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AEA Consulting: The Platform


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

Does this change everything?

Arts Complexes on the Brink?

“Between the devastating loss of revenue and the understandable reluctance of audiences to risk infection by attending public performances, they have no choice but to come up with a new financial model…” (The Wall Street Journal)

Broadway Will Be a While. These Venues Say They're Ready Now. 

Directors of large flexible spaces like the Park Avenue Armory are lobbying for permission to put on indoor shows for socially distanced audiences. (The New York Times)

Coronavirus Shutdowns and Charges of White Supremacy: American Art Museums Are in Crisis

America's art museums are in crisis, marred by shutdowns, staff cutbacks, and called to acknowledge their racist histories. (The Washington Post

Dark Days for Toronto’s Live Music Venues: New Study Finds Venues at Risk of Business Failure

The long-awaited study entitled Re:Venues: A Case and Path Forward for Toronto's Live Music Industry, outlines the contributions and status of the industry and includes recommendations for actions needed to support and protect live music venues through this economic uncertainty and beyond. (Cision)

9 Fables of the Reconstruction

Although lockdown has eased, sanitary and economic conditions still make it impossible for very many of us to do our usual work. The only certainty is that the longer this situation continues, the worse will be its effects on people’s lives. (François Matarasso)

How COVID Broke Times Square, the Heart of New York’s Economy

The neighborhood is feeling the full force of the downturn in real estate, Broadway, tourism and retail; ‘All of a sudden everything is toxic.’ (The Wall Street Journal)

‘If Bond Moves Again, It's Armageddon': Seven Experts on the Future of the Film Industry

With multiplexes shutting and film releases shunted forward, how do those in the business see the future? (The Guardian)

The State of the Arts in 2020

What is the state of the arts in 2020? Where are we going? How have arts organizations responded to the massive changes driven by the twin pandemics of COVID-19 and the reckoning of systemic racism? In this episode of CI to Eye, Erik Gensler speaks with three consultants to understand how the arts landscape has evolved and how it is moving forward. (Capacity Interactive

Equity & Social Justice

Amin Husain and Nitasha Dhillon on Working to Decolonize the Art World

In this two-part conversation, Amin Husain and Nitasha Dhillontwo of the leading activists in the New York art community talk about their lives, work, and what’s next. (Hyperallergic)

34 Organizations Turning Talk into Action

OF/BY/FOR ALL methods help organizations connect with their local communities in effective, authentic ways. The past six months have pushed many cultural leaders to reconsider what a successful community organization looks like and how it operates. OF/BY/FOR ALL introduces the September 2020 cohort of its Change Network. (OF/BY/FOR ALL)

The UK Government Has Warned Publicly Funded Museums to Stop Removing Controversial Statues from View

In a letter sent to 26 institution, the culture secretary instructs publicly funded institutions to “act impartially.” (Artnet News)

Mellon Foundation to Spend $250 Million to Reimagine Monuments

The initiative, the largest in the organization’s history, will support the creation of new monuments, as well as the relocation or rethinking of existing ones. (The New York Times)

Philip Guston and The Boundaries of Art Culture

Peter Schjedlahl of The New Yorker writes that the postponement of a show containing depictions of Klansmen reveals a larger cultural crisis in the United States. (The New Yorker)

What It Takes to Make Museum Boards More Diverse

The current reckoning around institutional racism in the United States, set off by the police killing of George Floyd in May, has incited long-overdue actions about changing the makeup of boards and leadership in cultural institutions. (Artsy)


Save Jobs and Sell the Hockney? The Dilemma Laying Bare Inequality in the Arts

The portrait of David Webster, who ran Covent Garden between 1945 and 1970, could now be the Royal Opera House’s saviour as COVID-19 brings it towards the brink of collapse; soon it will be sold by Christie’s. (The Guardian

American Museums Are Taking Advantage of Relaxed Rules to Sell More Than $100 Million of Art at Auction This Season

The Baltimore Museum is one of eight art institutions selling blue-chip art at auction this season amid relaxed rules about deaccessioning. (Artnet News)

Palm Springs Art Museum to Deaccession $2.5m. Helen Frankenthaler at Sotheby’s

The Palm Springs Art Museum in California has announced a move to deaccession a major work from its permanent collection after industry recommendations for selling art from institutional holdings were relaxed earlier this year. (Artnews)

Funding & Philanthropy

The Impact of the Cultural Recovery Fund on the Arts and Culture Sector

The analysis in this report focuses on the £825m overseen by Arts Council England and its impact on the Arts and Culture sector. (Arts Council England)

Leveraging Momentum

The Knight Foundation has released a study of strategic shifts among eight major arts institutions. It focuses in particular on institutions that received grants with diverse aims, from technology innovation, to community engagement and education, to strengthened curation and program offerings. (Knight Foundation)

Sydney Opera House Commissions New Series to Aid COVID-19 Recovery

Sydney Opera House (SOH) has launched a new programme for Australian artists. Created in response to COVID-19, New Work Now commissions will be worth more than AUD1m (€609,000). (International Arts Manager

New Models

Gagosian Goes Netflix? The Mega-Gallery is Creating Original Content that Pairs Artists with Luminaries like Malcolm Gladwell and Jeff Tweedy

Gagosian Premieres looks to celebrity programming to replace the buzz of physical openings. The new initiative was devised as a way to create buzz about exhibitions even as the gallery faces an extended period with limited in-person attendance. (Artnet News)

Inside the Story of How H-E-B Planned for the Pandemic

The grocer started communicating with Chinese counterparts in January and was running tabletop simulations a few weeks later. (But nothing prepared it for the rush on toilet paper.) (Texas Monthly)

The Next Act: How the Pandemic is Shaping Online Theatre’s Future

The explosion of digital productions of all sizes has shown great creativity and made hit shows more accessible – but is it all financially sustainable? (The Guardian)

On Aesthetics, Ethics, Economics, and Consequential Decisions of Cultural Leaders in the Long Now

This blog post is about the relationship between the aesthetics, economics and ethics of cultural institutions and asserts that arts organizations need ethical and aesthetic guardrails that are as clear and firm as their financial ones, particularly in times like the present when truly consequential decisions are being made. (ArtsJournal

In other news, Weird Al Presents: ‘America Is Doomed, the Musical’

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