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National engagement campaign

  • Date: 14 June 2009
  • Area: National

National engagement campaign

Over the period 2008-11 the Arts Council will develop and deliver an ambitious national campaign to encourage the broadest range of people across England to enjoy artistic experiences. It aims to:

  • kick-start an increase in engagement in the arts in England

  • change the way a significant section of the nation thinks and feels about the arts

  • leave a legacy of long-term increase in arts engagement and participation

At the heart of this drive is the creation of a campaign and an arts ‘brand’ under which arts organisations can position themselves and the opportunities that they offer. The brand will act as a trusted guide to the arts for people who have little or no current engagement with the arts, empowering and giving them confidence to seek out arts opportunities. 

A central aspect of the campaign will be a new website. Taking the form of an interactive online 'arts hub', it will offer people all the information they might need to go on a journey into the arts. The website will be accompanied by a multi-media PR drive, major broadcast partnerships and a coordinated programme of high profile, high quality arts activities and events. In conjunction with a wide-reaching series of commercial partnerships, these elements together will contribute to building a trusted arts brand that our audience will know, understand and respond to.

Since the direct impact of Arts Council funding on the overall arts ecology is only a part of the whole, we need to work with a range of partners to achieve a ‘ripple effect’ of impact, to maximise our reach and strengthen our budgets. The campaign will involve collaboration with the commercial and voluntary arts sectors, local authorities, audience development agencies, as well as the organisations who receive regular funding from the Arts Council.

This mission-led campaign sits at the heart of the Arts Council mission to achieve great art for everyone, and forms a fundamental part of the organisation’s plan for 2008-11.

We will post updates on the campaign on this page as the campaign plans develop. You can also email us if you have any questions about the campaign.


Engagement campaign workshops report available

In the summer of 2009, the Arts Council held a series of events to launch the national engagement campaign to a range of arts sector partners: the commercial and voluntary arts sector, local authorities, and audience development agencies, as well as our regularly funded organisations. 

The events offered an opportunity to find out more about what the Arts Council hopes to achieve through the campaign and where our thinking had reached so far; generate insights to inform the planning of the campaign and help to shape it; explore how you could be involved with the campaign on an ongoing basis as an arts organisation; and build a shared understanding of the challenges of engaging the target audience further with the arts.

Working collaboratively with our stakeholders to shape a campaign that addresses our shared hopes and expectations, and to ensure that it is as well targeted as possible at tackling barriers to engagement, is a vital element of the development of this project. 

Download full report (pdf)

New research report available - June 2009

A workshop held in Birmingham on 13 May 2009 brought together members of the public and arts professionals to discuss and generate ideas for the national engagement campaign. The workshop was facilitated by an independent research agency, Community Research, on behalf of Arts Council England. Click on the links below to read a full report by Community Research, and to view a short video about the workshop.

Download full report [PDF 385.6 KB]

View a short video