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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. 

Funding & Philanthropy

Nonprofits May Need to Spend a Third of Their Budget on Overhead to Thrive—Contradicting a Donor Rule of Thumb

Two scholars of public administration found that when arts nonprofits devoted 35% of their budget to overhead, they fared best in terms of attendance. (The Chronicle of Philanthropy)

Philanthropy in Almost Every Sector Is Moving Toward Unrestricted Funding—Except in the Arts. Why Is It So Hard to Trust Artists?

Trust-based philanthropy offers new more equitable ways to center mutuality and distribution of power in artist-funder relationships. (Artnet)

Art Grantmakers Must Change Their Ways

Rocío Aranda-Alvarado and Lane Harwell of the Ford Foundation's Creative and Free Expression team suggest nine ways art funders can strengthen their support of artists. (Hyperallergic)

Equity & Social Justice

Major Foundations Commit $11 M. to Diversify Leadership at 19 US Art Museums

The Leadership in Art Museums (LAM) initiative—funded by the Alice L. Walton Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Mellon Foundation, and Pilot House Philanthropy—will aim to grow and invest in diverse leadership across US museum departments. (ARTnews)

Repatriation & Restitution 

‘Restitution with conditions is neo-colonialism’: German ruling parties defend return of Benin bronzes in parliament

The Oba of Benin was named the owner of 22 restituted Benin bronzes, raising concerns in Germany that world heritage could disappear into royal private collections. (The Art Newspaper

What Is ‘Shared Heritage’? Here Are the Big Takeaways From Embattled Former Louvre President Jean-Luc Martinez’s New Report on Restitution

The former president's report identifies nine criteria for restituting African works and recommends the creation of a fund to finance provenance research. (Artnet)

Black group tells Met not to return king’s bronzes: ‘Slavery profits’

New York campaigners are moving to sue the Smithsonian to stop plans for the Oba to get even more of its Benin Bronzes as they say the bronzes were the proceeds of the royal's ancestor selling their ancestors into slavery. (New York Post)

Digital Frontiers 

Immersive Art Exhibitions: Spellbinding, or Forgettable?

Immersive exhibitions continue to attract the hatred of critics and ongoing support from the paying public. (New York Times)

Bringing Augmented Reality to card games at Explora Children's Museum of Rome

The AR card game is the latest in Explora's experiments with embedding digital tools into exciting learning opportunities. (Museum Next)

New Rules of Immersion

Critic Fite-Wassilak discusses the allure of immersive experiences and their impact on the "ideal state of audienceship" in the art world. (e-flux)

Audience Behavior

The Wake-Up Call: Performing Arts Face the Post-Pandemic World

The strength of post-pandemic audience recovery is promising, but an existential shift in audience demographics and spending patterns remains. (Classical Voice)

What do museum educators need to know about learning and impact in museums?

Museum education currently relies more on retrospective programmatic evaluation rather than rigorous, ongoing research in education or psychology. (Museum Questions)

Data Intelligence

The art of data: Empowering art institutions with data and analytics

Arts organizations have a weak history of data collection and analysis—however effective programs can be powerful tools for strategy, resilience, and operational excellence. (McKinsey & Company)

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.