North East Contemporary Visual Arts Network in collaboration with Axis Online Media Workshops

Photo Credit: Jeremy Webb

VALUE ADDED: Making and Presenting Content for the Web

12.30 – 4.45 pm on Wednesday, 11 July 2012 | Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art 
Just how effective are we in harnessing the web’s potential as an information-giving and audience development tool?
The web is part of the fabric of our lives, the place where we daily find information, interact with other people and market our organisations. Yet some still regard a website as an add-on – something more akin to an online brochure than a dynamic experience in itself.
North East Contemporary Visual Arts Network in partnership with Axis, have developed a day of workshops all about how we can create and present web content that users will actually want to read and view. The aim is to make users STAY on our website and return again, giving existing audience-members a deeper insight into what we do and encouraging others to take an interest for the first time.
The day will take place at mima on Wednesday 11th July, beginning at 12.30pm with a chance to catch up and network over lunch, and the workshops take place from 1.30-5pm. These workshops are free to attend, however places for the workshops are limited, and will be booked on a first come first served basis.
The workshop sets out to encourage a user-centred approach to making and presenting content for the web, with a range of practical activities, presentations and tips designed to help us sharpen up our skills.
The event has been designed for staff working in visual arts organisations, galleries and artist-led spaces – it’s for anybody who is interested in developing web content that can better support their business aims and artistic programme.
To book a place for the event, or if you have any enquiries, please email Ali Brown.
Please note: you can attend both events, or just one of them, please indicate when booking what you would like to do and also if you would like lunch so we can confirm catering.

Key data findings from visual arts audiences in the South West


Image: Royal West of England Academy, one of the organisations that took part in the 'Understanding Audiences' Project in the South West.

12 visual arts organisations from across the South West took part in an audience benchmarking project delivered by Audiences South West in partnership with Turning Point South West.  Having delivered an initial series of training for Front of House staff in data capturing, each organisation piloted the use of the standard questionnaire as a model of practice.

The South West did extremely well in the amount of data captured and organisations involved, and the project revealed a great deal about who the audiences are, their demographics and some interesting possibilities for harnessing this information to enhance the delivery and promotion of visual art in the region. These are just a snapshot of the data statistics:

  • 70% female attendance to 30% male attendance
  • Age groups 45-54 & 55- 64 make up 43% of audiences
  • 44% of audiences ticked the self description box ‘Wealthy Achievers’
  • 60% of audiences spent between 1/2 hour and 1 1/2 hours at the venue
  • 50% had visited at least once in the last 12 months
  • 66% described themselves as knowledgeable about visual arts, and 40% were involved in the arts sector (either as artists, teachers, students or professionally)
  • 45% have bought contemporary art, and 41% would consider buying contemporary art

The South West is one of five regions delivering this project, which has been enabled by Audiences UK and the Arts Council England. The project seeks to determine how data captured can be sustained by visual arts organisations and what value that data has to individual organisations and to the sector as a benchmarking standard of engagement. A benchmarking report is being created by Audiences London to analyse and compare national visual arts audiences and will be available soon.

The national network of Audience Development Agencies re-launches as Audiences UK.

Today the national network of Audience Development Agencies re-launches as Audiences UK.

 "Audiences UK will ensure that the public’s needs and views are heard in the coming years.  We will take a national and international lead in advocating for the needs of audiences and promoting the highest quality audience development practice in the cultural sector. Through our twelve national and regional Agencies, we will co-ordinate and deliver national programmes to increase levels of cultural engagement.

We believe policy-makers, funders and the cultural sector itself need to place a greater emphasis on growing and broadening audiences and making sure everyone has the opportunity to access and experience great art. In the challenging times ahead, this will not only help the financial stability of cultural organisations, it will also help to keep individuals happy and hold communities together. 

To coincide with the launch of Audiences UK, we have published a ‘manifesto’ setting out five key messages for funders, policy-makers and the cultural sector in England to sustain and increase levels of cultural engagement in economically challenging times. You can download a PDF by clicking here (it may take a moment to download).

Our new website – – is also now live, providing a home for a vast amount of data and resources that can be accessed (free of charge) by anyone interested in growing and developing their audience."