Performing arts attendance / Audience motivations

Volume: 11 Issue: 2

Legacy ID (armUID): 
In this issue: Four reports that examine arts attendance and attendee motivations, including a survey of Canadians' performing arts participation, a Montreal conference that examined the changing nature of cultural participation, an international study of theatre attendee motivations, and an American study of factors in performing arts attendance.
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  • The Value of Presenting: A Study of Arts Presentation in Canada

    This report examines Canadians' performing arts participation based on a combination online and telephone survey of 1,031 adults. When asked "How often have you attended performing arts performances by professional artists over the past 12 months?", 75% of respondents indicated that they attended at least once.

  • Arguing that "the effects of globalization and the digital environment present an important challenge for cultural policies and institutions", this recent conference brought together experts from Canada, Europe, and the United States in order to "allow participants to review the traditional model of cultural development, with particular emphasis on the cultural behaviour of immigrant populations and of younger generations".

  • This qualitative research paper investigated "the complex motivations of theatre audiences" based on "40 semi-structured in-depth interviews" with "highly theatre-literate" audience members in Britain and Australia. The study found that "the key motivating factor for respondents was the pursuit of emotional experiences and impact". More specifically, "the vast majority of respondents talked at some length about their emotional response to theatre", using descriptions such as "tense", "moving", "harrowing", "powerful" and "hitting an emotional chord". The author indicates that "emotion emerged as a powerful drug which keeps theatre audiences coming back for more".

  • This report examines demographic and motivational factors in theatre, dance and classical music attendance in Boston, Seattle, and Minneapolis-St. Paul based on surveys conducted in 2002. The researchers created statistical models to investigate similarities and differences in factors in attendance between the three cities and the three art forms.