Evaluation of the Culture Plus project for Royal Opera House and CBC. CulturePlus aims to increase the cultural opportunities, participation and engagement of vulnerable learners aged 11-18 years through working with key partners to develop and deliver a programme of arts and cultural activities.
We are particularly interested how a wide cross section of young people can benefit from engagement in the arts. sam-culture are working with Sarah Bedell
Welcoming Families to the Tower of London
The Tower of London wanted to test the response of families from diverse cultural backgrounds to the ways in which the Tower's core stories are interpreted. This is to inform planning and new interpretations for the future.
Pam Jarvis and Mel Larsen worked with a range of families to test responses to current methods of interpretation and the overall experience of visitors at this iconic London visitor attraction.
Public Catalogue Foundation: Your Sculpture. Connecting UK communities with their sculpture heritage.
Pam Jarvis and Sarah Bedell researched and produced an activity plan for reaching young and diverse audiences. A roundtable discussion to inform the project involved representatives from Tate, V&A, Slade, Tyne & Wear Museums, Manchester City Museums, Artangel, The Big Draw and lead partner the BBC.
Your Sculpture has now been merged with Art UK www.artuk.org
Pam Jarvis and Mel Larsen are undertaking research on behalf of Royal Opera House to inform their strategy for hard to reach audiences both in London and the regions.
Current primary research is to identify target markets and look at best practice in this area.
Pam Jarvis and Mel Larsen are producing the evaluation of the extended Mela programme now featuring six Melas in Blackburn, Crawley, London, Luton, Manchester and Middlesbrough
Free outdoor events provide opportunities for all sections of the community to engage with the Festival. Without Walls was held in Woodingdean and Saltdean; Gauge took up residency at Circus Street Market; Ear Trumpet visited Queens Park; Periplum created 451, a site specific show at the near derelict Preston Barracks site and Fleeting ended the Festival with a performance at dusk on the beach. sam-culture organised audience research at all these events using local volunteers to undertake the interviews with attenders. The findings will inform planning for future years.
Royal Opera House wants to expand the range of opportunities it offers to family audiences to enable it to share the brilliance of its work with people who may consider that opera or ballet are €˜not for them€™ or unaffordable€™. ROH has commissioned Pam Jarvis and Mel Larsen to research broadening the engagement of new family audiences by taking an even more proactive approach to targeting new and emerging audiences that are actively interested in experiencing arts as a familyMore..
Research into opportunities for Fullers Farm
National Trust, Hatchlands Park have commissioned a feasibility study on the viability of creating a new family attraction.
Pam Jarvis, sam-culture and Mel Larsen will assess options, research visitor needs and expectations and review best practice in leading attractions nationally to define the opportunities for NT.More..
A cluster of major cultural organisations in Sussex all share a need to understand more about the cultural behaviour, attitudes and lifestyles of their current audiences. This collaborative project aims to create shared insights and evidence to enable more accurate segmentation and targeting and deepen engagement.More..
Chichester Festival Theatre re-opens this Summer following REnew: the refurbishment and upgrade of the Festival Theatre. sam-culture reviewed, researched and updated databases for group bookers for a special preview event in MarchMore..
An imaginative and innovative programme is expanding approaches to early music from across many cultures, secular and spiritual, Middle Ages to Renaissance. sam culture€™s audience analysis and evaluation will inform next stages in the Festival€™s development
Celebrating digital art and culture
Blurring the interface of arts and culture with digital and information technology is opening up new possibilities and collaborations. These were explored in a festival of 170 events bringing together international artists, academics, games developers, hackers and major digital industries. Pam Jarvis is evaluating the impacts of the Festival
Understanding Audiences: Audience Focus
A successful Arts Council GFA bid is enabling major cultural organisations to come together with The Audience Agency and sam-culture on a collaborative project to amalgamate their audience data and profile existing audiences and their convergences and divergences and to create the first local cluster overview of cultural participation
Brighton Digital Festival showcases digital innovation in the City in a programme of high level seminars, international conferences, open studios, performances, events, exhibitions, an education programme and participatory activities for families and young people. sam-culture researched the audience profile and attender experience at a representative sample of events.
Eastbourne Theatres commissioned sam-culture to investigate how they can build business from the education sector through a better understanding of teachers needs and motivations. Our research has identified:
- venues need to review their communications with schools
- venues should ensure their programming matches curriculum needs
- a need to review ticket pricing for different shows
- the need to create imaginative opportunties for teachers and pupils to get more involved with Eastbourne Theatres
Saturday 29 October saw over 45,000 people take to the streets of Brighton & Hove for an all night celebration. sam-culture€™s evaluation is based on consultation with audiences, artists and stakeholders and explores the impacts of cultural events as a means to address urban issues.
