Skip to navigation Skip to content

  “Who consumes culture reflects social inequality. The audience attending art forms including theatre, classical music, opera, ballet, jazz and exhibitions is a minority of the population.”

Orian Brook, Dave O’Brien, & Mark Taylor, Culture is Bad

Publications and Reports

Our research investigates audience-centric practice which leads to new and diverse audiences. Through the evaluation of arts programs in Australia and overseas we have identified the work needed to open the sector to new audiences, including First Nations people and those from different cultures, age groups, geographic locations, abilities, and sexual and gender identities.

While many organisations demonstrate leadership in this work, a number remain reluctant to undertake change. Some organisations actively avoid the type of practice needed to engage a different audience. Our research aims to understand the drivers and inhibitors of this organisation change and build the arts sector’s capacity to shift the social profile of audiences.

Leading or avoiding change

Leading or avoiding change: the problem of audience diversification for arts organisations” is an article that Hilary and Anne have written with UK colleague Matthew Reason. The article is open access, but you will need to register an account with TandFOnline to access it.

Culture is bad for you: inequality in the cultural and creative industries

ACMI Director & CEO Seb Chan in conversation with Dr Mark Taylor from Sheffield Methods Institute on December 6 2022.

Governments, arts councils and arts organisations tell us that culture will keep us fit and healthy, will bring communities together and will improve our lives; however, this talk argues that we need to be cautious about culture.

First, it will highlight the inequalities in who engages in different kinds of culture, who works in culture and how this hasn’t changed in decades. It will then discuss how these inequalities are experienced by those working in culture and why they’re unlikely to change without a radical intervention.

Dr Mark Taylor is the author of Culture Is Bad For You (Manchester University Press, 2020), with Orian Brook and Dave O’Brien.

back to top