In February and March 2016, Film Hub Wales held two new development days in North and South Wales called ‘Opening Doors’. They were packed full of innovative projects, interactive games, film ideas and resources designed to help venues reach diverse audience groups.
“Eye opening, informative and important” – Llio Wyn, BAFTA Cymru
Heather Maitland, audience development specialist.
What is audience development and why do we need it? This interactive session explored how to use the FHW Understanding our Audiences research to get bigger, more diverse audiences. We looked at what we know about audiences for cinema: what are they like? What motivates them to attend? What stops them? We discussed what our organisations can do to overcome barriers and persuade more people to love what we do. Venues identified their own priorities audiences for development and practical ways to engage with them. What should you say? How should you say it? How can you get that message across within your limited resources?
What participants left with: a template for their own audience development plan and a good idea of what to put in it.
Learn how to make your venue dementia friendly, with Jo Lane and Rhia Jones, Dementia Friendly Communities Coordinators at Alzheimer’s Society. A Dementia Friend learns a little bit more about what it’s like to live with dementia and then turns that understanding into action. Anyone of any age can be a Dementia Friend. Each interactive Information Session lasts around 45 minutes to one hour. You will learn more about dementia and how you can help to create dementia friendly communities. There is no cost to hold the session, meaning you can book further sessions with staff at your venues. Hear practical examples from venues working with audiences with dementia and wider specialists.
What particpants left with: A greater understanding of Dementia, a Dementia Friend recognition badge, The Becoming a dementia-friendly arts venue: A Practical guide and further support from there Dementia Friendly Communities Coordinator in your area.
How do you engage with the Transgender community? Are there any barriers at your venue that are faced by people who identify as Transgender and how might you overcome these to develop a more diverse audience? What impact does programming have on who attends? In just one hour this taster session touched on the above, sharing stories and experiences from members of the Transgender community to increase awareness and understanding.
What participants left with: Ideas on how to develop audiences and content in this area. The Trans*form charter and toolkit, developed in consultation with trans* young people.
What are the barriers at your venue that are faced by people with sensory overload difficulties and anxiety? How might you overcome these to develop a more confident audience? Participants found out how to engage with families during the booking process and welcome them into their venue in this Interactive hands- on session for film venues We looked at awareness, flexibility, reasonable adjustments and self-reflexion.
What participants left with: A starter kit/ resource which includes tips and contacts, as well as awareness of available support.
How can you better reach isolated audiences, involve them in your project, and effectively sustain their engagement? Through a short presentation, film clips and discussion, participants will introduced key starting points for how to attract more diverse audiences locally.
We covered issues such as
Programming and content,
Marketing and promotion,
Appropriate venues and screening times,
Building networks and outreaching,
Essential access and inclusion issues for minority communities, including asylum seekers and refugees.
What participants left with: A list of suitable films, and a resource of good practice, tips and contacts to help venues embark on diversifying audiences.
Culture and Media Centre or CMC@Loudoun is a fully accessible, contemporary space designed to host meetings, conferences and events in the heart of Butetown. The CMC comprises of five function rooms, a commercial kitchen, ‘Flix’ community cinema and a digital media suite equipped to cater for 2-100 people. The outdoor roof terrace boasts spectacular views over Cardiff Bay and we are located within walking distance of Cardiff Bay train station and a regular bus route. Flix aims to bring the joy of film to all, without some of the prohibitive costs that can sometimes be involved. Entrance to all of the films is completely free of charge, and everyone is welcome to join us.
Theatr Colwyn – ‘the UK’s oldest operating cinema’
It was more than 126 years ago that the venue now known as Theatr Colwyn first opened its doors to the public. As a receiving theatre, it seats 329 people (including wheelchair spaces) and hosts a wide variety of performances ranging from dance and drama to rock music concerts, Welsh language shows and a very popular Christmas pantomime. It has a thriving cinema audience who enjoy not only the latest blockbuster releases on the big screen, but also independent, classic and foreign language films, courtesy of the Rialto Film Night. The venue is available to hire, as is the newly installed recording studio and rehearsal room.
