In the framework of ADESTE+ project the Call for participation at the Rijeka Summer School and European Conference on audience development is launched. Apply now!



  • New deadline for applying to the Summer School and European Conference: April 8th 2020
  • Deadline for registration to the European Conference: September 10th 2020


Engaged Audiences: Strategies for Cultural Change
Summer School, 21st – 23rd September 2020 and European Conference, 24th – 25th September 2020
Rijeka (various locations), Croatia

After successful Summer School and Conference held in 2019 in Lisbon, we invite you to the second edition of events of the ADESTE+ project dedicated to audience development which will take place in Rijeka, European Capital of Culture in 2020. Be a part of our vibrant and interdisciplinary community of cultural professionals, artists, practitioners, researchers, scholars, policy makers from all over Europe on our journey towards organisational change. Check out the video of Lisbon edition and get inspired. Join us in our quest for more diverse, open, inclusive and engaging culture by applying to our Call!

“Engaged Audiences: Strategies for Cultural Change” Summer School and European Conference will take place from 21st to 25th September 2020 in Rijeka. At the moment confirmed speakers include: Nico Carpentier, Teodor Celakoski, Maria Chiara Ciaccheri, Mafalda Damaso, Melissa Dibble, Richard Evans, Lise Korsgaard, Andreja Kulunčić, Davor Mišković, Raul Ramos, Goran Tomka, Daniel Wetzel and Ana Žuvela.

The Summer School and European Conference are implemented within the framework of the ADESTE+ project which is focused on research and development of innovative approaches to audience development (AD). Within the 4 years period 15 partners from 7 countries are implementing numerous activities for cultural organizations, professionals, audiences, policy and decision makers with the aim of strengthening and developing personal and organizational capacities of different actors in AD. In the framework of the project 3 Summer Schools and Conferences are organized: after the 1st edition in Lisbon (Portugal), the second will take place in Rijeka (Croatia), and third one in Turin (Italy).

The Summer School and European Conference in Rijeka will explore issues about the challenges and perspectives the cultural sector is facing around the notion of audience development. The notion of audience development is a transversal phenomenon extending in the frame of cultural policies through the participation in culture, encompassing the issues of cultural rights and access to culture. The concept of AD is of a more recent date, although the cultural policies have addressed the issues of participation in culture since the 1950s. In the contemporary world, audience development is one of the priorities of European cultural policies’ agenda. Swift changes of economic, social and technological environment, together with the accompanying transformations in the fields of communication and leisure time, had significantly influenced the deepening of relations with existing audiences and developing new ones both on local and global level. Contemporary technologies have significantly changed the ways of approaching, understanding, disseminating and sharing content in general, as well as in culture and arts, which, together with changes in political and economic landscapes, have strongly influenced the change of the character, needs and values of audience as well as their habits and roles in cultural and artistic sectors.

In the context of changes and new challenges, numerous organisations in culture started upgrading existing methods in the fields of marketing, communication, education, mediation and engagement as well as testing and attempting to find new models which will provide them on one side with strengthening relationship with existing audience while diversifying it on the other. Those organisations have recognized the potential of sustainable development in placing audiences in the centre of their interest, next to their artistic creation, production and distribution. Developing new approaches to audiences comprehends multiple relations between different fields of competences and action, from organisational culture and policies, profiles and fundamental purpose, artistic goals, financial framework, structure of professional and artistic personnel, programming habits, partnerships and cooperation to educational and marketing approaches, communication and digital technologies. Organisations in designing new approaches, among other, reflect upon questions such as how to make contents they offer more appealing to a wider spectrum of people, how to retain existing visitors, how to attract new ones, how to reach unexpected ones in their respective cultural institution, whether be it theatre, gallery, museum, cinema, cultural centre or else? Furthermore, following contemporary understanding of audience participation as an active creation, production, facilitation or decision-making, cultural organisations have started to work with people more and more. In contemporary society, cultural organisations play different roles in their cultural “eco-systems“, and thus attempt to reach different audiences for different reasons and in different ways. This diversity is a sign of a healthy and creative system oriented towards audience.  

The “Engaged Audiences: Strategies for Cultural Change” Summer School and Conference will gather cultural professionals, artists, practitioners, researchers, scholars, policy makers from Europe and a broad range of disciplines. Therefore, the Summer School and Conference present an interdisciplinary effort in sharing new knowledge and skills, collecting new information and experiences, discussing various practical, theoretical and political approaches and meanings of audience engagement and cultural changes that lead to the building of a more inclusive culture.

In the course of the Summer School, to be held from 21st to 23rd September 2020, participants will be introduced to various external and internal aspects of audience engagement and organizational changes, while the two-day Conference programme, on 24th and 25th September 2020, will be focused on current challenges and perspectives of participation in culture.

The Summer School is dedicated to cultural professionals’ work with audiences, while the Conference is open to the wider public.  

Working language of the Summer School and Conference will be English and the tentative programme is available here.

Participation at the Summer School and Conference is free. The participation at the Summer School is based on a selection process, while the conference is open to all interested parties but it is necessary to register. In that line, ADESTE+ partners have just opened the Public Call for participation at the Summer School and Conference.

The deadline for submissions to the Public Call for the Summer School is 28th February 2020 and the deadline for the registration for participating at the European Conference is 10th September 2020.

The Summer School and Conference are organized by the Croatian National Theatre Ivan pl. Zajc from Rijeka and Kultura Nova Foundation from Zagreb, both partners in ADESTE+ project, in partnership with Rijeka 2020. The events are part of Rijeka European Capital of Culture 2020 Programme.

If you have any additional queries about Summer School and/or European Conference don't hesitate to contact us at

21st – 25th September 2020, Rijeka (Croatia)

By applying to the Summer School, the applicant is submitting application for both Summer School and Conference.

This Call is open to cultural workers, artists, representatives of cultural organisations, institutions and freelancers working in the field of arts and culture.  

In the selection process following criteria will be applied:

  • Applicant is working in the field of arts and culture
  • Applicant has at least two-year experience in arts and/or cultural management
  • Applicant has experience in audience development (implementation of minimum 2 AD projects or implementation of activities directed towards AD for at least 18 months)

After meeting assessment criteria applicants will be given priority according to the order of application submission. Selection will be led based on geographical diversity as well as diversity of sectors and disciplines.

Number of participants of the Summer School is limited to 120.

The applications will be evaluated by ADESTE+ partners.  

Participation and travel costs

Participation at the Summer School and European Conference is free. All the participants will have to cover their travel and accommodation costs as well as meals. The organizers will provide refreshments during the events.

Application form

Application must be submitted via online Application form available here.  


Submission deadline is 28th of February 2020.


All the applicants will be informed about the results of the selection procedure by May 6th 2020.

On behalf of ADESTE+ partners Kultura Nova Foundation will inform all applicants of the selection process results via e-mail submitted in the application.

If selected, the applicant is obliged to participate both at the Sumer School and Conference.

24th – 25th September 2020, Rijeka (Croatia)

This Call is open to scholars, researchers, theoreticians, cultural operators, artists, practitioners, activists, policy makers and decision-makers working in the field of arts and culture as well as audience interested in arts and culture.

Number of participants is limited to 350.

Participation and travel costs

Participation at the European Conference is free. All the participants will have to cover their travel and accommodation costs as well as meals. Organizer will provide refreshments during the event.

Registration form

Registration must be submitted via online Registration form available here.  


Registrations will be open until 10th September 2020 or until all available places have been reached.

Registration confirmation

All registered attendants will receive confirmation message on their e-mail stated in the Registration form after submitting the online form.