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Introducing: Venues of the Future

06/07/2022 2 minutes read By Kathryn

The cultural sector’s relationship with digital has been radically reshaped over the past two years. So we’ve started thinking about what a new ‘hybrid’ model for organisations might look like by initiating a creative Research and Development project.

The impact of covid-19 has reinforced that arts and cultural organisations are more than just their physical buildings - they are their work, their artistic community and their audiences. This has highlighted the huge opportunity we have to expand these organisations and institutions into greater digital spaces.

We’ve also noticed a shift in the types of questions organisations are asking us when it comes to planning their wider activity and operations. All of this has prompted us to ponder what a new ‘hybrid’ model could look like - something we’re calling a ‘Venue of the Future’. A venue that embraces the potential of both the physical and the digital space to create a more diverse and wider reaching set of programming and audiences.

Now, we want to explore this idea further by leading a creative Research and Development project with a group of sector partners. Through the project we’d like to interrogate the different ways that organisations are thinking about their digital infrastructure, artistic potential and process, and audience reach to help identify what a ‘venue of the future’ might (and could) look like.

We hope this will lead to the creation of a new model that opens organisations up to a broader community, and helps to transform how and where culture is made and experienced.

Exactly what this looks like has purposefully been left undefined, that’s what we want this project to do! Without closing many doors, we’re aiming to create a strategic learning environment that combines practical artistic insights with our digital expertise to identify the most valuable characteristics of a future venue. This collective knowledge will help shape how we then go about doing it.

We’ve kick-started the conversation by speaking to some folks across the sector to gather some initial thoughts and reactions to the project and its goals. And because we’ll very much be learning as we go, we want to bring you on the journey with us.

So we've written some short summaries of the chats we've had so far:

  1. David Collins, Opera North
  2. Cimeon Ellerton-Kay, Social Convention
  3. Ruth McCullough and Catherine Waddington, Abandon Normal Devices

We'll be having more of these conversations over the coming weeks, so keep an eye out for the write-ups!

If you'd like to hear more about our Venues of the Future project, have any questions or just fancy a chat, please do drop us a line and we'll be in touch: