Principal Investigator (UACA) – Professor Stephanie Pitts

Stephanie Pitts began researching audience experience as part of a wider project on musical participation (Valuing Musical Participation, Ashgate, 2005) and has since investigated how live music is experienced by existing, new and potential audiences across a range of settings including chamber and orchestral concerts, jazz clubs and festivals. With Karen Burland (University of Leeds), she edited Coughing and Clapping, which explored the methods and themes of audience research, and she has since edited a special issue of Participations on knowledge exchange and research partnerships.

Stephanie’s research experience led to a conversation a few years ago with staff at Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, who wanted to know whether audiences for the contemporary arts were different from those in other musical settings.  A pilot project in Birmingham soon followed, always with the hope of a national, multi-art, funded project to follow – and so UACA was born, and with a generous award from the Arts and Humanities Research Council, got underway in May 2017.

As principal investigator, Stephanie is leading the UACA team and co-designing the research with Research Associate Dr Sarah Price and our partner organisations across the country. She will be running the Sheffield strand of the research, looking at the attitudes of mainstream audiences to contemporary arts, and is looking forward to getting more fully involved once her term as Head of Music comes to an end in September 2018!

You can read Stephanie’s University of Sheffield profile, with further information about her research, here.