Culture Track, the nation’s largest tracking study of cultural audiences, is back in 2017 with a brand new report detailing the attitudes, motivators, and barriers of cultural consumers. In this presentation, come learn more about the newest findings and their implications on the museum field and the cultural landscape as a whole.
Fielded since 2001 by LaPlaca Cohen, Culture Track investigates the shifting opinions of cultural audiences around a range of topics, including motivators and barriers to participation, digital technology, loyalty, philanthropic giving, and more. A triennial study, Culture Track illuminates not only the behaviors of these audiences, but why they think and behave the way they do. The study provides a rigorous and nuanced understanding of cultural consumers of all types, including museum-goers.
The 2017 iteration—our seventh—uncovers a number of important insights for the museum field. Building off findings from the 2014 study, we find that audiences are continuing to redefine culture in broader, less traditional, and more democratic terms. Today’s cultural consumer is nuanced and multi-dimensional, with various needs and wants that motivate and discourage their participation in cultural activities. The use of digital technology continues to fundamentally impact how audiences want and don’t want to engage with content, raising important questions about the most impactful uses of digital tools. Audiences are reframing what institutional loyalty means to them, clearing the way for new affinity models that museums can leverage to build life-long engagement. Finally, as funding for culture becomes ever more tenuous, audiences report that measuring, proving, and articulating the social impact of culture has never been more important in influencing them to give.