There are two main resources that we use to improve our understanding of how and why people engage with the arts:

  • Taking Part survey - a major national survey of cultural participation that has been running since 2005
  • Arts audiences: insight - a segmentation analysis based on an examination of the patterns of arts engagement and attitudes towards the arts, drawn from Taking Part. 

We also use Audience Finder which is a national audience data and development programme, enabling cultural organisations to share, compare and apply insight. It is developed and managed by The Audience Agency.

We are also a partner in 'Understanding Everyday Participation - Articulating Cultural Values', a large-scale project to research how people participate in culture, sport and other social and civic activities in their everyday lives. The research aims to develop new ways of understanding and measuring participation and its value based on how people live their lives today and what is important to them. The project is a collaboration between four universities and 12 national partners and is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council until 2017. 

You can also read about the Active People and TGI surveys that have historically been used to understand arts engagement in England. For further historical context to our audience research, see the final report from the New Audiences Programme (2004).

We are currently supporting the arts sector to better understand audiences by commissioning work through the Audience Focus fund.