Our report demonstrated White Night€™s unique collaborative ethos and how this creative and collective curatorial dialogue facilitates both ground breaking artistic practice and high levels of community engagement.
Read the full report here.
Public sector investment backed by private sector support has led to a critical mass of cultural activity - helping Brighton & Hove to stay ahead as a successful city. Understanding the benefits of the city's investment in culture is essential to sustain this upward trend and build confidence.
The Culture Counts report brought together evidence of the impacts of culture on the city, its people, its visitors and its cultural ecology. The study is based on data from 28 lead cultural organisations in the city.
Read the full report here.
52% of people in England did not visit a museum or gallery in the last year. Museums at Night aimed to show them what they€™ve been missing. sam-culture€™s report shows the audience response to the nationwide events and after-hours culture; a catalyst bringing over 300 arts and heritage organisations together.
€œAbsolutely anything you can imagine happens for Museums at Night I love the idea is that it is at night-time. We all think creatively and night is the time when everybody is themselves. We€™re not at work, we€™re not being what we do, we are who we are, everybody is a kid again, everybody is receptive to new ideas and new experiences so I think Museums at Night is just a genius thing really."
Lauren Laverne, The Culture Show presenter, broadcaster, DJ and Museums at Night 2011 Ambassador
Read the Executive Summary here.
"The value of this project, and the reports that it has produced, lies in enabling one to see the scale, characteristics and trends in museum related learning in the South East over time." David Anderson - Director General, National Museum Wales.
Phase 6 of the schools4museums project reports upon a time of uncertainty and upheaval - when the museum sector has experienced a period of rapid restructuring, culminating in the decision to close MLA as a national agency and transfer many of it's strategic responsibilities to Arts Council England.
In this report we continue to examine specific issues which highlight the fragility of the region's museum learning services and explore how depth of engagement with schools has increased over time while the numbers of schools who use museums year-on-year has only changed a little.
We hope that the infomation presented in this report will be used by museums in the South East to inform their future learning strategies and as evidence to successfully advocate the value of museum learning to their stakeholders, including future colleagues at Arts Council England.
The aim of this work was to identify any shifts in patterns of attendance and to create a holistic audience profile for Chichester Festival Theatre's key products. We compared the audience profiles, locations and frequency of the attenders to three 2010 shows - 42nd Street, Singing in the Rain and Sweeney Todd and mapped the areas of the greater south east that had the greatest untapped potential for customer growth.
Between February 2009 and March 2011 over 200 theatres, arts centres and village halls across the length and breadth of England took part in A Night Less Ordinary. The aim of the project was to test whether theatre attendance by the under 26s could be increased and sustained if price was removed as a barrier. £2.5 million of DCMS support was used to develop and deliver a national free theatre ticket programme targeted at children and young people.
Our final evaluation of A Night Less Ordinary was published in 2011 - the culmination of more than two years of consultation, with over a hundred theatres and thousands of young people.
Museums at Night is the annual after hours celebration that sees hundreds of museums, galleries, libraries, archives and heritage sites opening their doors for special evening events during one weekend in May.
sam has been commissioned to review 2011 events across England and Scotland and to produce a comprehensive overview of the audience response to the exciting and innovative events that were produced by hundreds of participating museums.
sam has developed with TGSI a new tool for organisations with box offices that visually conveys how different socio-economic groups interact with their cultural offer and how successfully they are penetrating different market segments in different locations.
Based upon Google Maps, the system can pinpoint down to individual postcodes how often groups of people attend specific theatres, art galleries or festivals, where more of the same types of people live and how well specific growth strategies are working. This tool is ideal for demonstrating impact and potential to stakeholders and partners.
sam was commissioned by Brighton Festival to interview and profile the audience for the major 2010 outdoor event Park Life curated by No Fit State. The aim of the research was to provide data on participation by groups in the city who commonly have low levels of cultural consumption and measure whether objectives were being achieved.
The Take the Lead programme is aimed at developing a new generation of leaders in museums, libraries and archives with skills in service delivery; political acumen; good governance and performance management in order to increase service participation and openness to innovation. The programme included work-based activity, self reflection and taught modules; a combination of theory and practice. It was differentiated from other leadership programmes in that it specifically focused on museums, libraries and archives and on emerging leaders and embedded in the service.
