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Mix It Up Project Report: Building New Audiences - Multicultural Arts ...

Mix It Up Project Report:

Building New Audiences

EVALUATION REPORT

Prepared by

Associate Professor Ruth Rentschler

Centre for Leisure Management Research

Deakin University

Statistical Analysis: Natalie Elkins Marketing Research Consultant

The Mix It Up evaluation and case study have been developed with the support of the Australia

Council for the Arts, The Australian Government’s arts funding and advisory body


Table of Contents

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TABLE OF CONTENTS ........................................................................................................................................2

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY .....................................................................................................................................3

METHODOLOGY...................................................................................................................................................7

AUDIENCE ANALYSIS.............................................................................................................................................8

STAKEHOLDER ANALYSIS....................................................................................................................................10

FIVE STRATEGIES FOR DEVELOPING NEW AND DIVERSE ARTS AUDIENCES ...........................11

1. Creation of Diversified Audiences.............................................................................................................12

2. Marketing ...................................................................................................................................................18

3. Barriers to Attendance ...............................................................................................................................20

4. Images and Perceptions .............................................................................................................................23

5. Experience ..................................................................................................................................................24

SEVEN STRATEGIES FOR WORKING IN NEW WAYS.............................................................................26

1. Achieve organisational cultural change by appointing change champions for Mix It Up.......................26

2. Build Relationships between communities and Arts Centre key players ..................................................27

3. Create Dialogues with Communities through Curators and Programmers.............................................28

4. Appoint Cultural Ambassadors as holders of the keys to the doors to multicultural communities .........28

5. Empower Marketing Staff to act as Facilitators with Community Marketers..........................................28

6. Provide skills to artists to enable them to leverage new works and sponsorships from Arts Centre

performances ..................................................................................................................................................29

7. Establish a Multicultural Peer Network at the Arts Centre......................................................................29

NEW WAYS OF WORKING: TOWARDS A NEW FRAMEWORK ...........................................................31

Three Modes of Multicultural Arts Project Collaboration ...........................................................................31

Various activities within the Framework.......................................................................................................32

We did have our frustrations though. (Administration, the Arts Centre) .....................................................32

CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS..............................................................................................33

From Margin to Mainstream .........................................................................................................................34

The Australian Innovative Spirit....................................................................................................................36

The Impact of Diversity on Ways of Working................................................................................................38

The Main Thrust .............................................................................................................................................38

A Model of Multicultural Learning................................................................................................................39

APPENDICES ........................................................................................................................................................40

Appendix 1: Case Study: Developing Audience Diversity through the Mix It Up Project...........................40

Appendix 2: Stakeholder Discussion Guide ..................................................................................................48

Appendix 3: Audience Analysis Discussion Guide........................................................................................50

Appendix 4: Multicultural Research Audience Analysis by Natalie Elkins..................................................54

REFERENCES.......................................................................................................................................................55


Executive Summary

The Arts Centre took a risk and I bless them for it. (Curator, Music Program)

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Everything was very organised [at the Arts Centre]. I mean it was probably the best conditions

I’ve had for a gig. (Music Artist)

The Arts Centre (VACT) and Multicultural Arts Victoria (MAV) developed a unique partnership to create and

deliver the Mix It Up program in 2006. Delivered over nine months during 2006, the program employed and

presented an extraordinary range of local, national and international artists (800 in total), from 23 nationalities

over 96 events. It attracted 160,000 visitors to the Arts Centre—47,000 to major events, plus a further 113,000 to

the free exhibition Meeting Place Keeping Place Exhibition. Mix It Up celebrated Victoria’s cultural diversity with

local, national and overseas artists on show at the Arts Centre and was intended as a celebration of Victoria’s

shared heritage.

This initiative evolved from a proposal developed for Arts Victoria and the Department of Premier and Cabinet in

2005. As a result of the Mix It Up program, the Arts Centre received a top award from the Victorian Government

for Excellence in Multicultural Affairs: Service Delivery to Multicultural Victoria—Arts. Further, the Arts Centre

received a leadership award from Arts Victoria for Excellence in Public Programs. These accolades point to the

importance and the success of the project.

In accepting the Excellence in Multicultural Affairs award from the Minister assisting the Premier on Multicultural

Affairs, Daniel Andrews MP, , Arts Centre Executive in charge of Programming, Milos Miladinovic said:

Mix It Up was designed to allow the Arts Centre to engage with a whole range of people who otherwise

may not have ever experienced what we do, or who imagine that opera and ballet is all that ever

happens here.

Our programming strategy sought to bring together international and local artists in diverse performance

programs, and partner much of that performance with public programs which further engaged and

excited the cultural communities and regular visitors alike.

A major contribution to the success of the Mix It Up program was the strengthened relationship between

the Arts Centre and Multicultural Arts Victoria. This enabled us to tap directly into a new and extremely


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diverse market and the success of this local partnership has already had suggested a possible national

approach to this type of programming.

Jill Morgan, Executive Officer of Multicultural Arts Victoria said,

Multicultural Arts Victoria, as a peak state arts body, has extensive links and grass roots connections to

artists and communities which provided a bridge for the Arts Centre to a rich cultural resource.

This Mix It Up Project Report: Building New Audiences examines the Mix It Up program, which was an organic,

participatory learning experience for people from the Arts Centre staff, Multicultural Arts Victoria staff,

multicultural communities and their stakeholders. During the winter and spring of 2006, in depth interviews were

conducted with key stakeholders who participated in the program. Results were synthesized from what was

learned in a step by step process that culminated in this report.

The evaluation has revealed that Mix It Up:

- attracted new audiences to the Arts Centre;

- provided opportunities for multicultural artists to perform at the Arts Centre;

- cemented the Arts Centre’s role as both iconic venue and nurturer of emerging talent;

- developed new ways of working across cultures in partnership with Multicultural Arts Victoria;

- provided a benchmark study that can be used as a model for multicultural audience development

in other states;

- established a professional platform for multicultural artists;

- dispelled stereotypes of multicultural artists as ‘folkloric’ art;

- created opportunities for new work; and

- created opportunities for sponsorship.


Key Learnings

The key learnings from this important study are:

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• Audience development is about building long-term relationships grounded in a philosophical base that

recognise diversity.

• Audience development needs to be holistic and strategic, engaging all members of the organisation,

from board to administration and artists.

• As Mix It Up is a long-term change program, it needs funding to encourage new audiences and new

ways of thinking.

Building diverse audiences is not only about organisational change, but also about creating new

repertoire.

• Audience education is an important factor in building new audiences and maintaining them.

Mix It Up demonstrated the need to move beyond using traditional marketing channels to draw new and

diverse audiences to arts events.

• Objectives of multicultural events need to be clearly stated and communicated to organisational staff. A

natural discrepancy exists between financial and social goals.

• Pricing is an important factor to be considered when targeting new audiences. 45% of people who

attended events for Mix It Up believed improvement was needed to be made in ticket prices.

• A key to establishing and retaining new audiences is through relationship building between arts

providers and communities’ key players.

Multicultural arts projects can be controlled by the large institutional organisation, collaboratively or by

the community organisation. Where control resides needs to be determined by the nature and scope of

the project and its aims and objectives.

• Organisational flexibility and innovation is important when seeking to develop new audiences.


Replicating this Study

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The process was designed to juxtapose the Mix It Up program against existing processes and procedures in

order to find new ways of working, so that future Mix It Up programs and others setting up multicultural arts

programs could benefit from our learnings. This report was prepared both for those who might benefit from the

study results and for those who participated in Mix It Up. With this in mind, the appendices contain detailed data

of results, including protocols and discussion guides. This summary contains the overview and strategies for

success in new ways of working.

The results of the research are a valuable input into the construction of best practice guidelines for diversity and

audience development which can be used as a model by the Arts Centre and other arts organisations seeking to

diversify their audience base.


Methodology

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The Multicultural Arts Audience research project has two key elements:

- An audience analysis of attendees of the Mix It Up program – including both quantitative and

qualitative explorations, and

- A stakeholder study to understand the effectiveness of the Mix It Up model as an audience

development tool.

This report provides the results of both elements of the project. The methods used in both elements of the

evaluation are outlined in the following two sections.


Audience Analysis

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To undertake a comprehensive analysis of the audience for the Mix It Up program quantitative and qualitative

methodologies were undertaken. The fieldwork comprised n=331 interviews and 3 discussion groups with

audience members who attended various performances within the program.

Quantitative Component of Audience Analysis:

In January 2002 the Arts Centre commenced a program of research to track visitor experiences and

reactions. The Brand Performance Monitor (BPM) comprises four waves of research per year,

corresponding to each of the seasons. A total of n=100 interviews are undertaken each month with

recruitment scheduled across all venues and facilities and set quotas at specified times, to ensure a

representative sample of visitors is achieved. The interview takes approximately 15 minutes to complete

and asks visitors about their entire experience—from information search and ticket purchase, to facilities

used while at the Centre and overall satisfaction with their visit.

Additional questions were included to meet the specific information needs of this project.

For the Multicultural Audience Analysis, a booster of n=331 interviews were undertaken with Mix It Up

audience members and these results are compared with a sample of n=1,186 interviews undertaken for

the BPM from October 2005 to September 2006.

