The best part of my job as European Commissioner for Culture is no doubt to witness the tremendous impact that EU funding for cultural activities can have on the lives of Europeans, for audiences and performers alike. Thanks to funding from the European Union’s Culture Programme, many thousands of cultural practitioners from all cultural sectors have, over the years, established professional contacts to help improve their skills, worked on new projects and
performed or showed their work for new audiences all across Europe. This exposure has helped them, and other emerging talents, to develop international careers and work across borders, and has likewise given European audiences a chance to experience original work from European artists first-hand.
Engaging the public with European culture is a paramount priority for the European Commission, and it is why we have decided to focus on audience development in the proposal for the Creative Europe Programme. Audience development is a strategic, dynamic and interactive process of making the arts widely accessible. It aims at engaging individuals and communities in experiencing, enjoying, participating in and valuing the arts through various means available today for cultural operators, from digital tools to volunteering, from co-creation to partnerships.
Audience development as a concept may be relatively new, but some cultural organisations have already been engaged in a dialogue with their audiences for a long time. That is why we wanted to present a snapshot of projects supported by the EUs current Culture and MEDIA programmes, other EU programmes or without direct EU-funding, to provide inspiration for our work ahead. In this brochure you will find projects from a range of cultural sectors across Member States that have developed vibrant audience development strategies and techniques.
I hope you feel inspired by them as much as I do. Let us learn from each other and work together towards introducing audiences of all ages and backgrounds to culture, deepen relationships with audiences and foster cultural and social inclusion.
European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth