Engaging Dance Audiences Research

A major component of round one of Engaging Dance Audiences was a series of research studies that examined audience engagement methods and experiences. Read the studies below to learn about trends and find ideas for adapting engagement practices.


Summary Assessment of Grantees' Engagement Practices, WolfBrown (2011)
Download the Report  |  Download the Technical Appendix
This reports on the results of the research and assessment work undertaken by the EDA grantees with WolfBrown in connection with their project support and is intende dot help share lessons learned from that research with the dance field. This research utilized constructs measuring the impact of arts experiences first developed by WolfBrown, who provided technical assistance to the grantees. 

National Survey of Dance Audiences (2011)
Download the WolfBrown Report: How Dance Audiences EngageDownload the Appendix
Download the Key Themes from the National Survey of Dance Audiences
Download Dance/USA's Overview of the National Survey of Dance Audiences
Dance/USA commissioned WolfBrown to conduct a national survey of dance audiences; the first field-wide survey intended to answer the question, “How do dance audiences want to engage?” The survey was conducted in the summer of 2010 with the help of 42 partners who sent a standardized survey to their dance ticket-buyers. The survey garnered over 7,400 responses from dance audience members across the nation. 
Dance/USA members can access the archived webinar on the National Survey of Dance Audiences. Click here.
A list of the 42 member dance presenters and producers joined this study as partners and sent the survey to their ticket-buyers is available by clicking here.

The Survey of Current Audience Engagement Practices, WolfBrown (2009)
Download the Summary  |  Download the PowerPoint
The core goals of this survey were to provide a snapshot of current audience engagement practices occurring in the dance field, and to gather insights about the field’s philosophy towards audience engagement and thoughts on its future role to serve dance.  The survey was open to Dance/USA members and non-members. The report covers: types of engagement activities undertaken; barriers faced; planning and responsibility for, and evaluation of, engagement programs; and perspectives on “audience engagement” and “audience development.”

Report on the Call for Ideas, Callahan Consulting for the Arts (2009)
Download the Summary  |  Download the Full Report  |  Download the PowerPoint
A review of the 179 Call for Project Ideas submitted during the first phase of the application for project support. The review revealed the dance field’s current practices, new thinking and future plans in audience engagement. It examines the geographic distribution, of organizations that applied; projects applied for; and themes or trends of interest.  It shows much consistency and some divergence among the Submissions in current activities, challenges, and future aspirations.

Audience Engagement: Working Toward a Definition
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In order to provide context for the design of EDA, in the fall of 2008, Dance/USA interviewed 25 of its members to develop an understanding of the field’s perception of the phrase “audience engagement.”  Dance/USA sought to illuminate both the ways in which the dance field is currently using engagement activities and themes that would contribute to a definition of “audience engagement.” Responses varied greatly among organizations and could even differ inside an organization when individuals from the artistic and management sides were interviewed.