Sample lists for performances Complexions, Vive La Fiesta, 7 Fingers and Cloud Gate were obtained

via ticket sales. Those attending Visible, Pulse Heart Beat and Cariba were recruited at the Centre by

Arts Centre staff while attending the performance.

A copy of the questionnaire is included in Appendix A at the end of the main report.

Qualitative Component of Audience Analysis:

Three (3) focus groups were undertaken with audience members of various Mix It Up performances in

October 2006. The focus groups were designed to capture insight into why visitors chose to attend

these events, what they expected and how well these expectations were met, and how the Arts Centre

could encourage them to attend more frequently.

Focus group participants were segmented by age according to the following guidelines:

Group 1: Over 50 years

Group 2: 30 to 55 years

Group 3: Under 35 years


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Additional specifications were used in the recruitment of focus group participants to ensure a good

range of participants based on gender, frequency of visiting the Arts Centre and cultural background

was achieved.

All groups were of three hours duration and participants were offered two free tickets to a performance

at the Arts Centre as a gratuity for their time and to cover any expenses associated with attending the

discussion.

A copy of the discussion guide is provided in the appendices at the end of the main report.


Stakeholder Analysis

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To undertake a comprehensive analysis of the stakeholders for the Mix It Up program qualitative interviews were

conducted. The fieldwork comprised n=28 individual interviews and 3 discussion groups with stakeholders who

participated in various aspects of the Mix It Up program. Stakeholders included managers, administrators,

marketers, curators, artists, community leaders, community members and ethnic media.

Qualitative Component of Stakeholder Analysis:

In November and December 2006 the Arts Centre commenced a series of stakeholder interviews in

order assess the stakeholder experiences and reactions to the Mix It Up program. A total of n=28

interviews and three focus group discussions were undertaken with recruitment scheduled across all

stakeholders and set quotas at specified times, to ensure a representative sample of stakeholders is

achieved. The interviews take approximately 15 minutes to complete with individuals and approximately

one and a half hours with discussions groups of around eight stakeholders. Stakeholders are asked

about their entire experience—from start to finish, with back and front of house, media and

management, successes and areas of improvement and overall satisfaction with the project.

A copy of the questions is included in the Appendices at the end of the main report.

An overview of the results obtained from the audience analysis and from the stakeholder interviews are

highlighted under five strategies for the development of new and diverse audiences and seven strategies for

working in new ways.


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Five Strategies for Developing New and Diverse Arts Audiences

We each had different perceptions of what is success and we need to sit down and work out a

common definition of success for such a program. Is success bums on seats? Is it bringing in

new audiences to the Arts Centre, even if the hall is not always full? Is it finding new ways of

working? Is it engaging new communities? Is it developing new ways of working so that we

can develop a national model of diversity? (Administrator, the Arts Centre)

It [Mix It Up] brought a lot of young people into the Arts Centre who had never been before and

that was a huge success. (Administrator, the Arts Centre)

This engages with new people. (Administrator, the Arts Centre)

Audience development is a much-discussed topic in arts marketing. Recently, resources have been targeted to

increase audiences, broaden audiences and enrich experiences. Mix It Up is one such program of audience

development. Mix It Up provided a platform for developing audiences for multicultural arts programming.

Audience development has been defined variously, to mean cultural inclusion, extended marketing and audience

education (sometimes called ‘cultivation of taste’). Cultural inclusion targets people least likely to attend (such as

low income people), and reaches out to them primarily for social purposes. Extended marketing identifies

potential attendees or lapsed attendees and using the same product offering, caters to that market primarily for

financial and artistic purposes. Audience education targets existing audiences, introduces them to different art

forms and genres primarily for educational purposes (cf Kawashima 2000; Walker-Kuhne 2005). Mix It Up used

all three types of audience development. This section of the report deals only with audience inclusive strategies

used in Mix It Up. The next section of the report deals with extended marketing and audience education under

the main heading of the stakeholder study.

The results of the audience studies conducted on Mix It Up audiences, show that Mix It Up was successful in

extending the audience reach of the Arts Centre. To summarise, five strategies for creating diversified audiences

are suggested by the quantitative results on audience needs and wants. They are complimented by qualitative

data from the stakeholder interviews, where appropriate, so that a well-rounded perspective is obtained.


The five strategies are:

- creation of diversified audiences;

- marketing;

- barriers to attendance;

- images and perceptions; and

- experience.

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The five strategies identified in the audience analysis and mirrored in the stakeholder interviews are now

discussed.

1. Creation of Diversified Audiences

The program did appeal to particularly what we call infrequent visitors to the Arts Centre…

sometimes they (the concerts) had a particular appeal for multicultural or ethnically diverse

audiences but sometimes it was just people who were generally interested in

diversity…(Marketing, the Arts Centre)

Cultural inclusion, as part of audience development, assumes that if barriers are removed, then the arts will

become accessible to all people. Mix It Up did not assume that there is one culture for all, but rather was

developed from the standpoint of diverse cultures for diverse audiences. There has been a pattern to treat

audiences for multicultural programming as a homogeneous mass rather than recognizing multicultural niches

which need to be targeted. Mix It Up is such a redefined program. Improved access to the arts will enable arts

organisations to fulfill their social or creative vision. This is not an easy process. In the long term, multicultural

audiences will attend. However, initially support is needed through funding and niche marketing and other

change program approaches to encourage diverse audiences to attend. Nonetheless, this type of redefined

change program does offer opportunities for alternate sources of income not open to the Arts Centre through

traditional audiences. Recognition of the long-term benefits and short-to medium-term support needs enables the

tension that exists between marketing, education requirements and social obligations to be balanced. Finally,

audience development is seen as a tool with which to build communities and overcome disadvantage in

particular groups which may not otherwise attend or use the Arts Centre.

Mix It Up successfully accessed groups from beyond Arts Centre core patrons.


Type

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Audience research identified six different types of audiences: core patrons, familiar faces, grazers, blockbuster,

hidden and outreach audiences.

50%

40%

30%

20%

10%

0

Arts Centre Visitor Segments - Mix It Up vs the Arts Centre 2005/2006

25%

15%

Core Patrons

23%

20%

Familiar Faces

27%

37%

Grazers/Tag Alongs

6%

5%

Blockbuster

the Arts Centre 05/06 Mix It Up Events

16%

18%

2%

2%

Outreach Targets

Hidden Arts Audiences

• Core Patrons are very frequent attendees (on average having visited the Arts Centre 20 times

in the last 12 months) and have a strong interest in performing arts and exhibitions.

• Familiar Faces also have a strong interest in the arts, yet visit the Arts Centre less often than

Core Patrons (on average 7.7 times over the past year).

• Grazers and Tag Alongs have a more moderate interest in performing arts and exhibitions and

are infrequent visitors to the Centre (2.1 visits per year on average).

• Hidden Arts Audiences have a strong interest in performing arts and exhibitions, yet they visit

the Arts Centre relatively infrequently (3.0 times per year on average).

• Blockbuster Audiences have a more populist taste and visit the Centre very infrequently (1.7

times on average over the past 12 months).

• Outreach Targets are a very small segment representing 2% of visitors over the past 12

months. This group has no or a very little interest in performing arts and exhibitions and rarely

attend the Arts Centre (for most it is their first and only visit to the Centre in the past 12

months).


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Core patrons (those who visited the Arts Centre 20 times in the last 12 months and have a strong interest in the

performing arts) were down from 26% for the regular Arts Centre programming 2005/2006 to 16% for Mix It Up.

The grazers/tag alongs, a group which has a moderate interest in the performing arts and visits the Arts Centre

2.1 times per year on average, were well up for Mix It Up from 27 to 37% of all attendees. This supports the idea

that the diverse programming of Mix It Up attracted different audiences than those attending the regular Arts

Centre programming.

Age

Mix It Up was attended by a much younger audience than the regular seasons at the Arts Centre. Attendees

between 25 and 34 made up 22% of Mix It Up audiences (up 12% on regular programming). Attendees between

the ages of 35 and 44 made up 22% of Mix It Up audiences (up 10% on regular programming).

50%

40%

30%

20%

10%

0

8%

9%

16 - 24 years

Age - Mix It Up vs the Arts Centre 2005/2006

10%

25 - 34 years

22% 22%

12%

35 - 44 years

23%

27%

45 - 54 years

the Arts Centre 05/06 Mix It Up Events

21%

17%

55 - 64 years

26%

4%

65+ years

Fewer older people attended Mix It Up events. The 65+ age bracket was down 22% for Mix It Up.

This information shows that Mix It Up was successful in drawing younger audiences to the Arts Centre who may

not regularly visit it. Mix It Up has also created opportunities for potential future audiences at the Arts Centre, as

today’s youth is tomorrow’s mature attender. While youth is generally defined as 12-25 year olds, and sometimes

as under 30 (Next Wave Festival personal communication 2007; Rentschler, 1999, 16), youth in this report is

more broadly defined to encompass ages up to 35 as this age bracket has proven to be particularly difficult to

attract to arts events. By drawing the youth to programming at the Arts Centre, Mix It Up has shown that it was

successful in developing new audiences.


