The Audience Research Collaborative was a three-year initiative of the Hewlett Foundation’s Performing Arts Program, which took place from 2012-2015. Conducted in partnership with the arts consulting firm WolfBrown, the goal of the initiative was to build the capacity of the Program’s grantees to understand their audiences.

This final report by the consultants who led the work and Hewlett Foundation Performing Arts Program Fellow Sheena Johnson, describes ARC and shares lessons learned during the initiative, including:

— A more robust application and assessment process, as well as a more intensive orientation for participants, would have supported more effective capacity building

— More options for research focus, methods, and depth of engagement may have allowed participants to design research programs more appropriate to their individual circumstances

— Greater emphasis on interpretation and analysis of data gathered would have been helpful in allowing grantees to get the most out of the capacity building program.


Data from ARC informed the midpoint assessment of the Performing Arts Program’s strategic framework.