Does Free Admission Remove Barriers?
How can we make the arts accessible for all? Well, making entrance free is usually the first port of call for many organisations.
In this comprehensive article, Colleen Dilenschneider questions that assumption, and provides us with data that shows free admission having little impact on increasing the numbers of new attendees.
And if cost isn't the main barrier to under-served audiences - then what is? When we don't see 'free admission' as a catch all solution for low engagement, we can start to look at other barriers; lack of interest, lack of time, lack of cultural capital, lack of relevance.
We need to start thinking about our audiences and our programming, not just producing the same content, making it free, and hoping people will be interested.
If you're thinking about your pricing strategy, or your business model as a whole, this article is well-worth a read, particularly in the current climate of increased cuts to public funding for the arts in NI.