Audience Engagement in the Performing Arts

A Critical Analysis

  • Ben Walmsley

Part of the New Directions in Cultural Policy Research book series (NDCPR)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xi
  2. Ben Walmsley
    Pages 1-23
  3. Ben Walmsley
    Pages 63-90
  4. Ben Walmsley
    Pages 111-139
  5. Ben Walmsley
    Pages 165-198
  6. Ben Walmsley
    Pages 225-241
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 243-248

About this book


This book explores the concept of audience engagement from a number of complementary perspectives, including cultural value, arts marketing and co-creation. It offers a critical review of the existing literature on audience research and an overview of established and emerging methodologies deployed to undertake research with audiences. The book draws from a rich diversity of academic fields to make the case for a radically interdisciplinary approach to audience research.

The book’s underlying thesis is that at the heart of audience research there is a mutual exchange of value wherein audiences ideally play the role of strategic partners in the mission fulfilment of arts organisations. Illustrating how audiences have traditionally been side-lined, homogenised and vilified, it contends that the future paradigm of audience studies should be based on an engagement model, wherein audiences take their rightful place as subjects rather than objects of empirical research.


Jean-Paul Sartre arts audiences audience research quixotic thinking death of the audience prosumers arts funding Kickstarter

Authors and affiliations

  • Ben Walmsley
    • 1
  1. 1.School Performance Cultural IndustriesUniversity of LeedsLeedsUK

Bibliographic information