April 2022


Online Conference „Exploring the Evidence for Cultural Institutions‘ Relevance”

The Connected Audience Conference occurs every two years and convenes cultural professionals, researchers, and policymakers to engage in discussion about how to build and engage audiences in cultural organizations (museums, theatres, symphonies, etc.). In the 21st century, successful cultural institutions need to be open spaces, acting as places and partners for learning, social cohesion and well-being in a changing world. We need to find new ways to ensure a strong audience focus in the cultural sector, and for this approach to be considered a key to an institution’s culture. 

To explore these challenges the Institute für Kulturelle Teilhabeforschung in collaboration with the Institute for Learning Innovation (USA) brings together experts, researchers, and practitioners from the global cultural sector for discussion and exchange.

The Connected Audience Conference 2022 will address the pressing issue of Public Value and Relevance. We invite you to join your colleagues from around the world to explore the role that cultural organizations can, do, and should play in our communities. The Conference will be virtual and take place during the week of April 25, 2022.

Four notable speakers will help to stimulate and inform conversations and participate in discussions:

Prof. Dr. Timo Meynhardt

Prof. Dr. Timo Meynhardt, is the Dr. Arend Oetker Chair of Business Psychology and Leadership at the Leipzig Graduate School of Management as well as the Director of the Center for Leadership and Values in Society at the University of St. Gallen, Switzerland. Prof. Meynhardt’s research focus is the field of public value and the application of the concept in business and administration. He has developed a Public Value Scorecard to measure public value creation along five dimensions. He brings important research and ideas from outside the cultural field to our discussion.

Lori Fogarty

Lori Fogarty, is the Director and CEO of the Oakland Museum of California, a museum which has a strong commitment to social impact and creating social cohesion in its city. The Oakland Museum was born in 1969 in the shadow of racial division and protest in one of the most diverse cities in the world. Over the past decade, the museum has worked to diversify its board, staff, and audience, and have begun to measure the impact it is having on the well-being of its community; moving beyond traditional measures of attendance and financial benchmarks.

Foto John H. Falk

Dr. John H. Falk

Dr. John H. Falk, is Executive Director of the Institute for Learning Innovation and Sea Grant Professor Emeritus of Free-Choice Learning at Oregon State University. The author of over two-dozen books in the areas of learning, ecology and education, his newest book, The Value of Museums: Enhancing Societal Well-Being (Fall, 2021), specifically addresses the issues of relevance and value. Falk is the recipient of the Distinguished Career Award from the National Association for Research in Science Teaching, the Council of Scientific Society President’s Award for Educational Research and the John Cotton Dana Award for Leadership by the American Alliance of Museums.

Dr. Vera Allmanritter

Dr. Vera Allmanritter, is a political scientist and cultural manager. She is the Director of the Institute for Research on Cultural Participation (IKTf), which she founded in 2020 as part of Berlin’s Foundation for Cultural Further Education and Cultural Advice. In this role she researches and publishes on multiple topics strongly related to public value, including cultural participation, audience research, audience development, cultural management, cultural marketing, and empirical research methods. She is the author of Measuring up: Ways of capturing social value and more intangible outcomes and other related articles.

Conference Design

The international biennial conference will provide inspiring discussions and productive interactions between its various participants and facilitators. This approach offers a role model of our vision of how cultural organizations can connect with their multiple audiences. There will be a minimum of talking heads and a maximum of participant engagement. We seek to create a facilitating and stimulating atmosphere with a strong dialogical approach. Participants will gain relevant experiences and insight for their professional practice.

The main goal of the conference is to examine how audience research and evaluation can support er cultural institutions in gaining a greater understanding of their audiences. By using these tools, institutions will be able to increase participation and better inform their strategic development and overall cultural practice.

The Connected Audience Conference will be a cooperation between IKTf and the Institute for Learning Innovation. Registration for April 2022 will open in October.

Call for Presentations and Workshops