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Cultural Background

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A challenging audience development argument is that it is about removing barriers connected with cultural

background. People who speak a language other than English at home were perceived as having a different

cultural background from the dominant groups of highly-educated, well-to-do people who usually visit the Arts

Centre. Distinction by language was therefore identified as a variable for analysis. While English speaking

attendees are still the dominant group visiting the Arts Centre for Mix It Up, there is a significant 25 percent in

total of attendees from other language groups. Cultural background for Mix It Up was much more broadly spread

than it is traditionally at Arts Centre performances.

100%

90%

80%

70%

60%

50%

40%

30%

20%

10%

0

Cultural Background - Mix It Up vs the Arts Centre 2005/2006

86%

76%

English

11%

15%

Other European

2% 2%

1%

Asian

the Arts Centre 05/06 Mix It Up Events

Note: This graph relates to the first language spoken at home.

As may be expected from a program which centers on multiculturalism, Mix It Up attracted larger numbers of

people who predominately speak languages other than English at home. English was the first language spoken

at home for 76% of attendees. This figure is down 10% for Arts Centre events 2005/2006. Other European

languages were up from 11% to 15% and languages other than Asian or European languages (particularly

African/Middle East) were up from 1% of audiences to 8% of audiences.

Cultural background of audiences to a large extent reflected the cultural background of the performers and

artists. The Mix It Up program comprised:

• Music Program – Specifically curated concerts in Hamer Hall featuring international and local artists that

engage the local community. A feature is extensive free public programs that give all visitors to the Arts

Centre the opportunity to experience the sights, sounds and tastes of different cultures.

Other

8%


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• Theatre Program – Presentation of major international performing arts companies particularly featuring

dance, physical theatre and circus. Extensive free public programs offer an insight into the creative

processes of the artists and arts making.

• Exhibitions – Presentation of an exhibition Meeting Place Keeping Place featuring the work of local

culturally diverse artists exploring issues of identity and place.

• Creative Development projects – Providing access points for local artists from diverse cultural

backgrounds through the commissioning of creative development projects. Artists working in a diverse

range of performing arts genres will plant the seeds for the creation of new works. This project nurtures

emerging artists which will encourage the development of a more diverse creative arts industry in

Victoria.

There was only one Asian event, Cloudgate. Therefore small totals of Asian audiences are not surprising. A list

of all Mix It Up events is:

Playhouse:

Dance Brazil performances, master classes, workshop, post show talks, exhibition (Brazil)

State Theatre:

Cloudgate performances, master class, exhibition (Taiwan)

Complexions performances, master class, dance class, post show talk, exhibition (United States)

7 Fingers performances, workshop, master classes, exhibition (French Canadian)

Hamer Hall:

Africa! performance, workshops, foyer activities, exhibition (Senegal)

Sing Sing 2 performance, workshops, and foyer activities, exhibition (Papua New Guinea, Torres

Strait Islands, Indigenous)

Pulse Heartbeat performance, workshops, foyer activities, exhibition (Turkey & Egypt)

Vive La Fiesta performance, workshops, foyer activities, exhibition (Cuba and Latin America)

Visible performance, foyer activities & marketplace, exhibition (Indigenous and African refugee

communities)

Cariba performance, foyer activities, workshops, exhibition (Caribbean)

Sunday Soapbox Series discussions (various artists on panels)

Fairfax, GAG, Spiegeltent, Playhouse:

Our Backyard performances, exhibition, activities & marketplace (Gypsy, Turkey, East Timor,

Indigenous, Latin American)


2. Marketing

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Dedicated Schools Performances:

Dance Brazil,(Brazil) 7 Fingers (French Canadian), Hinepau (performance & workshops)(New

Zealand)

George Adams Gallery:

Meeting Place Keeping Place Exhibition (15 nationalities)

Multicultural Artists in Residence (through Full Tilt):

15 Scenes/15 Songs (Bulgaria) ,Xing (China), True Story of Toto Nakamura (Japan), Rice

Trilogy (Greece, Bulgaria, Iraq), 3-A (Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia), The Call (Middle Eastern)

What we were agile enough to do in particular in the music was fairly quickly understand that

the sort of marketing strategies we had in place weren’t going to work for this market.

(Administrator, the Arts Centre)

For example, the Africans and the Arabic Middle Eastern communities have their own way of

getting the messages across that aren’t necessarily media. So they have churches, mosques,

community organisations. (MC, Foyer program)

The main rationale of marketing at the Arts Centre is about achieving targets for attendance for ticketed and free

events and box office income, as well as corporate image and stakeholder relationship building. The main

purpose of Mix It Up as an audience development tool was social and inclusive. This created an internal tension

between the traditional role of marketing—the need to put ‘bums on seats’—and the desire to open up the Arts

Centre to new audiences. From a marketing perspective, existing traditional audiences are known to be the

easiest and cheapest to attract. From an audience development perspective, new audiences need more work,

more money and more time to entice to visit the Arts Centre. There have been studies completed on the timecost

benefits of attracting differential audiences (Rentschler et al 2002). When a financial objective is the primary

objective, then the two approaches to marketing diverge, as audience development is more about achieving a

social objective than a financial objective. These differing viewpoints on the objectives of Mix It Up, not

surprisingly, caused some tensions during the project. Designing different products for different audiences was

seen as one way to overcome such obstacles. However, future programs need to balance the primacy of the

financial versus social objectives at the beginning of the project to reduce tensions in this aspect of the project.


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Nonetheless, Mix It Up demonstrated a need to move beyond using traditional marketing channels to draw new

and diverse audiences to arts events. The Mix It Up experience has also opened up new possibilities for

marketing to these communities. The links that Multicultural Arts Victoria provided were critical in assisting

opening up new marketing channels to communities. Marketing is an area that needs further development.

Results suggest that a ‘commercial business strategy’ could be augmented by a degree of creative autonomy,

benefiting not just the small, independent producer and consumer, but also the Arts Centre itself. As writers like

Charles Handy (2001) suggest, the new management (which can be read also as the new marketing) recognizes

the advantages of smaller independent units over centralized decision-making in responding to emerging

markets. Consequently, the large institution is inter-relating with the loosely assembled ‘business’ networks,

linked by strategic alliances between partners. Expressed another way, the core institution is surrounded by

satellite units to which functions are out-sourced. Such arrangements allow small creatives to benefit from the

superior management know-how of large institutions and conversely, large institutions to benefit from the

flexibility and entrepreneurship of small creatives. The large institution has access to greater capital investment

and distribution to mainstream markets. The small creatives have access to new ideas and grass-root networks.

The small creatives’ influence may be the reason a greater number of non-subscribers or non-members of the

Arts Centre attended Mix It Up performances. Coupled with the Mix It Up new repertoire, it can be seen why it

attracted new and diverse audiences to performances at the Arts Centre. Quantitative research bears this out.

Subscriptions & Arts Centre Membership - Mix It Up vs the Arts Centre 05/06

100%

90%

88%

80%

70%

60%

50%

40%

30%

20%

10%

0

32%

10%

Subscribers

7%

3%

Arts Centre members/patrons/ donors

the Arts Centre 05/06 Mix It Up Events

65%

Non-subscribers/ members


3. Barriers to Attendance

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The other big debate throughout was ticket pricing. (Administration, The Arts Centre)

Barrier removal alone is not enough to ensure attendance at Mix It Up events. Products were developed or

packaged that would attract a different audience. Nonetheless, perceived barriers were a threat to some

audiences. They are discussed next.

Perceived Risk of Ticket Purchase

Additional information about the performers or specific show was actively sought to support the decision to

attend— the internet being a key channel.

100%

80%

60%

40%

The anchor to something that is known is a very important driver of attendance—potential

audience members want some assurance that their investment in time and money will be

worthwhile (particularly if inviting others to attend). The more that is known about the artists or

genres the stronger the driver of attendance and the lower the risk. (Arts Centre Research)

Access to Arts Centre Website - Mix It Up vs the Arts Centre 05/06

47%

76%

53%

24%

20%

19%

5% 6%

4% 5%

9%

4% 4%

0

NET Not visited website

Within last fortnight

1 - 3 months

NET Visited AC Website

Within last week

Within last month

the Arts Centre 05/06 Mix It Up Events

8% 8%

3+ months

Audiences who attended Mix It Up, visited the Arts Centre website in greater numbers than Arts Centre patrons

who attended other arts events at the Arts Centre. This finding supports the notion that audiences for Mix It Up

were indeed new audiences. This new market segment gathers information from the internet, as they were

younger audiences and the youth market is more likely to use the internet to find information.


Price

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$20 - $30 price range is about what I would want to pay if I wasn’t really sure. For $50 you

want it to be more what you know about and for $100 you want to be able to sing along with all

of the songs. (Audience Member)

Associated with the perceived risk of entertainment or cultural value of performance is the cost incurred by the

ticket purchase.

% Rating No Improvement Required to Ticket Purchase Element

Staff helpfulness & courtesy

Time taken

Choice of dates

Choice of seats

Provision of information

Ticketing charges

Base: All ticket purchasers

Total Arts Centre 05/06 Total Mix It Up

43%

45%

80%

73%

76%

69%

75%

69%

79%

83%

86%

92%

0 20% 40% 60% 80% 100%

Only 45% of people surveyed believe that there is no improvement required to the ticketing charges for Mix It Up.

