Perceptions Matter – How Welcoming Are Cultural Organizations?

Cultural organisations as “places for people like me”

Younger audiences are more likely to think that cultural organisations are not ‘for people like for them’, says Colleen Dilenschneider in this KYOB post.

“There’s a lot to the ‘negative attitude affinities’ conversation. It’s wrapped up in diversity, equity, and inclusion, as well as age, physical ability, interest, income, being a parent or not, and self-identity. And because people are many things, there is no single magic bullet,” she argues.

The solution (and challenge) – an organisational culture that is consistently welcoming and to people of various different backgrounds and needs.

Welcoming diverse visitors – are you looking at the data in the right way?

A diverse audience is a much proclaimed goal for many cultural organisations, and rightly so. Public arts organisations need to be relevant to a broad population in order to be sustainable and funded long term. This means striving for an audience that is representative of the population.

The upcoming NZ census will tell us more about the ever-increasing diversity of the NZ population and with the update of the Audience Atlas by MHM and Creative NZ due in a few months, we will be able to compare cultural audiences with the population and understand the opportunities and challenges.

Here is a good perspective on how to look at such data and how to interpret (and not mis-interpret) it by Colleen Dilenschneider: Why Some Cultural Organizations Overestimate Success In Welcoming Diverse Visitors