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Cynthia Dekker is senior project manager audience development at Rotterdam Festivals. Culture, marketing and audience research are in her personal DNA. She has almost twenty years’ of professional experience in the arts and culture sector. The last ten years her work has been focused on collective cultural marketing and audience research and development. She studied Communication sciences at the Nijmegen University (KUN).

During the last years she coordinated the Dutch participation in two EU funded projects in the Life long learning programme; Extending the Margins and Open all areas, both targeted at engaging with socially and economically excluded sections of the population in informal learning programmes through the medium of cultural and creative expression. She has been co-author of two publications focused on audience development and segmentation in Rotterdam; Wij, Rotterdammers en cultuur (2011) Rotterdam, cultuur en publiek in kaart gebracht (2015). Both entail extensive desk research and analysis of local audience data. She and her research colleague are frequently asked to present their findings nationally and internationally and to perform similar audience research projects throughout the Netherlands. She collaborates with national networks like ‘Cultuur Marketing’ and international networks like AEN (Audience Europe Network) for exchanging knowledge and expertise on audience development.

Rotterdam Festivals coordinates Rotterdam’s events policy and encourages culture participation of the citizens of Rotterdam. We assist Rotterdam’s cultural sector in increasing its audience reach by collecting and sharing knowledge about culture marketing, the audience and potential audience for cultural activities. We make use of collective audience research to find out more about cultural participation by the citizens of Rotterdam: who visits what, why and why not, where do they find information about cultural activities, how do they experience art and culture?

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