Society, Audiences and the Arts


ESRC Seminar Series: ?Rethinking Arts Marketing?, University of Hertfordshire, De Havilland Campus, Hatfield, Herts, UK, 4 May 2006

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Date: Fri, 31 Mar 2006 11:55:15 +0100
From: "Daragh O’Reilly" <d.t.oreilly at>

ESRC Seminar Series: “Rethinking Arts Marketing”

Date/Time: Thursday, 4th May, 2006 Venue: University of Hertfordshire, De Havilland Campus, Hatfield, Herts

Keynote Speaker: James Boyle (latterly Chair of Scottish Arts Council and chair of the Cultural Commission)

Topic: Society, Audiences and the Arts

Among other areas, this session will provide an insight into one example of national inquiry into the arts. James Boyle will reflect on some themes from the work of the Cultural Commission, audiences, their creation and development.

James Boyle served as Chairman of the Scottish Arts Council from 2002 until his appointment as Chair of the Cultural Commission in 2004. As Chair of the Cultural Commission, he led a wide ranging investigation into every aspect of culture and arts provision in Scotland. Prior to this James Boyle occupied a series of high-profile posts at the BBC, culminating in four years as Controller of Radio 4 from 1998-2002. Previous roles included Head of BBC Radio Scotland (1992-96) and Secretary and Head of Press, BBC Scotland (from 1989).

Keynote Speaker: Steve Perrin, Deputy Head of Distribution and Exhibition at the UK Film Council.

Cinemas UK wide are generally dominated by US studio product. In a typical year these account for around 80% of the overall box office. However, more dramatically the top 100 films garner 95% of the box office. As a result, the UK Film Council is currently trying to both encourage a more diverse cinema audience and encourage cinema-goers to be more knowledgeable and adventurous in their choices. The overall aim is to increase the number of cinema visits per capita. Themes will include competition and collaboration. Also a Senior Research Fellow with CIRCU in the University of Herts Business School, Steve is currently jointly responsible for overseeing the allocation of £12 million of Lottery Funding to create a ‘Digital Screen Network’ in the UK.

Joint Presentation and discussion

The Role of Friends’ Societies and Membership bodies: help or hindrance in building audiences Alix Slater and Iain Fraser have been researching the contribution of these bodies in range of arts organisations, Alix mainly in the museums and galleries sector, Iain in performing arts organisations. Why are some dynamic and significant in making a healthy contribution to the host organisations, while other organisations don’t have them? Why are yet others stagnant or regarded with ambivalence and worse by the professional managers?

Alix Slater is Principal Lecturer & Programme Area Director for Cultural Industries Management, University of Greenwich Business School

Iain Fraser is Marketing Lecturer at University of Abertay Business School, Dundee, and is past chair of the Whitehall Theatre, Dundee.

Panel session: A View from the Front Line

Panel members will tell stories of current experiences in arts marketing; what are the challenges and what lessons can be learnt from this? Details to follow

There is an attendance charge of Stg. 25.00. Lunch and refreshments will be provided during the day.

For further information about this specific seminar, please contact Peter Fraser on p.fraser at, or Beejal Shah on b.7.shah at, at University of Hertfordshire.

To reserve a place, please contact: Susie Barr, Arts Executive, UHArts, University of Hertfordshire, Telephone 01707285048, Fax 01707286040, e-Mail S.J.Barr at

As we would like to encourage the participation of current PhD students or young practitioners in arts marketing, three travel bursaries are available to assist in attending this seminar, by kind provision of ESRC. Please note that to enquire about these opportunities applicants should contact Mrs Suzanne Ashmore, on s.e.ashmore at

For directions to de Havilland Campus, Hatfield, see: