Audience development is a set of practices that respond to the growing need of cultural organisations to increase, diversify and engage current and potential audiences. This approach can generate real change, provided that the strategic orientation towards the audience becomes a structural process and attitude within the organisation as a whole, and does not represent a mere additional function or service.
The research will develop through focus group workshops taking place in different festivals, and will result in a Handbook collecting an evaluation of the activities carried out, strategic guidelines for festivals who intend to improve accessibility to their events, and notes for artists willing to develop their relationship with early years audiences.
The workshops will allow to understand the implications and opportunities of an audience oriented approach, through innovative marketing tools and a participatory approach that characterises more and more the contemporary cultural practices. Moreover, they will be a chance of reflecting on how an exchange between those who offer the shows (programmers and artists) and those who bring children to the theatre (families and teachers) can influence the proposal of the partners in the future. In other words, an active involvement of the audience in the programming activity.