This means that 55% of people believe that there is some improvement required to ticketing charges. This figure

is in line with the perceptions of regular 2005/2006 Arts Centre events attendees where 43% of people believe

there is no improvement required to ticketing charges. However, it is to be expected that when asked

respondents identify price as a barrier. The results need to be taken with caution. Interview data showed that

when multicultural communities see the programming as culturally relevant, they will pay “top dollar” for tickets. It

is the value proposition that needs to be explored further, especially as there is little research on pricing for arts

events.

People who attended the Mix It Up program stated that the price of tickets was the single most important factor in

them not attending the Arts Centre more often. 38% of people gave the price of tickets as a reason for not

attending more often, ahead of ‘lack of time’ or ‘depends on the type of show’.


Unprompted reason

What prevents you from attending the Arts Centre more often?

% By performance

% Total Mix It

Up

Affordability/ ticket cost 38 53 34 35 31 38 33

Lack of time 30 32 25 37 28 28 22

Depends on the type of show 22 15 8 22 39 10 19

Distance from the Centre 14 15 20 8 8 21 15

Limited publicity of what is on 7 2 13 7 7 10 7

Other entertainment options/

preferences

Cloud

Gate

Complexi

ons

7 Fingers

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Vive La

Feista

Visible

Cariba

6 - 5 10 5 14 11

Already attend enough shows 4 5 2 7 3 - 4

Availability/ cost of parking 4 7 7 2 3 - -

Limited options re timing of

performances

Associated costs – eg babysitting,

dinner

3 2 3 3 5 - -

2 3 2 3 - - -

Student concessions not available 1 3 - 2 2 - -

Reliant on public transport 1 - - - - 7 1

Have no one to go with 1 3 - - - - -

Nothing 4 3 3 2 3 7 7

Other 3 - 2 4 - - 4

Furthermore, only 52% of people who attended Mix It Up believed that ‘The costs of going to the Arts Centre are

reasonable given the experience you have’. This figure is down from 62% for Arts Centre events in 2005/2006.

Again, this result is not surprising, given the lack of familiarity (discussed below) these audiences had with the

Arts Centre as a venue.

Arts Centre Familiarity

Throughout the course of interviews, the need for multicultural communities to become familiar with the Arts

Centre was identified as a theme. Tactics that were used in Mix It Up to provide familiarity included:

- the use of coloured gaffer tape to guide people to different performances and venues;

- the use of cultural and educational activities in the foyers to engage audiences and act as a

welcoming gesture; and

- the use of languages other than English in promotional material.


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Suggestions that arose in interviews that would help future Mix It Up programs provide a familiar environment at

the Arts Centre included:

- some communities may require some form of organised transportation, such as buses;

- advertise the location of the Arts Centre in promotional material;

- advertise that the Arts Centre is near Flinders Street Station in promotional material; and

- identify the location of the venues, such as Hamer Hall and the State Theatre.

4. Images and Perceptions

…it was really terrific to see everyone here sort of challenge their own preconceptions about

what this place [the Arts Centre] is about and what should happen here. (Marketing, the Arts

Centre.)

For some attendees to the Mix It Up program, images of the Arts Centre and images of multicultural

performances and events were incongruent. 65% of people surveyed who attended Mix It Up believed that “The

Arts Centre is a place for people like me”. This figure is down from 74% for events held at the Arts Centre in

2005/2006.

Statement

The Arts Centre is a place for people

like me

It is easy to find your way around the

Arts Centre

I think the costs of going to the Arts

Centre are reasonable given the

experience you have

It is a really special occasion when I

go to the Arts Centre

The Arts Centre provides the ultimate

performing arts experience

I can see myself coming to the Arts

Centre more often

The performance at the Arts Centre

appealed to me culturally

The experience I had at the Arts

Centre was different to my

expectations

% Agreeing a Lot with Statement about the Arts Centre

Total Arts

Centre

05/ 06

% Total % By performance

Total Mix

It Up

Cloud

Gate

Complexi

ons

7 Fingers

Vive La

Feista

74 65 67 64 65 61 69 67

70 63 70 55 60 70 72 52

62 52 48 55 56 49 55 41

60 44 37 52 39 54 34 44

60 47 45 53 48 46 45 44

n/a 44 43 46 40 46 55 33

n/a 76 82 69 78 84 72 59

n/a 20 18 16 17 25 21 26

Visible

Cariba


Attribute

% Indicating Attribute ‘Very’ Descriptive of the Arts Centre & Its Staff

Total Arts

Centre

05/ 06

% Total % By performance

Total Mix

It Up

Cloud

Gate

Welcoming 85 77 75 85 79 67 66 89

Confident 76 66 62 68 71 70 48 74

Committed 73 64 62 68 66 62 52 74

Energetic 49 42 40 45 43 48 34 41

Adventurous 18 16 12 16 19 25 3 11

Complexi

ons

7 Fingers

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Furthermore, people attending Mix It Up events felt less welcome than traditional attendees at Arts Centre

events. It is to be expected that Arts Centre patrons who are less familiar with the venue derive less satisfaction

from attending it. This was the case with the Mix It Up program. Tactics used to overcome the lack of familiarity

were covered in the previous section.

5. Experience

100%

80%

60%

40%

20%

0

Hamer Hall came alive. (Administrator, The Arts Centre)

80%

65%

Very satisfied

18%

30%

Fairly satisfied

Vive La

Feista

Overall Satisfaction - Mix It Up vs the Arts Centre 2005/2006

Visible

5%

1% 0%

Not very satisfied

the Arts Centre 05/06 Mix It Up Events

1%

Cariba

Not at all satisfied

Levels of satisfaction varied according to the performance people attended. The lowest levels of satisfaction

came from those attending Vive La Fiesta and Cariba which strongly influenced overall levels. The highest levels

of satisfaction were for 7 Fingers (83% of attendees very satisfied) and Complexions (74% of attendees very

satisfied). These figures are not surprising. Qualitative data from stakeholder interviews indicated that


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performances varied in quality. Vive La Fiesta had some major poor sound reproduction issues. The headlining

international act for Cariba was of poor quality. Quality of performance and repertoire were excellent for 7

Fingers and Complexions. These comments were consistent across both qualitative and quantitative analyses.

These levels of satisfaction did not affect attendees likelihood of them returning to the Arts Centre compared with

other events with higher levels of satisfaction staged at the Arts Centre in 2005/2006, as seen in the table below.


Seven Strategies for Working in New Ways

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The complexity of Mix It Up wasn’t simply working with cultural diversity, it was also complex in

terms of the number of artists from overseas, visas and tax issues and the logistics of it was

much more complicated…and it was done within a narrow time-frame. (Administrator)

This section gives an account of the interviews with stakeholders for Mix It Up. It is based on qualitative

interviews with musicians, curators, administrators, consular officers, marketers and volunteers. Some of these

people were, of course, also audience members. The purpose of the stakeholder interviews is two-fold. First, the

results of the interviews describe how Mix It Up was formulated, implemented and evaluated. There are

prescriptions of how multicultural projects should be designed and they are used as secondary source material.

However, little is known of how such projects evolve in practice. These strategies fill this gap. Second, the

responses and experiences of the stakeholders are recorded, especially in light of the assumptions and

perceptions which arts professionals hold about multicultural arts projects. The interviews were conducted in

order to see if there were any perception gaps between arts professionals and stakeholders and to examine the

implications of formulating, implementing and evaluating multicultural arts projects.

Mix It Up can be useful in stimulating discussion about how to develop multicultural arts programs, including

developing new audiences and developing new product, as well as the benefits people gain from participating in

the program. The seven strategies are:

- achieve organisational and cultural change by appointing a change champion

- build relationships between communities and Arts Centre key players

- create dialogues with communities through curators and programmers

- appoint cultural ambassadors as holders of the keys to the doors to multicultural communities

- empower marketing staff to act as facilitators with community marketers

- provide skills to artists to enable them to leverage new work from Arts Centre performances

- establish multicultural peer networks

The seven strategies were piloted in Mix It Up and are now discussed.

1. Achieve organisational cultural change by appointing change champions for Mix It Up


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I’m probably well known in the Greek community for my work because I’ve documented them

and their rituals and customs for over 10 years and I currently have a show touring around

regional Victoria…I can bring a professional look into a community world and vice-versa.

(Photographer)

Learnings from the Mix It Up program were both within institutional and cross-institutional. However, the drivers

of change were the change champions residing within the Arts Centre and Multicultural Arts Victoria. In hindsight,

the dynamic for change was caused by the motivation, commitment and knowledge about the importance of the

success of the project by these people. They performed a leadership and educational role within institutions and

across institutions. The dynamic between these change champions and the teams of people implementing the

project ensured that the bar was raised for quality and collaboration. The accumulated knowledge and

experience of these people was most significant to the success of the project. Future Mix It Up projects would

benefit from the continuation of the highest level of person in both organisations acting as a visible change

champion.