Heather Maitland is an arts consultant, author, trainer and Associate Fellow at the Centre for Cultural Policy Studies at the University of Warwick.
Heather has worked as a marketer for a wide range of arts organisations: from the smallest of touring theatre companies to running the London end of the Royal Shakespeare Company’s marketing operation. She supported over 100 arts organisations as head of two of the UK’s audience development agencies including working closely with Cinelincs, one of the first cultural cinema consortia. Recent projects include benchmarking cinema audiences in the Republic of Ireland and leading a strategic audience development training course for BFI-FAN and the Independent Cinema Office. Heather has nine books on arts marketing and audience development to her credit and writes a regular column for the Journal of Arts Marketing. She has delivered over 200 seminars and workshops around the world.
Alzheimer’s Society is the UK’s leading care and research charity for people with dementia and those who care for them. 850,000 people live with dementia in the UK alone with numbers predicted to rise to over two million by 2051. Alzheimer’s Society provides information and support for people with all forms of dementia and those who care for them. It runs quality care services, funds research, advises professionals and campaigns for improved health and social care and greater public understanding and awareness of dementia.“Through our Dementia Friendly Communities programme, we want to change society’s attitudes to dementia. Create a powerful, coalition of organisations working together to improve the lives of people with dementia. We believe a dementia-friendly community is one in which people with dementia are empowered to have high aspirations and feel confident, knowing they can contribute and participate in activities that are meaningful to them.”
Mark Williams has over 14 years’ experience as a trainer and consultant, predominantly in the field of Equality & Diversity and sharing his passion for improving awareness of the issues faced by Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender people in the modern world. Mark’s work in awareness raising has included coordinating the Cardiff-Wales Mardi Gras (now Pride Cymru); awareness sessions in a wide range of workplaces and schools across Wales; chairing various LGBT groups and in speaking at the National Assembly for Wales and at UK national conferences. In addition to running his own training & consultancy business, Equiversal Ltd (www.equiversal.com), Mark leads on the Big Lottery Funded “Iris in the Community” project working with groups across Wales to make their own film content and programme their own film festivals on a local basis.
Contact a Family Cymru is a national charity for families of children with disabilities and additional needs. We provide information, advice and support. We bring families together so they can support each other. We campaign to improve their circumstances, and for their right to be included and equal in society. We work in collaboration with Families across Wales to understand their needs and experiences to develop a supportive and fun programme of film events.
Rabab Ghazoul is a visual artist and cultural practitioner based in Cardiff, who’s worked extensively with diverse communities for over 18 years. She’s the founder and coordinator of the WOW Women’s Film Club (formerly, BME Women’s Film Club) – a project that’s provided accessible, tailored cinema screenings and events to BME women since 2004. Today the project hosts audiences of over 120 at each screening, and has developed a unique delivery, addressing key barriers that prevent marginalized communities, in particular women, from engaging in cinema culture.
Trans*Form Cymru is a three year Youth Cymru project funded by the Welsh Government to empower and support trans* young people to access their rights and to provide support to youth-facing organisations to address discrimination and exclusion often experienced by trans* young people. Trans*Form Cymru is led by a Steering Group of young people who all identify on the trans* spectrum. Youth Cymru support the Steering Group to develop resources and plan events to raise awareness of trans* issues among professionals and young people.
Feedback from attendees:
"A really informative day. I left with my head buzzing with lots of new ideas. Can’t wait to put them into practice"
Leah Roberts, Riverfront Newport
"It was interesting throughout the day, covering a selection of subjects. I feel more aware of some of the issues that different groups face when accessing a venue and armed with a few ideas on how our venue can make some changes to help."
Westley Bone, Ludlow Assembly Rooms
"Totally positive experience – the sessions accentuated all the things that can be achieved, irrespective of size of venues to increase audience numbers, reach and enjoyment of the experiences we offer."
Emyr Williams, Pontio, Bangor
"From the venue chosen, to the facilitators and content of the workshops, the formula worked and provided a useful toolkit to be advised and inspired by"
Kate Long, Memo Arts, Barry
"Most people have a good idea but only a few can deliver. I felt that with this course more of us will confident enough to take a chance and be successful"
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