The primary objective for this assessment was to create understanding of the impact of Take the Lead in helping organisations to deliver their strategic objectives through assessing the views of key stakeholders on the value of the programme as a strategic intervention to help deliver improvement, both immediate and longer term. The assessment was based on consultation by sam in partnership with Kate Oakley with key stakeholders, including the views of some of those responsible for the design and implementation of cultural leadership programmes and senior management and staff in participating organisations.
The Chichester Festival Theatre website in an increasingly important mechanism in its business operation and ensuring it is fit-for-purpose and meets the needs and expectation of it users is an essential part in informing its imminent re-development.
sam were commissioned to undertake a short piece of research aiming to explore the experience and reactions of users so that their responses and suggestions could be used to inform the design brief for the re-development and refinement of the website.
Group business is an important source of revenue for Chichester Festival Theatre. The Theatre is aiming to build its market share from group business and to maximise revenue from this audience sector through increased box office and use of services such as catering.
To help this happen sam recruited and ran a series of consultation sessions with group organisers to explore their needs in terms of:
This information enabled the theatre to build closer relationships with group organisers and ultimately to generate more business.
sam-culture consulted with young participants, schools, industry bodies and academic experts to explore the issues of pre-NEET intervention and the project impacts for this partnership project delivered by Groundwork and The Prince’s Trust that aimed to make a life changing intervention for pre-NEET stage young people.
An investigation into the organisational and audience impact of the £2.4 million Arts Council pilot that tests how important price is to early stage (under 26) adoption in relation to 220 theatres.
sam are currently exploring why certain institutional cultures are successful at this and why others are not; the inter-relationship between participating theatres and ACE and the mechanisms required to ensure national projects provide equality of opportunity across England.
sam in collaboration with Kate Oakley recently completed a project identifying the barriers preventing effective knowledge exchange in the museums sector. This project sought to understand how successfully the learning outcomes from research were communicated and adopted within organisations and across the sector.
Working with a group of Senior Managers from across the museums sector we delivered a series of events informed by established cultural leaders, commercial leaders and existing research. These events initially explored the issues of knowledge exchange and then developed a set of recommendations and next steps to inform MLA and the sector€™s response to the findings.
Brighton Festival has a corporate objective to increase the level of participation by groups in the city who have low levels of cultural consumption. One of the most effective ways of achieving this is through free outdoor events. sam was commissioned to interview and profile the audiences for the outdoor event Fire, Smoke and Mirrors in Queens Park, in order to provide the evidence about whether this objective was being realised.
sam€™s audience consultation was with 1,250 event attenders over two evenings.
2009 marked a step change in the development of Brighton Festival. A new Chief Executive, the appointment for the first time of a Guest Artistic Director Anish Kapoor and a strong emphasis on contemporary visual arts in the programme brought a new impetus to the Festival.
sam-culture was commissioned to explore a variety of different issues related to how Brighton Festival audiences perceived, experienced and responded to the 2009 programme.
This research reported on:
This research was commissioned in order to establish the size, extent and economic value of the Festivals sector in the South East region.
sam worked in partnership with Groundwork GIS and Community Sense to provide a sector wide overview of the region€™s festivals. The study defines festivals as €œA series of performances of music, plays, films/movies, etc., usually organised in the same place once a year; a series of public events connected with a particular activity or idea€. It focuses on events with a programmed cultural element and does not include sporting events, food and religious events.
One of the largest pieces of research of its type (in all we identified 323 events), this study provides:
The data set out in this study was based on responses to a quantitative survey together with interviews with festival directors and key stakeholders in local authorities and funding bodies.
click here to download the full report.
This was a significant piece of consultation that examined two key questions. Firstly what did the core audience think about the Festival and Dome€™s programme and how could it be more successfully communicated in order to build audiences? Secondly who were coming to the free outdoor events at the Festival and what was their experiential response?
The first question was answered through game-based focus groups with 80 regular attenders, looking at expectations, cultural experience and motivations. The second question through onsite interviews with over a 1,500 visitors to four different free outdoor events during May 2008.
What became evident from this research was that experienced cultural attenders wanted intellectual and experiential risk, but they didn€™t want quality risk.
Using the data modelling framework developed as part of the Schools4museums Participation Database, sam was able to record which state schools (Primary, Middle, Secondary and Special) within the MK/SM growth area had used a museum service provided by a Local Authority run museum (or a museum which receives at least 20% of its core funding from its local authority), also located within the same growth area.
