Let’s Get Real – Young Audiences

A formal photo of a group of about 20 people standing ona pavement, in front of large windows, with colourful lit-up glass displays behind the glass.

A quick overview

How do we digitally engage young audiences? If arts and heritage organisations are to connect with children and young people as a core audience group it is imperative that our digital content and the way we use digital tools and channels are relevant to their needs.  We are looking to work collaboratively with cohorts of arts and heritage organisations to help them better reach and engage children and young people online. If you are interested in better understanding strategic and practical ways to digitally engage children and young people, Culture24′s Let’s Get Real Young Audiences programme of work could be for you. The programme kicked off with a successful first phase collaborative action research project which ran between Autumn 2015 to Spring 2016 and featured 19 varied arts and heritage organisations including London Symphony Orchestra, National Portrait Gallery, Derby Museums, Pilot Theatre and the Royal Shakespeare Company. Our Content Director, Anra Kennedy, has written about the challenges the cultural sector faces in this area and the research our participants in phase one undertook. Here’s what the participants from the Phase 1 project had to say:

“We’ve had great fun working on this project and we’ve all learnt new digital and making skills as part of it. Given us a brilliant starting point to further engage young people with online content creation and distribution” – Derby Museums

“The project has enabled us to more clearly convey the need to engage young people more through our online work” – V&A

“The project encouraged us to be bolder and more confident with our ideas around digital technology” – Pilot Theatre.

What’s it all about?

We believe it’s vital to reach and engage children and young people with cultural digital content and that as a sector we need to learn to do this more effectively. We need to meet their learning needs but also entertain and delight them, as we do in our exhibitions, events, performances and venues. If arts and heritage organisations are to serve the needs of children and young people as a core audience group it is an imperative that digital content forms a significant part of that offer. This requires more than simple showcasing of cultural content on institutional online channels. Instead this content must be shaped to meet the specific and changing needs of children and young people. Digital tools and channels are an integral part of their everyday lives to an even greater extent than for many adults. This programme explores ways for arts and heritage organisations to address these challenges and embrace these opportunities to better reach and engage young people.


This forms part of Culture24’s unique and collaborative Let’s Get Real action research programme. The final reports from previous projects have been downloaded over 15,000 times internationally and have resulted in spin-off projects, conference papers, collaborations and new thinking.  The frankness of these reports and their openness in speaking about the failure in the cultural sector to really capture the attention and engagement of online audiences has been met with a very positive reaction.

More info

We are looking to run a Phase 2 Let’s Get Real Young Audiences project in 2017, and are currently re-shaping the project so that it is more financially viable for organisations to participate in.  More information including timings, costs and how to sign up will be available very soon. If you are interested in taking part in future projects within this programme please do get in touch with us. Contact Anra Kennedy on anra@culture24.org.uk Save