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Audience development in public cultural centers: a qualitative study in Helsingborg and Elsinore

Karatzias, Konstantinos (2016) Audience development in public cultural centers: a qualitative study in Helsingborg and Elsinore. Advisor: Casini, Prof. Lorenzo. Coadvisor: Lindqvist, Prof. Katja . pp. 125. [IMT PhD Thesis]

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Audience development in cultural arts organizations is the institutional practice of increasing audiences, deepening relationships with the audiences and diversifying the audience base (EAC/08/2015 Tender specifications). As a critical function of the strategic management in arts organizations (Varbanova, 2012) audience development thus contributes, to the cultural policy goal of providing access to the high arts for all and the cultural policy goal of providing opportunities for the self-expression of the community (Bjørnsen, 2014). However, public local cultural centers, as the community centers that offer different art forms and opportunities for social interaction (Shaw et al., 2006), are absent from the audience development literature and as such, one of the main ambitions of this doctoral thesis is to explore the critical function of management for this type of cultural organizations. The purpose of this qualitative study is to understand the perception of directors of cultural centers and their practice of audience development, and more, the management implications of a city’s political visions on audience development and what the directors perceive it would take to improve the practice of audience development all the while taking into consideration the current challenges in practicing audience development. In order to answer the research questions, this study uses a qualitative approach to compare two case studies (Yin,2009), namely the Dunkers Kulturhus in Helsingborg, Sweden, and the Culture Yard in Elsinore, Denmark. According to the semi-interviews with their directors and the documents related to the political vision of the respective cities and the management of the two cultural centers, the findings show that directors perceive audience development to play a major role in their organizations although they understand audience development in a more holistic way than the literature suggests. Moreover, the political visions in the cities of Helsingborg and Elsinore clearly impact strategic management in both organizations and their directors navigate between the political and the art market by considering the legitimacy criteria of both markets when planning for audience development (Lindqvist, 2007). Finally, the success of any audience development plan depends on the ability to keep the relationship with their audience in the core of everything these cultural centers do.

Item Type: IMT PhD Thesis
Subjects: N Fine Arts > NX Arts in general
PhD Course: Management and Development of Cultural Heritage
Identification Number: 10.6092/imtlucca/e-theses/2017
NBN Number: urn:nbn:it:imtlucca-27322
Date Deposited: 09 Mar 2020 12:12
URI: http://e-theses.imtlucca.it/id/eprint/300

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