Document Actions


Spreading the Love: the Art of Appeal • Friday 5 June, 2009 • Venue: Platform, Easterhouse • 9.30am - 5.30pm

Spreading the Love...

The arts have the potential to be life changing. Often they offer glimpses of evocative, life affirming moments that seem to pinpoint exactly what you feel about who you are, where you come from and where you belong.

As arts professionals, we love art. We are driven to create and share it with others, encouraging everyone to experience it and participate in many ways. However, our quest for audience development is not without its challenges. There is no common agreement on the value and impact of the arts - even within the sector itself. We're also currently faced with the worst market conditions of the last forty years and the potential for diminishing audiences and revenues.

National and local policies relating to the arts may too be out of balance. They support the creation and display (supply) of a wealth of artworks, but pay less attention to developing an understanding and appreciation of the arts (demand), relying on marketing campaigns and educational outreach to ‘develop’ rich and meaningful experiences. Yet even here, there is contradiction as “arts marketers want to sell every seat at full price” and ”audience development wants to fill every seat at any price.” (Matt Lehrman, 2008)

Recent research also suggests that, when compared with material purchases, experiential purchases (such as meals out or theatre tickets) are more likely to lead to an increase in a person's level of happiness and an enhanced overall sense of well being - regardless of the amount spent or their income level (Howell, 2009, San Francisco State University).

It’s our time
If the essence and value of public arts engagement lies less in its economic function and more in its uniquely social aspect then we need to speak more about the arts experience. By placing greater priority on creating public demand for the arts and advocating the full range of benefits they offer us all as both artists and audiences we can begin to spread the love…through the art of appeal.

Spreading the Love delegate places can be booked online. Book your conference place now at
 If you have anything you would like to discuss about the day please contact Nina Honeyman on 0141 248 6864 or by email