as individuals.  Grouping audiences solely through demographic data is not only extremely presumptuous of their psychographics but also boarders on prejudice and discrimination. Allowing the future of the arts to be shaped through such a cold, analytical approach fills us with dread.

Working Alongside Disconnected Bodies

For total transparency, Arts Audience Insights CIC and Disconnected Bodies are run by the same team of leading arts audience engagement psychology researchers/consultants, however are treated as two separate entities. 

The CIC allows for access to larger pools of R&D funding, which previously, through Disconnected Bodies was unavailable, with research projects limited by income generated through consultancy work and by the available time between these consultancies. By separating the two, the CIC can now focus solely on R&D objectives.

 

To allow for clear separation, operational criteria have been drawn up - 

 

Arts Audience Insights CIC operates solely for the purpose of conducting R&D, where neither the CIC or any partnering organisations will financially benefit from public funded projects, whereas Disconnected Bodies operates solely for the purpose of providing consultancy to independent artists and arts organisations. 

Our Funding & Pay Policy

As a CIC, all monetary resources and contributions, received via grant funding or other income stream, are used to further our availability to conduct R&D collaboration projects, fairly pay those who contribute and to support our goal of democratising arts participation.  None of our activities will be designed to make a profit, with surplus being held to fund future R&D projects.

Disconnected Bodies will not provide consultancy via paid workshops/training nor seek public funding as to prevent a conflict of interest. 

 

Accounts for the CIC, along with Articles of Association and Memorandum of Association, are publicly available.

CIC Number: 13455320

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