At Strike a Light – Arts & Heritage, we see audience development as being about making an organisation-wide commitment to engaging with people, whether or not they are currently our audience, and developing long-term relationships of mutual respect and benefit with those people. In this theme, ‘Audience’ encompasses attendees, visitors, readers, listeners, viewers, participants and learners.
We do this ourselves through our projects, but we are also available to work with your organisation to support the building of your own audiences and community. We can help you to encourage each participant and potential attender to develop confidence, knowledge, experience and engagement through activities, training and learning.
As well as offering new ways for local residents, children, older people, etc., to engage, social inclusion work is often attractive to non-arts funding sources, for instance, regeneration, heritage, social services and tourism agencies.
When working with clients on audience development, we look at things like:
- Aspiration – What do you hope to achieve?
- Inspiration – Why do you think this is possible?
- Means/money – What resources do you have?
- Support – What other resources do you have?
- Collaboration – What are other local organisations doing? Are there opportunities to work together to develop your audiences?
- Vision – At the end of the plan, what difference will be visible?
Strike a Light – Arts & Heritage delivered a series of workshops for the Friends of St Peter’s, Preston Park, as part of our Heritage Lottery funded project, to conserve and raise awareness of the church and its beautiful 19th century wall stencilling. We were impressed by the creativity and engaging nature of the workshops, and by Strike a Light’s approach to delivering the project. They ran with our initial ideas and made them into so much more that we’d initially envisaged.Esther Gill for the Friends of St Peters, Brighton