2. Build Relationships between communities and Arts Centre key players

…paying a bit more attention to… the networks that these amazing people have who come on

board… to get the whole thing shaking is obviously what needs to be highlighted and attended

to. (Curator, Music Program)

Building relationships builds trust with both Arts Centre staff and communities involved in the Mix It Up program.

Mix It Up is an innovative program that taps into new veins of creativity within the Arts Centre and the

communities. While another multicultural program, MAMAS1, was bottom-up, Mix It Up is a bottom-up, top-down

and outside-in program. This means that Mix It Up both sought change champions at the top of the Arts Centre

as well as community facilitators within multicultural communities. This approach ensured commitment to the

project was delivered throughout the organisation, and commitment to the project was facilitated in communities.

Such a complex approach needs different sets of relationships to be built in order to thrive. Designing new

programs and partnerships with other organisations and communities fill specific needs of creating social

harmony through the arts or healing racial tensions. Building relationships is therefore an essential, if time

consuming, component of Mix It Up’s success.

1 MAMAS (Multicultural Arts Marketing Ambassadors Scheme) was a program developed to expand culturally diverse

audiences at mainstream events and was supported by the Australia Council.


3. Create Dialogues with Communities through Curators and Programmers

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Engaging with South Africans, Tanzanians, Zimbabweans, Malians, they had their core

musicians and then brought everybody else in and did an amazing performance. I don’t know

if anybody saw it…it was spectacular for the inclusivity of the African community. (Curator,

Music Program)

Layer the proposition by using curators and programs to promote a message to communities, as well as artists

and community leaders. In other words, layer approaches, so that not only one set of people is responsible for

delivering the message. This creates additional value and spreads responsibility for success, as well as

protecting sets of people for inevitable difficulties and failures along the way. Certainly, it is more complex, more

difficult to implement, but it creates ownership of the program.

4. Appoint Cultural Ambassadors as holders of the keys to the doors to multicultural

communities

I can go and talk to 500 people in a day and any message I get across they are hearing. If you

have key people who are actually out there doing the work that can get the word across, take

posters, talk about it, [the message gets out by] word of mouth. (MC, foyer program)

Improved access and audience numbers to programs occurs by appointing cultural ambassadors for the

program, who reduce or remove inhibitors to participation (financial, logistical, social). Or, inducements to lower

the decision-making threshold or create new street marketing propositions (eg, bring a friend at half price; buy

the T-shirt and support an artist in this program) can be used. There are key people in each community who will

lead to the success of the multicultural program. Multicultural Arts Victoria provided the link between traditional

institutions and multicultural communities. MAV directed people to the ‘cultural key’ in the community, thus

opening doors to new audiences. These people acted as cultural ambassadors to those communities. This

aspect of Mix It Up could be strengthened in future programs.

5. Empower Marketing Staff to act as Facilitators with Community Marketers


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It’s bringing together an advertising campaign dealing with the communities, so getting

information out to the community, encouraging them to promote within their own group. I

actually worked really closely with MAV. (Marketing, the Arts Centre)

Before new audiences attend multicultural arts programs, they need to know about the product and where the

product is being shown. This is best achieved by appointing marketing staff at the Arts Centre as facilitators with

community marketers. What this means is that Arts Centre marketers act as agents driving the agenda but

working with street marketers or guerilla marketers who are in constant contact with the communities. This allows

the program to pass the ‘relevance test’ of ‘this activity is relevant to my cultural identity and community’. It helps

to build relationships with communities, which is covered under the item seven.

6. Provide skills to artists to enable them to leverage new works and sponsorships from Arts

Centre performances

I used to come here [the Arts Centre] as a kid and watch operas and think yeah I’d love to…do

a hip-hop concert here. (Performer)

Artists in Mix It Up were both established and emerging artists. There is a need to provide skills to emerging

artists to enable them to build networks, raise their profile, leverage new works and access sponsorship for their

art form. For example, Mix It Up was a strongly facilitated project. So a great deal of the benefits came from the

support people provided for each other and the learnings provided one to another. For example, one Hip Hop

artist had arranged sponsorship with a clothing company, which was enhanced through participation in Mix It Up.

His profile was enhanced and the opportunity to promote his gig at the Arts Centre creates future sponsorship

and performance opportunities for him. Another example is the commissioning of new work such as the Full Tilt

program and Africa!. These new works provided heightened awareness of the works in communities through

provision of a creative space at the Arts Centre. Furthermore, local artists have expert knowledge on the quality

of international acts. This knowledge may be leveraged by management of the Arts Centre in order to be certain

of high quality events through programming.

7. Establish a Multicultural Peer Network at the Arts Centre


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Establishing relationships with the various stakeholder groups… it was a completely new area

for a lot of us. (Marketing, the Arts Centre)

Relationship marketing identified the importance of Arts Centre and Multicultural Arts Victoria staff establishing

on-going networks with people in multicultural communities. Relationships established by the Arts Centre with

multicultural communities instill a sense of pride in those communities. Pride means that the multicultural

communities want to ensure the program with which they are associated is a success. For example, the Turkish

community invited Arts Centre staff to a community dinner which will potentially lead to a significant program for

the Turkish community in 2008, celebrating 40 years of immigration to Australia. In this way, informal networks

are established between traditional institutions, key arts organisations and communities. These tactics ensure

that a better sense of the approaches that lead to success of a multicultural arts program are conveyed to all

stakeholders. In other words, advocate a multicultural arts program through the loose network; use community

networks to promote the program; and instill cultural pride in the community for the program.

The evaluation has revealed that Mix It Up:

- attracted new audiences to the Arts Centre;

- provided opportunities for multicultural artists to perform at the Arts Centre;

- cemented the Arts Centre’s role as both iconic venue and nurturer of emerging talent;

- developed new ways of working across cultures in partnership with Multicultural Arts Victoria;

- provided a benchmark study that can be used as a model for multicultural audience development

in other states;

- established a professional platform for multicultural artists;

- dispelled stereotypes of multicultural artists as ‘folkloric’ art;

- created opportunities for new work; and

- created opportunities for sponsorship.


New Ways of Working: Towards a New Framework

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This is a big organisation and we get a bit set in our ways. (Administration, the Arts Centre)

What might new ways of working look like visually? Two models of the various aspects of new ways of working

have been developed in order to tell the story, especially as a picture replaces a thousand words. Further, a

visual framework can be used as a policy tool for developing other multicultural arts programs.

Three Modes of Multicultural Arts Project Collaboration

…be more flexible (Marketing, the Arts Centre)

Multicultural arts projects can be controlled by the large institutional organisation, can be controlled

collaboratively or controlled by the community organisation. Where control resides needs to be determined by the

nature and scope of the project and its aims and objectives. Locus of control needs to be agreed by all parties at

the beginning of the project.


Various activities within the Framework

We did have our frustrations though. (Administration, the Arts Centre)

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Mix It Up identified four different types of creative activities: music, theatre, exhibitions and creative development.

The locus of control for each of these four elements will differ, depending on the project type, the people

involved, their skills and the aims and objectives of it.

MUSIC

Education

Product

Marketing

Public Programs

Marketing

Product

Artist Talks

Programming

Production

Curatorial

Catalogue

Public Programs

Community Controlled

Collaborative

Organisational Controlled

Programming

Product

Production

Education

Public Programs

Product

Production

Marketing

Programming

Marketing

THEATRE

EXHIBITIONS CREATIVE DEVELOPMENT


Conclusions and Recommendations

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The fact that we engaged so many stakeholders and we are still on speaking terms with them

and in fact still enjoy good relations with them is a tribute to something in the water in this

place. (Administrator, the Arts Centre)

Mix It Up demonstrated to its protagonists that the new cultural economy is made up of traditional, institutional

organisations, small flexible innovative organisations and fledgling, individual cultural entrepreneurs, freelance

practitioners and minority communities. Many of the latter are self-employed, self-taught and work with English

as their second language. The small and fledgling organisations and individuals have traditionally worked at the

fringes of the traditional, institutional organisations. Mix It Up provided the opportunity to create new

interdependent systems of cultural production and distribution. The lack of opportunity for development in the

larger, established and traditional sector has been a constant cry in the cultural industries (Bilton 1999). Mix It Up

provided one of those rare opportunities for this emerging and dynamic sector of individuals and small firms to

work with large established organisations.

On the other hand, Mix It Up also provided opportunities for traditional, institutional organisations, which are

managerially strong, offer development opportunities but may tend to adopt traditional ways of working.

Flexibility, opportunism and innovation as niche providers were skills transferred to traditional organisations. Mix

It Up required innovation in programming and audience development, team building and new ways of marketing,

as well as the development of new networks. Indeed, it was a change program on a large scale, undertaken in a

short time frame and with stakeholders who did not necessarily know one another or have experience working

together. After years of doing things one way, this project required everyone to find new ways of working

together, without a blue print for making the change happen successfully.

Overall, small organisations and individuals learnt the importance of managerial skills in putting on Mix It Up,

while traditional organisations have learnt the importance of flexibility, opportunism and being close to the

customer. Small organisations and individuals are compelled to be more entrepreneurial in order to survive in an

uncertain marketplace. Traditional large institutions are learning to appropriate these tactics, by forming strategic

alliances with independent organisations and individuals. In other words, large institutions are learning to act like

small ones and small independent operators are learning about the corporate approach to working in the arts.


