Audience Report | Visual Arts

This report tells an encouraging story of a Visual Arts audience that is socially varied, intellectually curious and increasingly dominated by a new generation, enthusiastic to engage.

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The work of visual artists and curators can be critical in fostering dialogue and contributing to positive social change, in creating spaces where communities can face challenging ideas constructively. The Visual Arts not only offer us so much pleasurable experience and creative inspiration but are also central to our society and economy, engaged in their local communities and essential contributors to health, wellbeing, leisure and creative education. Visual Arts contribute to the creative economy, to originality across the creative industries, to the vitality of our towns and cities and, crucially, to tourism. Visit Britain data in fact indicates visiting galleries and heritage centres to be the no.1 cultural intention of overseas tourists to the UK.

The England-based Visual Arts galleries that contribute to this report vary in scale from micro-independent, to local authority managed public collections and larger nationally funded spaces. With the majority of galleries now offering free admission, the challenges they face from reduced funding and an audience that continues to demand relevance make it more important than ever to harness the power of data in influencing and informing programming. We must continue to find innovative and informed ways in which to grow support from gallery goers, funders and community partners. Alongside this nationwide picture of Visual Arts attenders across the sector, we encourage galleries to also reflect on their local and regional profiles, as well as their own Audience Finder dashboards, to inform their unique audience development goals.

Foreword by Dr Paula Graham-Gazzard, CEO Contemporary Visual Art Network, and Margot Walker, Head of Community Partnerships at The Audience Agency.

Download the full Visual Arts Audience Report here

Published in August 2019

Please get in touch if you would like us to send you either:
  • A digital plain text Word version of this report
  • A hard copy of the designed report.