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The IDEA Study

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The League of American Orchestras and WolfBrown Announce The IDEA Study: A Study of Audience Attitudes about Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access

Participation is Open to All Orchestra Members

Registration Deadline is March 17, 2023

Informational Webinar is February 13, 2023 (4-5 ET)


WolfBrown launched Audience Outlook Monitor in 2020 as an on-demand research service. Through this program, arts organizations are able to select from a menu of surveys to deploy to their ticket buyers at a low cost, with results available immediately through the WolfBrown dashboard. Over 650 cultural organizations participated in the Covid-19 Study, which ran from May 2020 to December 2022.


In 2023-24, Audience Outlook Monitor will host a special research initiative called The IDEA Study – a quantitative survey of audience attitudes about inclusion, diversity, equity, and access. The study will launch in the orchestra field, through a partnership between WolfBrown and the League of American Orchestras.


Why the IDEA Study?

Many arts organizations have taken significant steps to address lack of diversity in staffing and board membership, and have adopted more equitable HR policies and practices. Some organizations have moved towards more pluralistic models of artistic leadership and have diversified programming with the aim of serving a broader public.


Many questions remain, however, as to the extent to which audience members understand themselves as stakeholders in this work, their expectations of arts organizations in this regard, and their preferences and tastes for a more diverse palette of artistic work. Through this field-wide collaborative study, we hope to learn how orchestras can activate audiences in their work to be more inclusive, more diverse, and more equitable.



Two Phases of Investigation

The first phase of the study in 2023 will explore audience attitudes about inclusion, diversity and equity. Questions will cover both general attitudes and evaluative questions pertaining to participating orchestras. The second phase of the study in 2024 will delve deeply into the accessibility needs of orchestra audiences.

Research Questions for Phase 1 (2023)

  • Do audience members see themselves as stakeholders in orchestras’ DEI work? 

  • How might orchestras more deeply enfranchise audience members in this work?

  • How do audience members feel about efforts by orchestras to diversify their artistic offerings and production practices?

  • What is the appetite for concert programs that center the artistry and stories of historically marginalized populations?

  • How far do audience members think individual orchestras should go in acknowledging, deconstructing, and redressing structures of cultural production that privilege some and exclude others?


The study also represents an opportunity for participating orchestras to develop evaluative indicators of audience support for their work in the areas of diversity, equity, inclusion - indicators that orchestras can use to monitor the degree to which their DEI work is legible to, and supported by, their audience. In this way, we hope the study will lead to a more sustained practice of audience engagement around DEI work.

Pricing for League Members (based on Orchestra League membership level) 

Group 1 Orchestras:  $2,250 — No discount code at checkout

Group 2 Orchestras:  $1,750 — Check out with code: GROUP2

Groups 3 - 4 Orchestras:  $1,250 — Check out with code: GROUP3-4

Groups 5 - 8 Orchestras:  $950 — Check out with code: GROUP5-8

Timeline for Participating Orchestras, January through May 2023 

January 31 Registration opens 

February 13 Informational webinar at 4:00 p.m. EST 

March 17 Registration closes (deadline for signing up)

April 11 Survey deployment date (emails to out to ticket buyers)

April 19 Dashboard access begins

April 16 - May 3 Cohort learning activities

To maximize cohort learning, participating orchestras must agree to share their results with other participating orchestras through the WolfBrown dashboard. After the cohort study concludes, aggregated results will be shared with the larger field. 

For more information about the IDEA study, contact Alan Kline, Director of Audience Research Programs at WolfBrown at

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The IDEA Study Phase 1 - Orchestra Cohort

$950 - $2,250

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