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Past Issues

AEA Consulting: The Platform


A round-up of articles focused on commentary and analysis of current developments in the cultural sector.

Some articles may be behind a paywall. 

Does this change everything? 

Ideas Report ‘21

WeTransfer asked over 10,000 people from 135 countries how 2021 transformed their creative worlds. A few truths found were that creatives and clients are seemingly at odds (despite their respect for each other), young people are (as usual) taking the fall, and progress doesn’t come easy. (WeTransfer)

What Does It Mean to be Trustworthy?

Museum veteran James Gardner shares his thoughts on the American Alliance of Museums’ recent report Museums and Trust 2021, discussing the larger museum community saying, “I would prefer that they trust us because they have found us to be trustworthy rather than because they think we should be trustworthy ‘just because.’” (American Alliance of Museums)

Cultural Policy

Embracing Placemaking as a Core State Strategy

While local governments, developers, and communities usually lead placemaking efforts, the state of Michigan stands out for its embrace of place-based policy as a key economic development strategy. After globalization and technological change undermined the state’s core economic strengths, and the Great Recession sent the economy into a tailspin, the state needed a new set of community investment tools to accelerate its transition to the new, knowledge-based economy. (Brookings

Cultural Infrastructure 

China Asks: How Many Cultural Landmarks Is Too Many?

Chinese cities have established thousands of new museums over the past two decades, but construction is all too often motivated by dreams of real estate riches rather than accessibility. (Sixth Tone)

Will World-Class Architecture Bring Civic Pride Back to Memphis?

Spurred by Herzog & de Meuron’s new art museum and a rethought waterfront park by Studio Gang, city leaders turn to design to make a downtown for “everyone.” (The New York Times


Smithsonian Moves Toward Returning Benin Bronzes

The institution’s National Museum of African Art says it has removed the artworks from display. It is the latest museum to begin a process that could lead to the return of the works to Nigeria. (The New York Times

Funding & Philanthropy

Dutch Theater Group Launches Water Brand L’EAU POUR L’ART to Fund the Arts

The arts are in dire need of funding, and bars and cafes at most cultural spaces still serve bottled water. So instead of letting water profits flow through to multinational bottling companies, why not divert that money to the arts? (Trend Watching

Pandemic Relief & Recovery: Emergency Funding & The Bay Area Arts Community

An analysis of the COVID-19 relief support grantmakers provided to Bay Area artists and cultural organizations, how it helped mitigate the crisis, and what the regional arts community needs now to recover. (IssueLab)

Equity & Social Justice

Museums Unite to Fight Near Record Levels of Antisemitism

A recent symposium in New York looked at how institutions can come up with new and innovative strategies for countering misinformation. (The Art Newspaper)

Digital Frontiers

AI is Hijacking Art History

“As an art historian, I’ve become increasingly concerned about the coverage and circulation of these projects. They have not, in actuality, revealed one secret or solved a single mystery. What they have done is generate feel-good stories about AI,” says Sonja Drimmer, Associate Professor of Medieval Art at University of Massachusetts Amherst. (Fast Company)

The Jury Is In on Virtual Theatre

Most theatres found that COVID-era digital offerings have lost money, a new survey shows, though some continue to value the access and experimentation. (American Theatre

Ecological Sustainability 

COP to the Truth of the Arts and Climate

Teaching artist Eric Booth writes how teaching / participatory artists can change what people believe and what they do about climate issues through grassroots efforts to influence policy and law. (Eric Booth)

The Role of Culture in Climate Resilient Development

This report is an attempt to document the initiatives of cities and local or regional governments from all continents on cultural policies, sustainable cities, and climate-resilient development. The report was presented as a draft on 9 September 2021 at the United Cities and Local Governments Culture Summit held in Izmir. (UCLG)

AEA Consulting is a global firm setting the standard in strategy and planning for the cultural and creative industries.

We are known for our candid and impartial advice that draws on deep knowledge of the cultural sector as well as robust research and analytical insight.

Since 1991, we have successfully delivered more than 1,200 assignments in 40 countries, helping clients around the world plan and realize vital and sustainable cultural projects.