Research Associate – Dr Sarah Price

Dr Sarah Price

My research interests centre on audiences for arts and culture, seeking to understand why people spend their time going to performances or visting galleries and the value they find in those experiences. I work closely with arts organisations to understand their audiences in order to improve what they do, to provide better experiences for a broader range of people. I am currently working on an AHRC-funded COVID response project, investigating the experience of arts organisations, audiences and freelancers during the pandemic in order to help culture, arts and heritage in Sheffield get back on its feet.

I have been a member of SPARC since 2013 when I began my Collaborative Doctoral Award with the University of Sheffield and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. My doctoral research involved working closely with the orchestra to explore how ideas of ‘art’ and ‘entertainment’ programming affected the engagement of their audiences. Following this, I spent 7 months as a post-doctoral researcher at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, carrying out research and evaluation on their extensive public participation programme, before returning to Sheffield to work on the Understanding Audiences for the Contemporary Arts project.


Pitts, S. E., & Price, S. M. (2020). Understanding audience engagement in the contemporary arts. Routledge.

Price, S. M. (2020). In Defence of the Familiar: Understanding Conservatism in Concert Selection Amongst Classical Music Audiences. Musicae Scientiae.

Pitts, S. E., Herrero, M., & Price, S. M. (2020). Understanding the liminality of individual giving to the arts. Arts and the Market.

Price, S., Perry, R., Mantell, O., Trinder, J., & Pitts, S. (2019). Spontaneity and planning in arts attendance: insights from qualitative interviews and the Audience Finder database. Cultural Trends28(2-3), 220-238.