Marketing Contemporary Art at the Harris Project Brief

13 July 2015


  • Develop a marketing plan including strategic, operational and tactical elements to effectively promote Art from Elsewhere (10 October – 30 November 2015) and Beyond the Sublime (February-May 2016)* to existing and new audiences and assist the Harris’ Audience Development Officer to deliver the plan through a process of oversight and mentoring.
  • Explore new approaches to building audiences for contemporary art at the Harris, developing the toolkit proposed by Creative Tourist in their report Cultural Tourism in Preston, 2013.


August 2015 – May 2016


  • To develop an effective plan which delivers a total audience for the two exhibitions of at least 30,000.
  • To enhance the newly-appointed Audience Development Officer’s understanding, confidence and practical ability to market exhibitions and events, including taking a mentoring role during the project period.
  • To trial the actions the Harris can take to effectively market contemporary art.
  • To evaluate the effectiveness of different marketing channels and tactics in attracting audiences for contemporary art.
  • To assess the most effective methods of marketing contemporary art at the Harris to new and existing audiences.
  • To develop a new model and toolkit that can be adopted for future contemporary exhibition marketing.


  • To identify and locate the key segments in Preston and cultural tourists within a one hour travel time to the Harris who might be encouraged to travel to Harris contemporary exhibitions.
  • To identify and test the best channels and messages through which to effectively target the above audiences.
  • Develop the plan informed by current practice in arts audience segmentation and relevant research such as Cultural Tourism in Preston and Marge Ainsley’s Supporting Artists report (2013).
  • To ensure that the budget is realistic, achievable and makes the most efficient use of Harris resources.
  • To mentor the Audience Development Officer to help her deliver the plan on a day to day basis, improve her understanding of audience segmentation and arts marketing theory and practice.
  • To work with a range of staff including the Head of Arts & Heritage, Business Development & Fundraising Manager, Audience Development Officer, Programmes Manager, Exhibitions Officer, Access & Inclusion Officer, Learning Officer and Designer to develop an integrated marketing plan, including events programme.
  • To evaluate the success of the plan as a pilot project to increase audiences for contemporary art in and around Preston and make recommendations for future marketing activity.


The maximum value of the consultancy is £2500.


Please send expressions of interest including details of your relevant experience, your approach to the consultancy and your fees to

Hilary Machell, Business Development & Fundraising Manager at [email protected] by 12 noon on Wed 22nd July 2015.  If required, we will hold interviews for candidates on Tuesday 28th July 2015.  For an informal conversation about the project please contact Hilary on 01772 903619 (Mon-Thurs only and not Mon 13 July).


* Art from Elsewhere (10 Oct – 30 Nov 2015): Outstanding contemporary art bought through the £5million Art Fund International scheme, including Ai Weiwei.  Curated in partnership with the Hayward Gallery, it will include bespoke elements for the Harris. Currently on show at MIMA
Beyond the Sublime (Jan – April 2016)

New commissions by Nathaniel Mellors (winner of Contemporary Art Society Annual Award for Museums), Cally Spooner, Pavel Buchler and Common Culture, and a Bruce Nauman loan. Works will examine the use of repetition, farce and tragicomedy to explore broader themes around the human condition.  Information about the CAS Award is here:

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