Austin’s research examines how participatory programming fulfills each of the Arts Audience Experience Index (AAEI) intrinsic attributes, knowledge, collective engagement, risk, and authenticity. Semi-structured, sensory-focused interviews with artists and arts administrators were used to evaluate the relationship between participation, embodied knowledge and audience reach. Based on interview responses, interruption, opting in, and the ability to be present in the moment were elements of embodiment that fulfilled the collective engagement attribute. Carefully scaffolded programming allows for the audience to engage with works without prior knowledge. Results contribute to research around audience involvement, widening the impact of the performing arts and creating quality experiences for audiences. The findings also contribute more arts-based dialogue to research about embodied or corporeal knowledge and information behaviors.
Anicka Austin is an Atlanta-based choreographer, performer and archivist curious about the relationship between beauty and function in activities and objects used for coping. In her work as an archivist, she is drawn towards observing the tension between ephemerality and material documentation. She is a 2015-18 Lucky Penny Work Room Artist, 2017 Hambidge Center for the Creative Arts Distinguished Fellow, 2017-18 WonderRoot Walthall Fellow and 2018-2020 Carolina Academic Library Associate. She currently works as Visiting Archivist for the Geoffrey Holder and Carmen de Lavallade papers at Emory University’s Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives and Rare Book Library.