League of American Orchestras

Audience Outlook Monitor: IDEA Study

logo for Audience Outlook Monitor

Team: Alan Kline, Surale Phillips, John Carnwath, Alan Brown, Kacie Willis, Annick Odom

The IDEA Study is a special research initiative – a quantitative survey of audience attitudes about inclusion, diversity, equity, and access.

Why the IDEA Study?

Many arts organizations have taken significant steps to address lack of diversity in staffing and board membership, and have adopted more equitable HR policies and practices. Some organizations have moved towards more pluralistic models of artistic leadership and have diversified programming with the aim of serving a broader public.

Image of an orchestra hall with the audience sitting

Many questions remain, however, as to the extent to which audience members understand themselves as stakeholders in this work, their expectations of arts organizations in this regard, and their preferences and tastes for a more diverse palette of artistic work.

Through this field-wide collaborative study, we hope to learn how arts organizations can activate audiences in their work to be more inclusive, more diverse, and more equitable.

Two Phases of Investigation

Phase one of the study in 2023 will explore audience attitudes about inclusion, diversity, and equity. Questions will cover both general attitudes and evaluative questions pertaining to participating arts organizations. In partnership with the League of American Orchestras, a first study cohort of 28 orchestras deployed the survey on April 11, 2023. Phase two of the study in 2024 will delve deeply into the accessibility needs of arts audiences.

To learn more, visit the Audience Outlook Monitor website.