Arts Council Malta has launched a new research study investigating the changing relationship between Public Cultural Organisations and audiences to cultural events in light of the ever-changing public health situation over the past months.

Changes brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic throughout 2020 have altered the landscape of cultural activity, bringing to the fore new considerations related to attendance to public gatherings. The nature of these concerns, and the extent to which they continue to shape attitudes and behaviours of potential audiences are as yet unknown. Likewise, the longer-term effects on the cultural and creative sector of the disruption brought about by the COVID-19 situation is unclear.

The overall objective of this study is to shed light on these issues by developing a broader and more comprehensive understanding of how and to what extent audience perceptions and behaviours are changing, as well as how Public Cultural Organisations can be be better equipped to face such changes brought about by the COVID-19 situation.

The study is composed of two strands:

  1. A series of surveys amongst the general public to understand audience perceptions, attitudes and behaviours related to cultural events in Malta. These surveys will explore changing patterns of participation in cultural activities, intentions to participate in future activities, and changes in perception or behaviour throughout the duration of the study.

  2. A series of focus groups held with members of Public Cultural Organisations, their partner organisations and other stakeholder organisations. These focus groups will look more closely into how Public Cultural Organisations have sought to adapt to the new reality through changes in their programming, management, and marketing, amongst other things.

The study will take place over a four-month period. The findings of the study will be used to provide Public Cultural Organisations with recommendations on how to further strengthen their ongoing audience engagement, and strategically explore new forms of growth.

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