Developing Next Generation Arts Audiences

Indianapolis' arts organizations continue to grapple with the challenge of developing younger audiences. This is a national issue that arts communities and cities continue to address. With the support of Lilly Endowment Inc., the Arts Council of Indianapolis and Next Generation Consulting (NGC) collaborated on a dynamic project to:

  • Discover the best programming, formatting, and marketing to attract and engage patrons aged 40 and under to the arts
  • Introduce local arts professionals to younger patrons and programming by involving them in the field research component of the project.


This research project provided the Arts Council of Indianapolis, and Indianapolis arts and cultural organizations with a wealth of information, research, statistics, and best practices that continue to enhance Indianapolis efforts to build the next generation of arts audiences. With Lilly Endowment Inc.'s support, the Arts Council’s collaboration with nationally recognized economist Rebecca Ryan and Next Generation Consulting (NGC) created new opportunities to affect change for this demographic.

The study, which began in 2005, was broken into three phases.
Phase One, the initial research study, provided the Arts Council and the arts community with a wealth of information about the next generation of arts patrons.

Phase Two included a number of initiatives to assist the arts community in reaching and cultivating this demographic, including customer experience site visits and research, a national Next Audiences Summit, a collaboration with IndyHub on a sampler package of arts organizations, and continued audience development work one-on-one with arts organizations.

Phase Three of the project included a second national Next Audiences Summit, a series of in-depth best practices workshops for arts organizations, and one-on-one consultation and planning sessions with participant arts organizations. Significant research documents and findings are presented below.

pdf   pdf Developing Next Generation Audiences (Executive Summary) (403 KB) pdf pdf

icon pdf Developing Next Generation Audiences (742 KB)

icon pdf The Other 65 Percent (6.09 MB)

Thank you to our funders

Indiana Arts Commission