An update on the Audience Finder visual arts cluster

A cluster of visual arts organisations from across the CVAN network are coming together to support the development of Audience Finder; an online platform for audience data. In this short interview with Sarah Boiling from The Audience Agency we find out more about the project and how it aims to support the sector to better understand its audiences.

What is audience finder?

Audience Finder provides insights and practical advice to help cultural organisations develop their audience, through collecting, understanding and using data. Audience Finder is delivered through clusters of organisations working together, either geographically to understand and engage audiences in their local area, or sectorally through a series of national art form clusters to inform advocacy, influencing and sector development.
 
It is designed and delivered by The Audience Agency and funded by Arts Council England.
 
How are you working with CVAN?

CVAN is the lead body for the national visual arts cluster, and a series of workshops with the various CVAN regional networks helped to shape the key questions that galleries want to answer about their visitors.
 
Who is involved in the national Visual Arts cluster?

Almost 100 organisations have already signed up to the National Visual Arts cluster and they are about to agree a shared set of audience survey questions ready to start surveying visitors through the summer.

What will the national Visual Arts cluster find out about audiences?

Galleries taking part in the National Visual Arts cluster will discover  who their audiences are and how they compare with other galleries across the country, as well as understanding how visitors describe their quality of experience and getting financial evidence that demonstrates their economic impact.
The findings from the research will be ready after the first six months of data collection, early in 2015.
 
What do you hope the longer-term impact of the cluster will be?

We hope that organisations taking part will see the benefits of working together and will want to continue; that the evidence they obtain will help them advocate for investment in the sector and convince stakeholders about the fantastic cultural and economic impacts of the visual arts.
 
Essentially that it will help the sector be stronger and more successful through a better understanding of its audiences.
 
You can find out more about Audience Finder generally here and contact Sarah Boiling at The Audience Agency if you would like to join the national Visual Arts cluster