The AHEAD project (Accessible Heritage Experiences for Audience Development), funded by the European Union’s Creative Europe Programme, is pleased to announce the launch of its manifesto for cultural audience development. The manifesto outlines a set of values and principles designed to guide professionals in crafting heritage experiences that prioritize accessibility, inclusivity, and audience engagement.

AHEAD brings together a network of partners across Europe committed to transforming the way we design experiences for cultural heritage audiences. The manifesto, developed through extensive research and collaboration but the AHEAD consortium, emphasizes the importance of audience development as a transformative process rooted in listening, inclusivity, and empowerment.

The AHEAD manifesto calls for a shift towards a human-centered approach across the field of heritage preservation and promotion. AHEAD aims to achieve this through a comprehensive capacity-building program that equips professionals with essential skills and perspectives in audience insights, heritage interpretation, strategic communication, and impact assessment, all within an experiential design framework.

Ultimately, AHEAD seeks to empower cultural heritage professionals with the tools and expertise needed to reshape cultural engagement practices, fostering positive social, cultural, and economic development. The project envisions a future where museums, parks, and archaeological sites are transformed into welcoming spaces for all, serving as hubs for community engagement and value co-creation.

Cultural heritage professionals worldwide are invited to endorse the AHEAD manifesto and join this pioneering initiative. By working together, we can redefine the landscape of heritage experience design and usher in a new era of audience participation and appreciation.

For more information and to endorse the manifesto, please visit the AHEAD project website.