The Visual Arts not only offer us so much pleasurable experience and creative inspiration but are also central to our society and economy, engaged in their local communities and essential contributors to health, wellbeing, leisure and creative education. Visual Arts contribute to the creative economy, to originality across the creative industries, to the vitality of our towns and cities and, crucially, to tourism. Visit Britain data in fact indicates visiting galleries and heritage centres to be the no.1 cultural intention of overseas tourists to the UK.
The England-based Visual Arts galleries that contribute to this report vary in scale from micro-independent, to local authority managed public collections and larger nationally funded spaces. With the majority of galleries now offering free admission, the challenges they face from reduced funding and an audience that continues to demand relevance make it more important than ever to harness the power of data in influencing and informing programming. We must continue to find innovative and informed ways in which to grow support from gallery goers, funders and community partners. Alongside this nationwide picture of Visual Arts attenders across the sector, we encourage galleries to also reflect on their local and regional profiles, as well as their own Audience Finder dashboards, to inform their unique audience development goals.
Published in August 2019
While anxiety about attending events remains high amongst disabled people, the Covid online content boom has given rise to revolutionary opportunities that could improve access for good.
While audiences are most comfortable returning to outdoor events, organising a festival that can flex around ever-changing restrictions is still no mean feat. Penny Mills and Jonathan Goodacre have been looking at what’s working.