Research Associate (UACA) – Dr Sarah Price

As of May 2017, I am working full-time as the Research Associate for the AHRC-funded Understanding Audiences for the Contemporary Arts project.

My role in this project is to work closely with arts organisations to understand their audiences. I will travelling around the country, attending contemporary arts events and speaking to the people who attend them, exploring how they came to be audience members and what role arts and culture have within their lives. I will be responsible for the majority of the data collection and day-to-day management of the project.

I first joined the SPARC team in 2013 when I began my Collaborative Doctoral Award with the University of Sheffield and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. My doctoral research involved me 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.

I am excited to be re-joining SPARC to work on the UACA project, a fantastic opportunity to explore my research interests further, including the value of arts engagement in everyday life, the methods and ideology of audience development, and the role of academic audience research within the arts sector.



Hield, F., & Price, S. M. (2017). ‘Old Adam was the first man formed’: (In) forming and investigating listeners’ experiences of new music as audience enrichment, public engagement and research, Participations: Journal of Audience & Reception Studies, 14(1), 285–312.

Price, S. M. (2017). Risk and Reward in Classical Music Concert Attendance: Investigating the Engagement of “Art” and “Entertainment” Audiences with a Regional Symphony Orchestra in the UK. PhD Thesis: University of Sheffield.

Dearn, L. K., & Price, S. M. (2016). Sharing music: social and communal aspects of concert-going. Networking Knowledge, 9(2), 1–20.

Price, S. M. (2015). Academic and commercial research: bridging the gap. Participations: Journal of Audience & Reception Studies, 12(2), 168–173.