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This evaluation is about the circumstances that make it possible for people to contribute their ideas, make

changes and work together in order to put on a multicultural arts program. It is not and was not easy. But one

striking finding from the evaluation is how positive the process turned out to be, due to the willingness of the

people involved to find new ways of working. The awards by the State Government and Arts Victoria to the Arts

Centre in association with Multicultural Arts Victoria are public recognition of the success of the Mix It Up

program.

From Margin to Mainstream

It was probably the best conditions I’ve had for a gig. (Music Artist)

It was amazing. I was working with those asylum seekers the week before. They had just got

off the boat and I saw them performing that night and I was oh my god there are my clients. I

was shocked. (MC, Foyer program)

The marketing channels available to an organisation like the Arts Centre gives local Australian

artists exposure to groups their own marketing resources could never reach. “[The marketing

done for Mix It Up] is great for me as an artist…because your name is getting out there. (Artist)

Similarly, according to a local performer, being able to say that they have performed at the Arts Centre or Hamer

Hall gives artists the opportunity to gain entrance into the big festivals and performance venues around Australia

and the world.

I would insist there needs to be a headline act with a local talent so there is a draw card for

people to come to the event to see someone they do know but also then balance that with

someone that is new and is fresh and is a multicultural part of Melbourne but is an unknown

person. (Marketing, the Arts Centre).

But just as small organisations are learning about large ones and large ones are mimicking small ones, so there

are changes occurring in how marketing is conducted in order to reach niche markets. From hierarchical, formally

structured marketing departments, there is a move to contract out some marketing services that can more


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successfully and flexibly reach these markets. Larger organisations are partially decentralizing some of their

functions. Instead of retaining control of all marketing functions, some are being conducted through an ‘arm’s

length’ system of deals and alliances (Bilton 1999). As one of the consulates said in the interviews ‘it is not easy

but we must do it’. Networks of strategic alliances are forming between large institutions and small ones and

independents. These networks do not make up a single entity, but see the large institution using a ‘hub and

spoke’ method of working. In order to determine who should do what tasks in marketing, the model suggests a

series of questions be asked in the Reference Group at the beginning of the project.

Our ways add value to theirs

Source: modified from Hoecklin 1995.

Figure: Model of Multicultural Learning

What is the desired outcome of the multicultural situation?

What is their way of working?

What do they do it that way?

They learn from

us

Ours alone

Which way will generate the desired

outcome?

Both can

Add value

Each learns from

The other

What is our way of working?

What do we do it that way?

Neither alone Theirs alone

Neither can

Add value

Each learns

something new

Their ways add value to ours

We learn from

them


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Beyond the strategic approach of the model, there are four important steps for success in multicultural marketing:

1. make implicit knowledge explicit

2. agree on specific outcomes that are desired from the outset

3. understand why each culture does things the way it does and agree which approach or combination of

approaches will lead to the desired outcomes

4. review the outcomes and modify the approach to fit different cultural approaches and the desired

outcomes (modified from Hoecklin 1995).

The Australian Innovative Spirit

The Arts Centre as an organisation has a battle when it’s got to be risk aggressive, when it’s

got to be flexible, when it’s got to deal with people who don’t quite fit into the boxes that we’ve

created with the way we build. (Administrator, the Arts Centre)

Innovation is beginning to be recognised as important in achieving change especially in major projects like Mix It

Up. There is a clear need for innovation as we face social and economic pressures for change, both in the makeup

of our population, the needs they have for entertainment and the importance of social harmony in our society.

Past practices cannot accommodate this need for finding new ways of working. New projects require innovative

responses.

There has been a swing away from change being associated with growth towards change being associated with

response to unanticipated events in an organisation’s immediate area of operation. This is the sort of change

program that the Arts Centre underwent during the Mix It Up program. The model for summing up this type of

change (and others) is seen in the model of four quadrants, showing the types of change possible. They range

from incremental to transformative, with a section in the middle of the four quadrants that shows that there is a

degree of overlap if particular triggers occur, such as unclear objectives or political expediency. The people

involved in the Mix It Up program experienced the overlap in the middle when they were unsure, for example,

which marketing approaches to use, which teams to consult or which linkages would make the program

successful. Thus the model is a contingency model for the selection of the appropriate change approach,

according to the circumstances. It was the undefined areas that caused tension, sweat and tears.


Fine tuning

Incremental

evolution

Forced

evolution

Figure: Types of Change

Incremental

adjustment

Degree of overlap

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External environment

Demands transformation

Incremental

transformation

Forced

transformation

Undefined

Change has been argued to be more transformational than incremental in our uncertain times, which was

certainly the case in the Mix It Up program. Typically, transformational change is characterised by:

- external events triggering the change;

- internal disruptions during the change;

- abrupt shifts in ways of working during the change;

- adoption of new organisational paradigms during and after the change;

- driven by the necessity for finding new programs and markets; and

- lots of learning and innovation for the people engaged in the change process.


The Impact of Diversity on Ways of Working

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Full Tilt…had a mixed audience of artists and industry professionals coming in to it.

(Programmer, the Arts Centre)

As the Arts Centre staff interacts with people and institutions from different cultures, whose ways of working are

different and whose languages are different from our own, costly misunderstandings and even failures are

possible. All behaviour is embedded in a social and organisational context and connected to valued and

traditional ways of working. This means that the stakes are high for not finding new ways of working with

individuals and organisations from diverse cultural backgrounds. Ignoring or mishandling diversity can lead to

lack of motivation of people, marketing myopia, missed opportunities for cross-cultural alliances and failure to

adapt to the new ways of working needed in a globalised world. Resistance can lead to organisational and

individual ineffectiveness, frustration and stagnation of ideas. However, finding new ways of working can lead to

innovation in business practices, learning new ways of doing things and competitive advantage for the Arts

Centre in a rapidly changing marketplace.

The Main Thrust

The learnings going forward are that the people involved in the program gained a much

greater confidence about the marketing and the programming side of this than when we

started. (Administrator)

The main thrust of change can be narrow or broad, department wide or organisation wide. But the main thrust

must be achieving the goal that the transition requires. This was the case with the Mix It Up program. There were

changes in people, networks, administration, finance, marketing and production. The main thrust is driven by the

vision for the project: to develop multicultural programs and audiences.

People from the Arts Centre considered the relationships forged through the production of the Mix It Up program

important and would continue to be important through future projects. According to one Arts Centre staff

member engaged with the delivery of public programs through Mix it Up, “we were starting to build the whole

approach of working in theatre programs, public programs and outside organisations…I think it’s just that

relationship building has got a lot of room to grow and be very successful.”


A Model of Multicultural Learning

Could we have done this without MAV? (Administrator, the Arts Centre)

Without MAV I don’t think we could be here. (Public Programs, the Arts Centre)

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So that the Arts Centre and its network of stakeholders can use cultural differences effectively, the model of

multicultural learning offers a strategy for managing across cultures. The model asks the questions that need to

be asked at the beginning of the change program so that the learnings can be explicit and clear to all parties.

These are important steps in the process of working through change. In other words, the model allows the

opportunity to identify the opportunities and obstacles for introducing a multicultural change program. By

answering the questions and following the prompts, implicit concerns are made explicit, thereby reducing the

chance of overlooking key elements likely to cause frustration or tension. According to the change champions in

the Arts Centre, the importance of working with MAV was pivotal to the success of the project. The partnership

opened up the Arts Centre to a range of new and diverse audiences.


Appendices

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Appendix 1: Case Study: Developing Audience Diversity through the Mix It Up Project

Introduction

You can imagine living in Melbourne, the capital city of Victoria, where the population is one of the most diverse

of Australia’s states. Over 40 percent of Victorians have either been born overseas or have at least one parent

born overseas (ABS 2000). Victoria is one of the most culturally and linguistically diverse societies. However,

many arts audiences are predominantly Anglo-Saxon in make up and do not therefore reflect the community in

which we live.

The Arts Centre and Multicultural Arts Victoria: A Unique Partnership

You can further imagine the largest, premier performing arts venue in Victoria, the Arts Centre, working in

partnership with Multicultural Arts Victoria, a small, flexible and innovative peak state arts body.

The Arts Centre is located in the cultural precinct of St Kilda Road, Melbourne. The Arts Centre Revenue is

around $42.4 million per year including recurrent grants (2005/2006 annual report). Approximately 20% of this

revenue comes from government grants. In 2005-2006 The Arts Centre housed 1,341 performances including

non-ticketed and free events and 5,662 public programs including a variety of activities from business seminars

to school speech nights and food and beverage functions. The Arts Centre includes six major spaces: Black Box,

Fairfax Studio, Hamer Hall, Playhouse, Sidney Myer Music Bowl and the State Theatre.

Multicultural Arts Victoria is a small to medium sized arts organisation in Victoria. It is a peak body for

multicultural arts in the state. Its revenue is around $500,000 per annum and growing. It is a dynamic and

changing organisation which seeks to auspice programs and projects to develop new and diverse audiences

through innovative measures, including providing links to local diverse communities, new repertoire, new

marketing approaches and new ways of working. MAV operates out of two rented rooms in inner-Melbourne

Fitzroy Town Hall. Its staff are mostly project-based and part-time.


