The Archaeology Audience Network
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The Archaeology Audience Network is a 2-year project that brings together many of the UK’s leading archaeological organisations to build the most accurate picture to date of the audiences that public and community archaeology attracts and engages with in England and make it freely accessible online.
With this information in hand, Network partners will work with grassroots community organisations to develop new public and community archaeology activities that reflect the needs and interests of new audiences, deliver training in gathering and using audience data, and produce new best practice guidance on how to collect and apply audience data in future activity.
Funded by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) and The National Lottery through The Heritage Fund's Digital Skills for Heritage initiative, the project is being delivered in partnership between MOLA, The Archaeology Data Service, The Council for British Archaeology, DigVentures, Oxford Archaeology, Wessex Archaeology, and York Archaeological Trust.
As a community of practice, groups delivering public archaeology within the planning process form a significant avenue for audiences to access ‘live’ archaeological investigations and contribute hands-on insights into UK heritage. Yet they lack a consistent understanding of the audiences they reach and, crucially, of gaps in this reach. In addressing this fundamental issue of who archaeological engagement activity reaches, the project seeks to develop wider audiences for archaeology, make organisations in the sector more resilient, and promote innovation in the delivery of archaeology.
How can my community group/organisation get involved? The Network’s programme of training in collecting, understanding, and using evaluation data about audiences launched in September 2021, with the first training session delivered online by MOLA. Later in the project we will also have opportunities for community groups to work with network partners to test the dataset in action and use it to develop exciting new activities.
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