Courtauld Institute of Art

The Courtauld Institute of Art is a world class teaching institution allied to one of the most outstanding art collections in Britain. It has recently secured a £9.4million Round 1 pass from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for Phase One of Courtauld Connects, a £32million transformational programme which will focus on improving public access to and engagement with the Courtauld Institute’s art collection and built heritage, its conservation work and teaching, both in Somerset House and nationally. Driven by the philosophy of its founder that ‘art is and must be for all’ audience development sits at the heart of the project. Jura Consultants worked with The Courtauld to develop and produce an Activity and Audience Development Plan in support of the succesful Round 2 HLF application.

Audience consultation formed a core part of our methodology. Firstly the team mapped previous audience research undertaken by The Courtauld identifying opportunities for development, balancing the need to enhance and deepen engagement amongst existing audiences with exciting and inspiring engagement amongst new audiences, specifically those under-represented in the current audience profile. Jura Consultants then delivered an extensive two-phase consultation programme involving over 1,700 people, both visitors and non-visitors, in order to determine how the project could meet different audience groups needs and so doing meet The Courtauld’s ambitious audience development objectives. The activity programme content was developed in collaboration with a core team of Courtuald staff over the course of numerous workshop sessions. Adopting this team approach encouraged collective, creative thinking and the cross-fertilisation of ideas ensuring a coherent, wide-ranging and ambitious resultant activity programme. Not only has this pushed the boundaries for The Courtauld with respect to the project, but it has stimulated a wider process of organisational change towards audience development, a legacy which will be sustained beyond the project period.

Encompassed within this study was a dedicated report covering The Courtuald’s nation-wide activity programme – one of the centrepieces of the Activity Plan - and an Evaluation Strategy setting out a methodology for formative and summative evaluation throughout the project period and recommendations for its continuation thereafter.