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The Scottish Arts Council sees Audience Development as a planned and targeted management process which involves programming, education and marketing (underpinned by research and evaluation) working together to deliver an organisation’s overall objectives.

Although crucial to delivering financial objectives, effective marketing and audience development also ensure that arts organisations continue to be relevant to all the communities of interest they serve.
The outcomes of audience development can include:

  • a broader range of people attending arts events, galleries and performances
  • increased readership of books
  • greater sales of the work of visual artists or craft makers
  • better experiences for those individuals participating in a particular artistic activity.

Organisational Development is informed by the Scottish Arts Council’s Quality Framework which  encourages continuous improvement in the areas of artistic leadership, public engagement, and governance, finance and management.

Audience and Organisational Development, as an integrated policy area, works alongside the other
Scottish Arts Council departments, and adds value to the range of arts development activity undertaken by the organisation. Our strategic focus is on helping individual organisations to maximise attendance and participation.

Activities include:

  • developing partnerships
  • championing and funding national projects designed to develop audiences and/or build capacity in arts organisations collaboratively
  • organising or facilitating events and training such as the annual Audience Development Forum
  • facilitating access to research and market intelligence.


The Audience and Organisational Development budget for 2009/10 is £1.69 million which includes a specific fund of £300,000 for the Scottish Government New Arts Sponsorship Awards administered by Arts & Business.

For information about our funding schemes,please visit the Funding section.

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