This figure was the first cross-regional local area indicator of its type.
sam was commissioned to undertake research into the De La Warr Pavilion€™s economic impact in the South East. We were able to highlight the importance of DLWP as a key economic driver within the region and a cultural leader in contemporary arts.
The study found that the organisation generated £16m for the South East and over £3.5m in press and media coverage. The research also highlighted that the building welcomed over half a million visitors to Bexhill during the past twelve months, emphasising its key role for tourism within East Sussex.
'sam has enabled us to provide evidence that confirms the DLWP is a major regional economic driving force and cultural leader. We€™re really pleased with the outcome and are looking forward to using this research to develop the Pavilion€™s contribution over the coming years.'
Stewart Drew, Head of Development
Click here to download the full report.
An action research project that identified the key barriers to museum participation faced by young people in C2, D and E social groups undertaken in partnership with our associate Maddy Morton (author of the Arts Council€™s Not for the Likes of You).
The process involved introducing curators to their audiences, challenging pre-existing assumptions and the development of new displays through the use of visual imaging exercises.
€˜I would like to acknowledge the expertise of the audience research consultants, who conducted our in-depth focus groups and involved all members of the project team€™.
Janita Bagshawe, Director of the Royal Pavilion & Head of Museums
Fast Forward is the third study undertaken for Brighton Festival and follows on from two other influential studies produced by sam, Get in on the Act (on Brighton Festival€™s sponsorship) and Looking for Impact (an economic impact study of Brighton Festival).
Fast Forward summarises the changes and challenges experienced by Brighton Festival over the past four years since re-launching in 2002. Looking at the achievements of Brighton Festival and reflecting upon its progress up to its current position as England€™s largest arts festival, the report acts as an advocacy document testifying to how far the organisation has come.
Fast Forward allows the reader to understand how Brighton Festival is supported and the size and scale of programming and audiences the festival attracts in return for this investment.
Click here to download the full report.
Creative industries can be a force for economic growth, contribute to the distinctiveness of a place and create vibrant and dynamic communities. Wiltshire and Swindon Arts Alliance commissioned sam with Tom Fleming Creative Consultancy to produce an overview of the creative industries in an area of great diversity - where rural villages and small towns compete with rapidly changing urban areas.
An extensive programme of qualitative and quantitative mapping was undertaken across the two local authorities to measure the value and volume of their creative and cultural businesses. This research identified the key Wiltshire and Swindon cultural and creative assets and expressed their potential alongside the challenges faced by the sector. This information was then used to inform sub-regional economic, planning and social cohesion policy.
In 2007 BAFA (British Arts Festivals Association) commissioned sam to embark upon the largest survey of arts festivals ever carried out in the UK, 700 arts festivals were invited to participate, 200 festivals responded.
The purpose of this research was to build upon the 2000 and 2002 Festivals Means Business (FMB) studies, provide an up-to date picture of the UK arts festivals sector and to assess its contribution in the UK more accurately. The final report, FMB3, recorded over 5 million attendances, with 250,000 people taking part in education activities. In 2006, BAFA€™s 80 members were responsible for nearly 200 commissions and 1,700 premieres demonstrating that festivals continue to be significant creators and presenters of new work.
sam€™s research demonstrated that festivals had become sustainable businesses. FMB3 showed that a typical festival€™s budget was made up from a diverse range of income sources with new revenues, such as individual giving starting to make an impact. Box office income continues to be the largest single income, indicating the importance of audience development to the festival sector.
Click here to download the full report.
The purpose of this research was to provide evidence of the economic impact of the British Art Show upon the city of Bristol through recording and modelling the volume and value of activity, describing the in-district and out-of district visitor profile, value generated for Bristol and the subsequent press and media equivalent value.
sam worked with six galleries and artists€™ organisations including the Arnolfini, Bristol City Museum and Art Gallery, The Royal West of England Academy and Spike Island and surveyed over 1,500 venue attenders.
West Sussex Arts Partnership commissioned research by sam to create a clear picture of the scale and scope of arts and heritage across the seven Districts in West Sussex. The Partners wanted to see if the arts and heritage sectors make a significant contribution to the economy of the county.
Over the next four years we undertook a highly detailed audit of arts and heritage business activity, district by district, supported through a large-scale sector consultation. The findings, profile the creative sector in the county, map the current provision and suggest ways forward to build a creative county.
