Keynote | Placing audiences at the center of cultural institutions. Learnings from Adeste+

    Alessandra Gariboldi is a senior researcher and adviser in the fields of visitor studies and evaluation of cultural programmes and policies, with a primary focus on audience development and participatory approaches. She’s Head of Transnational Projects of Fondazione Fitzcarraldo, and collaborates with the Cultural Observatory of Piedmont, Italy.

    She’s been involved as researcher and trainer in several EU funded projects focused on cultural participation, as ADESTE (Audience Developer Skills and Training in Europe), CONNECT (Connecting Audiences) and Be SpectActive, and is now project coordinator of ADESTE+. She developed the two years capacity building programme in AD for the European Capital of Culture Rijeka2020, and member of the mentors’ team supporting the process.

    She is adviser and mentor within national funding programs for empowering cultural organizations through entrepreneurship and a deeper relation with communities, such as IC_Cultural Innovation, CheFare, Culturability and fUNDER35, all promoted by Italian private institutions.

    She is passionate about arts and strongly believes they must be at the very heart of social development. Among her publications/essays on visitor studies and impact evaluation of cultural policies, as co-author: Study on Audience Development – How to place audiences at the centre of cultural organisations (2017), Mapping of practices in the EU Member States on Participatory governance of cultural heritage, to support the OMC working group under the same name (Work Plan for Culture 2015-2018).

    ADESTE+ is a large-scale European cooperation project aimed at expanding cultural participation. ADESTE+ is a program for change that encourages audience-centric cultural organizations across Europe. The project stems from the assumption that growing audiences depends on the ability of cultural organisations to place the audience at the centre of their philosophy and practice – Audience Development is much more about developing organisations than about developing audiences. By putting together research partners, artistic partners and policy partners, it aims at experimenting new ways of working for cultural organisations, as well as new policy frameworks to sustain this change, looking for a “systemic” change that goes beyond single audience engagement programmes, to foster a new understanding of the role of audiences and a renewed vision of the social role of culture.