‘Digital Access to Arts and Culture’ is the first major UK research project dedicated to investigating the accessibility and inclusion implications of the rapid growth in online arts and culture during the pandemic.

Carried out in collaboration with Arts Council England and The Space, the project has gathered knowledge about how arts and culture organisations have delivered digital and hybrid live/digital content in response to the pandemic, and aims to advance the sector’s understanding of what ‘digital access’ is and how it can be achieved.

Looking to a future in which all arts and culture organisations are multi-platform content providers, the project also explores how to develop hybrid programmes in which live and digital content support each other, and work together to generate greater social and economic value.

Case Studies

Opera North: Inspiring Online Participation

In summer 2020, Opera North started a series of online singing workshops that were so popular they have since become a regular event. Find out about how ‘Couch to Chorus’ has helped Opera North to expand their audience base, deliver social value, and earn over £100,000 in donations.

Darkfield Radio: Embracing Hybridity

Darkfield is a small immersive theatre company that specialises in 360 degree binaural audio performances that typically take place in darkness, inside repurposed shipping containers. Their innovative use of sound literally puts people at the centre of the performance, wherever they are.

The Tank Museum: Engaging the Gaming Community

The Tank Museum has operated a YouTube channel since 2009, and earns over £80,000 per year through Patreon. Find out about how it engages with social media influencers and game developers to reach an online native constituency.

Serpentine R&D: From Venue to Metaverse

The Serpentine Galleries’ Research and Development Platform is a space where new alignments between technology and artistic practice can be tested and discussed. Learn more about how Serpentine R&D has embedded digital innovation within the art gallery.

Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra: Migrating Older Audiences to Digital

Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra created its first livestream in 2017, and now has the most extensive and popular online concert programme in the UK. Read the headline results of our survey of over 500 live and online ticket holders, and learn about BSO’s innovative and low-cost live streaming setup.

Final Report

Digital Access to Arts and Culture

The project’s final report details the accessibility and inclusion benefits that have emerged from arts and culture organisations’ digital pivot during the pandemic, and pinpoints the developments that still need to take place if these gains are to become embedded in future hybrid arts and culture provision.