The data in these studies provided a basis for the strategic intelligence which identifies a set of €˜arts and heritage priorities€™ for local authorities and their partners, including:
In November 2006 sam was commissioned by MLA South West as part of their Strategic Commissioning activity to undertake an audit of the activity between museums and schools throughout the South West region during the academic years 2005-2006 and the Autumn term of 2006-2007.
The aims of the South West Region Schools Participation Database Development project were as follows:
sam€™s report was the first aimed at providing a holistic overview, recording the relationship and frequency of activity between schools and museums and archives located in the South West. The information collected through this round of region wide data capture created a baseline, against which to measure future change.
This study produced a comparative examination of the 2006 and 2007 Brighton Festival Fringe audiences using analysis of their box office and subsequent socio-economic segmentation of patrons through Experian€™s Mosaic tool.
The research identified bookers€™ geographic origin, quantified market penetration, and recognised opportunities for future growth. The work was undertaken through an online questionnaire, promoted through Brighton Festival Fringe€™s brochure and website - in total, there were 650 surveys completed.
sam worked with Colin Mercer and Kate Oakley to create easy and renewable access to information about the SHIPs area through use of the DCMS Evidence Toolkit and other relevant data capture frameworks - in order to establish a detailed profile of the cultural sector which could be shared by all relevant parties and stakeholders.
Creative Returns made connections across the cultural sector and the shared priorities of €˜the creative economy€™, €˜healthy communities€™, €˜vital neighbourhoods€™ and €˜engaging young people€™. It clearly demonstrated the value and benefits of local authority and public sector investment into the creative economy and its spin-offs.
The study provided the SHIPs Partners, and their key partners and stakeholders with:
This was a major piece of patron database mapping for over 20 theatres located throughout Great Britain. The mapping and profiling of the audience for specific Dance Consortium Tours was commissioned to provide each of the partners and venues with an accessible resource, which could inform future marketing and audience development strategies, programming and collaborations.
The mapping gives accurate data on the catchment areas for each of the venues in the study and indicates the distance their audiences are prepared to travel for the Dance Consortium Tours. The mapping is based on the patron database for each of the venues, which was extracted from their box office systems. The ACORN socio-demographic profiles, which cluster households into segments based on shared characteristics and which are directly compatible with the Area Profile reports supplied by Arts Council England.
Together, the sets of data provide a practical resource and information service on which future audience building and marketing campaigns can be based and to ensure productive targeting. The data sets were also designed to provide each partner with a benchmark against which future progress could be monitored, as well as an overview of the audience for dance across the UK.
sam was commissioned to research how Small and Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs) benefit from sponsoring the Arts. This was a collaborative project with Step Ahead Consulting and Midnight Communications, exploring the expectations and experiences of 20 Brighton-based companies (from solicitors to fashion houses), each working alongside England€™s largest multi-arts festival. The study investigated Brighton Festival€™s current offer to SMEs, how it promoted their business and measured the levels of impact.
€˜This research has for the first time given us independent evidence of the real and tangible benefits SMEs can gain from sponsoring an arts organisation. It also provides a toolkit for new arts sponsors, on how they can make the most impact with their investment. It has already helped us to attract many new sponsors to Brighton Festival.€™
Lynne Richards, Head of Sponsorship & Development, Brighton Festival
Click here to download the full report.
sam undertook an extensive piece of research that mapped every trustee and major supporter of the arts in the South East in order to create a detailed list of public and private sector individuals.
The objectives of this research were to create a new resource that supported the advocacy programme being undertaken by the Arts Council and to facilitate a productive dialogue with €˜movers and shakers€™ across the SE to inform and influence key decision makers in relevant sectors.
What impact did the three Theatre Royal Brighton productions Sweeney Todd, The Rocky Horror Show and The New Statesman have upon the audience of the theatre? Did these productions bring in a new and different audience, and if so, who were they? What is the potential for further Theatre Royal Brighton productions and which audiences should such productions be slanted towards? Should Theatre Royal Brighton cater for €˜more of the same€™ audiences or seek to address €˜gaps in the market€™?
This study was designed to support business and programming decisions through analysis of the audience composition, geographic origins and socio-economic profiles.
This research was commissioned by the Worthing Theatre Group to provide baseline data on expenditure in the local economy by members of the Theatres€™ audiences. sam was able to determine per capita contributions in terms of primary and secondary spend for attenders to different art forms and for different times throughout a 12 month period.