How to place audiences at the centre of cultural organisations. Guide part II, rules for audience development : key recommendations
This section intends to provide a series of implementable policy recommendations targeting decision makers at the local, regional, national and EU levels. We have also included recommendations targeting cultural organizations, citizens’ initiatives and artists themselves. We have understood Audience Development as a complex system, with policymakers and practitioners sharing responsibility. Just as audiences are multiple and diverse, the people responsible for meeting their cultural needs have different competences. As Dragan Klaic, the late cultural policy expert, once wrote: “Art can be... international but audiences are always local”. By this he meant that regardless of the artists’ backgrounds, the mixture of expression and tradition, the geographical mobility of the artworks or the languages used - the audience member is always in a local context. We especially value all policy initiatives that create conditions for meaningful encounters between arts and citizens, at the grassroots level, in a live setting. Audience Development policies should be implemented taking into consideration the parallel levels of political influence: European, national, regional and local. Our study also concludes that empowering organizations with capacity building programs focused on audience relations is equally important. Cultural operators, neighbourhoods, educational institutions - all have shown themselves to be worthy targets of policy initiatives. Although the analysed case studies have sometimes taken advantage of public policies and schemes, most of them didn’t face the AD challenge in the framework of specific programmes, but rather responded to a need, more or less felt and formalised at the policy level. For this reason not all the 8 recommendations are followed by concrete examples of specific schemes and programmes (“others did”) that created the right conditions or fostered innovation. Nevertheless all case studies indirectly gave useful clues about the enabling conditions that actually made AD possible. The final section of this document provides suggestions to contribute to refining definitions and award criteria for evaluating projects within the framework of the Creative Europe Programme.