Audience Engagement, Cultural Policy and Democracy: Is the Museum a Democratic Institution?
Issues of engagement – or the lack of engagement – from certain social and economic groups have long been a cause of concern for funding bodies and arts organisations. Whilst initiatives around audience development have met with some success, a new focus is taking a more direct approach. The idea of Cultural Democracy has become a new focus of attention for both policymakers and practitioners – and promises to radically re-invent how we understand the role of subsidised cultural organisations. In this context, an important question arises: is the museum a democratic institution?