European models of audience development
Educational seminars for cultural operators
The “European models of audience development” consisted of three educational seminars held in Vrsac, Zrenjanin and Pancevo, which were organized for the colleagues from cultural institutions, public and NGO sector in Serbia, especially in Vojvodina.
The main questions that the project posed were: Do we have the appropriate programs for our audience? Do we have the appropriate audience for our programs?
Since the experiences of the European countries support the rationalization of human and economic resources, emphasizing the creativity and innovation and the use of new technologies in order to maintain the existing and create new audiences, the seminars “European models of audience development” were aimed at raising awareness of a cultural product as a marketable product (i.e. the market of cultural offer and demand), which is meaningless without its consumer. Our intention was to provide information and “tools” for analyzing the cultural needs of our society and, therefore, to create programs in accordance with the segmentation of the audience. Furthermore, the project pointed out the necessity of cooperation within the cultural sector, networking of institutions and the establishment of international cooperation. Guest lecturers in the three seminars managed to present various aspects of audience development, with the intention to show positive examples and sustainable models.
This project, launched by Kulturis and supported by the Secretariat for Culture of Vojvodina, included three lectures held by relevant guest lecturers from European countries. The topic discussed was “audience development”, which includes all the actions that a cultural institution should take in order to increase the number of visitors, by encouraging new target groups, providing education and getting a better insight into the needs of regular visitors.
Cultural institution and communication, museums and visitors
Laszlo Hemrik is the Head of the Education Department at Ludwig Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art in Budapest (Hungary). His presentation was primarily concearned with the polysemy of the term ‘communication’, which provides many interpretations – Wheather to conduct a dialogue by linguistic means or by art? Who comprises our current and who our potential audience? What kind of communication with visitors is most appropriate for cultural institutions? The crucial question raised at the conference was – How to strengthen the relationship between museums and their visitors through educational programs?
Ludwig Museum Budapest is one of Europe’s leading cultural institutions in terms of audience education and the development of specific programs for different interest groups. Since 2001 this contemporary art museum has been engaged in a wide range of educational activities: from the programs for adult audience, to those specially adapted for pre-school and school groups. A special place in the educational programs belongs to the topics concerning current social, cultural and media phenomena and their influence on art. Contemporary art requires an active approach and the visitors’ feedback, resulting in various educational activities based on a dialogue between the artwork and the viewer. Ludwig Museum has developed a program called lifelong learnig for all that includes segmented offers within their family package that is suitable for all generations, from the youngest to the oldest. The museum also organizes the program “A cup of tea” suitable for older visitors. It is even possible to organize birthday parties for children, and there is a special day for the visits of families with young children.
László Hemrik has had an extensive experience in organizing large-scale cultural and artistic projects, and before he became the Head of the Education Department he had worked in cultural management, and for some time he even worked as an associate in the marketing and public relations. He is a qualified instructor for museum educators, a teacher of museum education methodology at the Faculty of Education and Psychology in Budapest and the author of over 400 articles, essays and critical reviews.
This lecture was organized at the City Hall in Vrsac in cooperation with the Cultural Center of Vrsac.
Cultural capital at the service of citizens, transformation of local community centers into modern cultural centers
Ángel Mestres is the general manager of cultural organization “Transit projects”, with over 200 employees, and a lecturer in the Master of Cultural Management at the University of Barcelona. As a visiting lecturer he has held many lectures at universities in Spain, Brazil, Chile, Argentina, Cuba, Morocco, Portugal and France. With “Transit Projectes” he participated in the transformation of some of the most important cultural centers in Catalonia and Spain, which nowadays represent new models of management and program quality that have managed to regain their audience and become financially sustainable institutions. With more than 20 years of experience in both public and private sectors, Mestres is one of the leading experts for strategy development and sustainability of cultural institutions and organizations. The emphasis in his work is placed on the use of new technology, innovation and networking of cultural institutions.
During his presentation Mestres tried to answer some important questions – How did Spanish cultural institutions manage to adapt to social and economic changes of the Spanish transition to become a reference institutions at local, regional, and even international levels? By what means did they manage to analyze the cultural needs and interests of the audience to adapt their programs to the new demands and attract new consumers? What models could cultural institutions in Serbia use in order to overcome the current problems?
The lecture was organized in Zrenjanin, in cooperation with the Cultural Center of Zrenjanin.
More biographical information about Ángel Mestres can be found on the following links:
- Managing Director of Transit Projects (Transit Projectes) Barcelona, Spain
- Cooordinator and lecturer at the Master of Cultural Management at the University of Barcelona
- Expert Consultant at ETC Innovation, transference and Development (ITD Innovación, Transferencia y Desarrollo)
- Abacus Corporation President
- Former Director of Communications and External Relations Associate at the Institute of Culture of Barcelona and CEO of Grupo Anaya DISTESA, publishing house specializing in educational and didactic publications
- As a visiting professor he held a number of conferences at universities in Spain, Andorra, Brazil, Peru, Ecuador, Uruguay, Paraguay, Venezuela, Chile, Argentina, Cuba, Morocco, Portugal and France.
- He has participated in many international projects in the fields of culture and education in Argentina, Chile, Paraguay, Portugal, Brazil, Peru and Colombia.
Audience development toolkit: The challenges cultural institutions meet in the circumstances of constant changes
Richard Hadley is an independent consultant, lecturer and producer of numerous festivals and cultural events. He has had over 20 years of experience in cultural management. As a sharp thinker and an excellent teacher, he has gained an extensive experience in helping cultural institutions to define their goals and guidelines, to shape their plans and achieve constructive results. As a founding member of the European Network for Audience Development (Audiences Europe Network), during the last five years, Richard Hadley has held a number of successful conferences and seminars throughout Europe on a variety of topics, including cultural tourism and festival management for Arts Council England, Learning and Skills Council and many local governments. Before that, Hadley founded the marketing agency in the cultural sector “Marketing: Art” which won the award for audience development, since it was the first one to create and introduce a system for storage and analysis of information about customers / audience, as well as the first English B2B (Business-to-Business) + B2C (Business-to-Consumer) cultural portal. He worked in advertising and he was a head of marketing for the economic development of city councils. Among other institutions, Richard Hadley has cooperated with the government of Mexico, the University of Hong Kong, the Arts Council of England and the Heritage Lottery Fund in the UK.
He promotes a model of cultural organization open to change, willing to move forward in an environment that requires international cooperation and exchange of knowledge.
Hadley’s lecture was organized in cooperation with the City Library in Pancevo.