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Arts expert and researcher, Alan Brown, presents his latest findings on how audiences experience live performance.

The Australia Council welcomes back renowned expert on arts and cultural participation, Alan Brown, author of the influential WolfBrown report, Assessing the Intrinsic Impacts of Live Performance, to present his results in Sydney on Thursday 17 September.

Alan Brown’s research asks artistic directors to radically rethink their programming and offers them ways to effectively measure the intellectual, spiritual and emotional impact of live performance.

He is speaking in Sydney as part of the Australia Councilís Speakers Series, direct from delivering the keynote address at the 23rd annual Australian Performing Arts Centre Association Conference (APACA) in Port Macquarie.  Alan Brown argues that audiences engage with an artistic experience as a way of reinforcing their cultural identity. His method is to support companies shifting from traditional marketing and programming to an engagement approach of drawing audiences into the experience.

“From my research, I encourage arts presenters to decide what impact they wish to create for their audiences before programming the work,” said Alan Brown. “This includes considering pre-performance engagement and physical aspects of the experience such as lighting, temperature and interval times.”

Alan Brown will discuss Programming the arts: is it for you or your audience? on Thursday with panellists, Kate Champion, artistic director of Force Majeure, and Bruce Gladwin, artistic director of Back to Back Theatre, as part of the Australia Councilís new Speaker Series. The ABC TVís Fenella Kernebone will guide the discussion.

Kathy Keele, CEO of the Australia Council for the Arts, said she was delighted that Alan was returning to share his research and wisdom as part of the Councilís Speaker Series.

“We have a long history of working with arts organisations and academics to contribute ideas and stimulate debate, and also in the vital task of feeding new research out into the arts sector,” said Kathy Keele. “Alan’s research is especially relevant as artists and art organisations now work to understand how their audiences are changing and how to develop more intimate relationships with them. All these audiences are different – a segment these days can be as small as one!”

The Australia Council Speaker Series began as a forum to discuss topical issues affecting the arts world today and also provides a valued networking opportunity for people to continue discussions.

The series is open to the public and free.


Speakers Series – Programming the arts: is it for you or your audience?

Thursday 17 September from 5.30 ñ 7.30pm

Rover Thomas Auditorium, Australia Council for the Arts

375 Elizabeth Street, Surry Hills.

More information on

Media contact: Emma Heath, 02 9215 9030, 0413 768 588



Brianna Roberts


(02) 9215 9030


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