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The Arts Centre has taken a very active role in programming since it was opened in 1982. The vision was for it to

be an active contributor to the development of audiences and artforms, not simply a "hall for hire". From the mid

to late nineties the Arts Centre's ability to continue to take such an active role had diminished due to stagnant

funding set against the inexorable rise in costs of operating, maintaining and securing facilities. This business

setting also put increased pressure on ensuring that the venues were receiving high returns from hirings. A broad

range of Arts Centre initiated Public Programs such as Education, Exhibitions and Free and Low Cost

performances were still being offered but the offer was being diluted. The Mix It Up project and associated

special funding enabled the Arts Centre to change this trend and deliver a new, large scale and innovative

program that was discernibly different to that offered from major subsidised companies and commercial

promoters. The partnership between the Arts Centre and MAV enabled both organisations to change their ways

of working and extend their reach and provide added value to the communities they serve. This was done

through the innovative Mix It Up project.

Funding and Awards

How did Mix It Up come about?

A project to develop new and diverse audiences, Mix It Up was a funded initiative of the State Government of

Victoria. This initiative evolved from a proposal developed for Arts Victoria in 2005 An Arts Centre For All The

People. The State Government provided a grant of $850,000 to enable Mix It Up to take place. Mix It Up is

therefore supported by the State Government through the State Government’s arts funding and advisory body,

Arts Victoria

As a result of the program, the Arts Centre received a top award from the Victorian Government for Excellence in

Multicultural Affairs: Service Delivery to Multicultural Victoria—Arts. Further, the Arts Centre received a

Leadership Award from Arts Victoria for Excellence in Public Programs. These accolades point to the importance

and the success of the project.

Australia Council and Audiences

Pivotal to the success of the Mix It Up program is the collaboration between MAV and the Arts Centre. MAV

began the collaboration with the Arts Centre as part of the multicultural audience development project (MAMAS)


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several years ago. MAMAS is the Multicultural Arts Marketing Ambassadors Scheme, a program developed to

expand culturally diverse audiences at mainstream events and supported by the Australia Council.

MAV has continued to work with the Arts Centre in relation to audience development, in ensuring the Arts Centre

reaches its objectives of being for all people, reflecting the diversity of Victoria. MAV and the Arts Centre have

had long ongoing consultations in relation to ways of engaging artists and linking audiences from the CALD

community into the arts through collaboration. CALD stands for culturally linguistically diverse communities.

Key elements of this collaboration included design of the program structure, identification of local artists, delivery

of programs, making connections with local communities and developing the potential to engage new markets

and audiences.

This program enables the Arts Centre, through the partnership with Multicultural Arts Victoria to forge new

opportunities both for visitors to the Arts Centre and the performing arts industry.

Audience Development with CALD communities is a long term process and commitment. It is about developing

relationships. Multicultural Audience Development requires arts organisations to change the way they meet and

invite CALD artists and communities to participate. It is crucial that organisations add new program content and

new program delivery formats to meet the needs and interests of CALD communities and youth.

This partnership between MAV and the Arts Centre has the potential to effect significant change for Arts in a

Multicultural Australia. It highlights the Arts Centre’s leadership role in program, audience and creative

development and enables MAV to provide local CALD artists with connections and pathways into the mainstream

arts community and validate their cultural practices and heritage.

Aims of the Mix It Up Program

What is Mix It Up?

Mix It Up enhanced visual and performing arts opportunities for new and diverse audiences and diverse arts

groups in the community. Some events were free and others were ticketed. Free events took place in the Arts

Centre foyers and in its George Adams Gallery. Ticketed events took place in its various theatres in the Arts

Centre and in Hamer Hall next door.


The aims of the Mix It Up program were to:

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- Enhance the programming capacity of the [Victorian Arts Centre] Trust and its leadership role

within Victoria’s performing arts sector

- Engage with, and reflect in appropriate ways, the cultural diversity of Victoria

Mix It Up celebrates Victoria’s cultural diversity with amazing local and overseas artists on show at the Arts

Centre. People from all over the world make their home in Victoria. From fifth generation Australians to recent

arrivals, all of us contribute to make Victoria such a diverse and unique place to live. Mix It Up is an initiative that

celebrates our shared heritage.

The program comprises:

• Music Program – Specifically curated concerts in Hamer Hall featuring international and local artists that

engage the local community. A feature is extensive free public programs that give all visitors to the Arts

Centre the opportunity to experience the sights, sounds and tastes of different cultures.

• Theatre Program – Presentation of major international performing arts companies particularly featuring

dance, physical theatre and circus. Extensive free public programs offer an insight into the creative

processes of the artists and arts making.

• Exhibitions – Presentation of an exhibition Meeting Place Keeping Place featuring the work of local

culturally diverse artists exploring issues of identity and place.

• Creative Development projects – Providing access points for local artists from diverse cultural

backgrounds through the commissioning of creative development projects. Artists working in a diverse

range of performing arts genres will plant the seeds for the creation of new works. This project nurtures

emerging artists which will encourage the development of a more diverse creative arts industry in

Victoria.


Mix It Up events that were completed in 2006 include the following:

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Playhouse:

Dance Brazil performances, master classes, workshop, post show talks (Brazil)

State Theatre:

Cloudgate performances, master class (Taiwan)

Complexions performances, master class, dance class, post show talk (United States)

7 Fingers performances, workshop, master classes (French Canadian)

Hamer Hall:

Africa! performance, workshops, foyer activities, exhibition (Senegal)

Sing Sing 2 performance, workshops, and foyer activities, exhibition (Papua New Guinea, Torres

Strait Islands, Indigenous)

Pulse Heartbeat performance, workshops, foyer activities, exhibition (Turkey & Egypt)

Vive La Fiesta performance, workshops, foyer activities, exhibition (Cuba and Latin America)

Visible performance, foyer activities & marketplace, exhibition (Indigenous and African refugee

communities)

Cariba performance, foyer activities, workshops, exhibition (Caribbean)

Sunday Soapbox Series discussions (various artists on panels)

Fairfax, GAG, Spiegeltent, Playhouse:

Our Backyard performances, exhibition, activities & marketplace (Gypsy, Turkey, East Timor,

Indigenous, Latin American)

Dedicated Schools Performances:

Dance Brazil (Brazil) 7 Fingers (French Canadian), Hinepau (performance & workshops)(New

Zealand)

George Adams Gallery:

Meeting Place Keeping Place Exhibition (15 nationalities)


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Multicultural Artists in Residence (through Full Tilt):

15 Scenes/15 Songs (Bulgaria) ; Xing (China); True Story of Toto Nakamura (Japan), Rice

Trilogy (Greece, Bulgaria, Iraq), 3-A (Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia), The Call (Middle Eastern)

Some additional facts and figures:

Mix It Up was a large and complex program of events which took place over a short planning time-frame, as

you can see from summary figures below:

Research Project

Total Number of Events: 96

Total Paid Attendance: 25,591

Total Attendance Performances & Free events: 46,470

Total Attendance Major Exhibition: 113,212

Total Attendance all events: 159,682

Number of Artists engaged: 800

Number of Countries of residence: 23

Overview of nationalities of artists:

Australia including Arnhem Land and Melbourne based artists, Bulgaria, Iran, China, Brazil,

Vietnam, Norway, Greece, Thailand, Singapore, Japan, Malaysia, Indonesia, New Zealand, West

Papua, Canada, USA, Taiwan, Cuba, Turkey, Egypt, France, Senegal.

Due to the success of Mix It Up and the interest generated in it nationally, the Australia Council funded a

research project to evaluate the program. The final report will be incorporated into a multicultural toolkit being

developed by the Australia Council. The key findings of the study include five strategies for developing new and

diverse audiences and seven strategies for working in new ways. While full discussion of them is available in the

report Mix It Up Project Report: Developing New and Diverse Audiences available from the Australia Council, a

summary of key headings is listed below:

Five Strategies for development of new and diverse audiences

• Creation of diversified audiences


• Marketing

• Barriers to Attendance

• Images & Perceptions

• Experience

Seven Strategies for working in new ways

• Organisational cultural change through champions for change

• Build relationships between communities and Arts Centre key players

• Create dialogues with communities through curators and programmers

• Appoint cultural ambassadors

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• Empower marketing staff to act as facilitators with community marketers

• Provision of skills to artists to leverage benefits from engagement with the Arts Centre

• Establish a multicultural peer network

Potential Outcomes of Mix It Up

The success of the Mix It Up model shows the importance that these types of collaborations and programs

continue for the benefit of the Victorian community. To work in partnership with CALD communities requires

commitment to fostering long term relationships to reinforce the pathways for both artists and audience

engagement with the mainstream arts community.

Mix It Up is multi layered and creates many entry points to the arts for artists and communities who are normally

not engaged in the arts or who are disadvantaged.

All arts organisations funded by Government agencies should be encouraged to provide developmental

opportunities for the production of culturally diverse artworks. The most significant outcome of Mix It Up is an

increased understanding that the arts are for all Australians. To embrace diversity, we all must work flexibly to

engage new artists, communities and audiences.

