Knowing your audience

A study conducted by the National Institute for Research and Cultural Formation at the request of ARCUB – The Cultural Centre of Bucharest Municipality provides insight into the cultural consumption patterns in Bucharest: It shows, among other findings, that 8 out of 10 inhabitants of Bucharest attend a cultural event at least once a year. The number of people who attend such events more regularly, though, lies at 2 out of 10. These numbers seem to be fairly low to me.

Unfortunately, the summary I have linked to doesn’t mention museums – I will have to look into that. But a conversation I recently had with a friend living in Bucharest gave me an impression. Her immediate reaction to my question, do you visit museums?, was: Oh, that is not my cup of tea, I can do that when I am older…

I, of course, strongly disagree. The question is, however, what kind of image do museums have and what kind of audience do they attract?

Audience research, it appears to me, can answer these questions. This field of research is, also, an interesting link between cultural memory studies, cultural policy and cultural practice.

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