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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? 

Are the Arts “Building Back Better” With New Audiences?

When arts organizations went into shutdown in 2020 and 2021, they asked audiences, donors, staffs, and their communities to continue supporting them even when they weren’t producing and open to the public because they were working hard during the shutdowns to improve themselves in myriad ways, including building new audiences. They weren’t going to let a good crisis go to waste, they said. In other words, they were going to “build back better”. (Row X)

What Does the Future Look Like for Post-Covid Downtowns?

HR&A Advisors shares responses from nine private developers, city officials, business improvement district heads, and other civic leaders regarding how the diversity of cities in which we work are innovating and adapting to the new reality of hybrid work. (HR&A

Equity & Social Justice 

Two Years Ago, Museums Across the U.S. Promised to Address Diversity and Equity. Here’s Exactly What They Have Done So Far

Artnet News followed up with several museums on their grand pronouncements from 2020 to see what they’ve actually followed through on, how their plans have changed, and what still remains to be done. (Artnet News)

At the Laundromat Project, Artists Are Ambassadors of Joy and Activism

“In trying to figure out a way to bring art to where we already were, I realized the laundromat is this incredibly democratic, de facto community space,” said founder Risë Wilson, who in 2005 incorporated her nonprofit organization to support artist projects in underserved areas — “not just for delight and play but as this political tool. Art has always been part of movements for Black liberation.” (The New York Times)

Ecological Sustainability 

Arts Council England: Environmental Responsibility Action Plan 2022-24

This plan details what Arts Council England will do internally to make meaningful, measurable reductions to its carbon footprint. The plan follows an organisation-wide environmental review and carbon footprint analysis, with clear targets, actions and timelines based on six priority areas: people, place, travel, technology, procurement, and pensions. (Arts Council England)

Multi-Million Energy-Savings Investment for Cultural Buildings

Spiraling energy costs have hit the cultural sector hard, both in Belgium and the rest of Europe. According to the Brussels Institute of Statistics and Analysis (IBSA), many cultural centres and buildings in the capital are a large burden in terms of energy expenditure. Minister of Culture for the Wallonia-Brussels Federation (WBF), Bénédicte Linard has announced that €31.7 million will be allocated to increasing the energy efficiency of cultural buildings. (The Brussels Times


Returned Benin Bronzes Spark “Artistic Awakening”

Museums in France, Germany, and the U.S. are returning looted artifacts from the Kingdom of Benin, some of which now appear in a major new exhibition that’s sparked a resurgence of interest in West Africa’s cultural heritage. (Surface Magazine)

Investigators, Citing Looting, Have Seized 27 Antiquities from the Met

The items, seized under the terms of three separate search warrants executed during the last six months, will be returned to their countries of origin — 21 to Italy and six to Egypt — in ceremonies scheduled for next week. The events are part of a push by law enforcement officials to hasten the pace of repatriations that in the past often dragged on for a year or more, the Manhattan district attorney’s office said. (The New York Times

Cultural Policy 

Creating a Big Picture Approach to Cultural Policy: Looking Outside the Arts

‘When you get it right, it affects our health policy, our education policy, our environmental policy, foreign affairs, trade, veterans’ affairs, tourism… A nation with a strong cultural policy is a nation where we know ourselves, know each other and invite the world to better know us,’ said Tony Burke, Australian Minister for the Arts. (ArtsHub)

Three Ways to Support Growth in the Creative Industries

This briefing, from the Creative Industries Policy & Evidence Centre is written to inform the new UK Prime Minister and the incoming Secretary of State on three key areas where the sector needs more support and investment to power the growth of the economy. (Policy & Evidence Centre

New Models

Most Tennis Players at the U.S. Open Are Sponsored by Sports Brands. Chinese Champ Wu Yibing Is Sponsored by an Art Museum

According to Director Michael Xufu Huang, the X Museum was the first art institution to sponsor a tennis player by putting a work from its collection on the player’s jersey. “It was a bold move, but it paid off.” (Artnet News)

The Buying Mania for Old Songs Has Come to a Sudden and Ugly End

We’ve been living through a bizarre interlude in the music business. For the first time in roughly 500 years, the power brokers decided that old musicians and old songs were better investments than hot new artists, says critic Ted Gioia. (The Honest Broker

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 42 countries, helping clients around the world plan and realize vital and sustainable cultural projects.