The arts play an important role in connecting communities and bringing people together. The arts provides us

with a universal language that enables us to understand and empathise with each other in a time when there is

much conflict and divide between cultures and people.


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Continued support of this unique flagship partnership project in the arts in a multicultural Australia is vitally

important so we can all benefit from, experience and interact artistically with the rich culturally diverse community

we have in Australia.

This model has potential for application throughout Australia and the strategies contained within the model can

be further developed and grown.

Future for Mix It Up in 2007

Mix It Up will continue in 2007. From July 2007, there will be a program of performances and events at the Arts

Centre supported by the state government through their annual funding of the Arts Centre. There are also

opportunities to develop partnerships with other community and government partners.

References

ABS (Australian Bureau of Statistics) 2000

Further Readings

Multicultural Arts Victoria and the Victorian Multicultural Commission (2005) The Way Forward: Culturally and

Linguistically Diverse (CALD) Community Needs Analysis in the Arts MAV, Melbourne.


Appendix 2: Stakeholder Discussion Guide

Moderators’ Guide

Introduce self and purpose of group….

Thank you for coming.

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Explain purpose of group – The Arts Centre recently had a program called Mix It Up which included

music, theatre and exhibitions to celebrate cultural diversity. You all had a role to play in Mix It Up

and/or saw one or more of the performances. We are keen to talk about your experience.

For those of you who haven’t participated in a focus group before just a couple of things to note:

• one person should talk at a time

• frank and honest opinions is what we are looking for

• if you hold a different view or have a different approach speak up, and

• everyone needs to be involved.

Discussion is being taped [and Cameron McMaster is attending to assist in that process], however your

confidentiality is assured. As an assurance for confidentiality, we ask everyone to sign a consent form.

(Hand out consent forms.)

The group will go for about 1 hour.

Group introduction

I would like you all to introduce yourself by:

• First name

• What performance you attended

• How often you come to the Arts Centre

• Other cultural performances attended in the past year

Designing new and diverse Audience programs

• What approaches did you use to develop the Mix It Up program?

• How successful were these approaches?

• What improvements would you make in the Mix It Up program?

• What steps can the Arts Centre take in order to develop the Mix It Up program?


Roles Played by Stakeholders

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- What is the role of the Arts Centre in developing the Mix It Up program?

- What is the role of MAV in developing the Mix It Up program?

- What is the role of ethnic communities/ethnic media/ethnic leaders etc in developing the

Mix It Up program?

- What approaches did the Arts Centre use in developing its audience diversity program?

Features and Benefits

Overall…

Summing up…

- What are the distinguishing features of the Mix It Up program that highlight its significance

for the arts?

- What aspects of the Mix It Up program should be minimised or developed to retain its

integrity, authenticity and meaning for the arts?

- What steps should be taken in order to maintain a Mix It Up program but also expand its

role and move beyond mono-cultural audiences?

- Overall, how satisfied were you with your experience?

o Why?

o What elements impacted your satisfaction?

Primary influences

Secondary influences

o What elements could have improved your experience?

o What would have led to it being the ‘ultimate performing arts experience’?

Let’s sum up the key points from today:

- What appealed to you about Mix It Up?

- How did the experience compare to your expectations?

- What was ‘missing’ from Mix It Up? What would you like to see more of

organisationally and operationally?

- What was done well? What can we improve?

- What roles can stakeholders play in making the program more successful next

time?

THANK YOU AND CLOSE.


Appendix 3: Audience Analysis Discussion Guide

Introduce self and purpose of group….

Thank you for coming.

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Explain purpose of group – The Arts Centre recently had a program called Mix It Up which included

music, theatre and exhibitions to celebrate cultural diversity. You all attended one of the performances

and we are keen to talk about your experience.

For those of you who haven’t participated in a focus group before just a couple of things to note:

• one person to talk at a time

• frank and honest opinions is what we are looking for

• if you hold a different view or have a different approach speak up, and

• everyone needs to be involved.

Discussion is being taped [and people viewing/attending], however your confidentiality is assured. The

group will go for about 2 hours.

Group introduction …

I would like you all to introduce yourself by way of:

• First name

• What performance you attended

• How often you come to the Arts Centre

• Other cultural performances attended in the past year

Drivers of attendance…

How did you first hear about the performance?

- How do you typically hear about performances at the Arts Centre?

What motivated you to attend?

- Why was this performance so appealing?

- What other performances such as this have you attended in the past?

Who made the arrangements for you to attend – such as buying tickets, making arrangements

to meet others?


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Comparison with other performances attended: What other live performances have you

attended over the past year or so?

- What has motivated you to attend these performances?

- Where have they been staged/ held?

- How have you heard about these performances?

- Who has been involved in the decision to attend?

What other opportunities do you have to attend performances that appeal to you culturally?

- How important are these performances to you?

- What do they mean to you?

- How do they differ from others you might go to?

- Do you hear about these via different channels?

Arts Centre experience…

What experience did you expect before you attended the performance?

- What type of experience were you looking for?

- Did you believe it would be similar to other experiences you have had in the past?

- Was this intended to be a cultural experience for you? Why/ why not?

What did your experience at the Arts Centre entail?

- Did you do anything before you went to the show (especially for those attending

events at Hamer Hall)?

- Who did you come with?

- How long before the performance did you arrive?

- Did you do anything during the show?

- During intermission?

- After the show?

- How did this experience differ from other experiences you may have had at the Arts

Centre?

- How did this experience differ from other live performance events you have

attended?

How did your actual experience differ from what you expected?

- What was in line with your expectations?

- What exceeded your expectations?

- What were less than you expected?


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Overall, how satisfied were you with your experience?

- Why?

- What elements impacted your satisfaction?

Primary influences

Secondary influences

- What elements could have improved your experience?

- What would have led to it being the ‘ultimate performing arts experience’?

Did the cultural element of the performance have any impact on your experience or level of

satisfaction?

- Why/Why not?

Building repeat visitation…

Why don’t you come to the Arts Centre more often?

What could the Arts Centre do to entice you to visit more often?

- What type of events/ performances are looking for? What performances appeal to

you?

- Do you find these types of events appealing?

- How would you hear about these performances?

- How could the experience at the Arts Centre be changed to encourage you to

attend more often?

What about live performances generally?

- What are you looking for?

- What would appeal to you culturally? What is missing?

- How would you hear about these cultural performances/ events?

- What would work to encourage others from your culture to attend live performances

or exhibitions?

Did attending Mix it Up events increase your propensity to attend other similar events at the Arts

Centre?


Summing up…

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Let’s sum up the key points from tonight:

- What appealed to you about the performance?

- How did the experience compare to your expectations?

- What type of performances are you ‘missing? What would you like to see more of?

THANK AND CLOSE.


Appendix 4: Multicultural Research Audience Analysis by Natalie Elkins

See separate document

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References

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Bilton, C. 1999 ‘The New Adhocracy: strategy, risk and the small creative firm’ Centre for Cultural Policy

Studies, University of Warwick www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/arts/theatre_sc/cp/publications/centrepub/.

Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism 2004 The Values Study: Rediscovering the Meaning

and Value of Arts Participation Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism, Hartfort.

Handy, C. 2001 The Elephant and the Flea: Looking Backwards to the Future Hutchinson, London.

Hoecklin, L. 1995 Managing Cultural Differences: Strategies for Competitive Advantage Addison-

Wesley Publishing Company, Wokingham.

Kawashima, N. 2000 ‘Beyond the Division of Attenders vs Non-attenders: a study into audience

development in policy and practice’ Centre for Cultural Policy Studies, University of Warwick

www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/arts/theatre_sc/cp/publications/centrepub/.

Moss Kanter, R. 1983 The Change Masters: Corporate Entrepreneurs at Work Unwin Paperbacks

London.

Next Wave Festival personal communication 2007, Cameron McMaster 23 January 2007.

Rentschler, R. 1999, Innovative Arts Marketing (ed.) Allen and Unwin, Sydney.

Rentschler R., Radbourne J., Carr R. and Rickard, J., 2002, ‘Relationship Marketing and Performing Arts

Organisation Viability’, International Journal of Nonprofit & Public Sector Marketing 7(2):118-130.

Tomlinson, R, and Roberts, T. 2006 Full House: Turning Data into Audiences Australia Council Sydney.


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Walker-Kuhne, D. 2005 Invitation to the Party: Building Bridges to the Arts, Culture and Community

Theater Communications Group, New York.

Acknowledgements

Photographers are Josh Robenstone and Bill Poon and the visual art work is by Naeem Rana

Sincere thanks are owed to:

Australia Council for the Arts & Ron Layne, Audience Development

Department of Premier and Cabinet and Arts Victoria

the Arts Centre: Trust; and staff: Tim Jacobs, Milos Miladinovic, Rob Gebert, Janet Wells, Greg

Randall, Fiona Bennie, Keiko Aoki, Jeremy Vincent, David Anderson, Sue Bailey, Judy Finlay, Carla

Hartog and all other staff associated with the Mix It Up program

MAV: Board of Management ;and staff: Jill Morgan, Miriam Abud, Anita Larkin and all other MAV staff,

artists and communities associated with the Mix It Up program

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