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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? 

Arts Companies Struggle to Recruit as Vacancies Surge

Arts organisations are struggling to recruit post-pandemic amid a resurgence in job opportunities. High competition within and beyond the sector has created a seller's market for job seekers and some companies are finding themselves in bidding wars to secure candidates. (Arts Professional)

In the 21st Century Universities and Museums are Facing the Same Challenges

In an interview with Designisso, consultant András Szántó talks about the relationship between science and art, data and visualizations, and the legitimation challenges of classical social institutions such as the museum and the university. (Designisso)

For Performers Trying to Get Back Onstage, It’s Been a Struggle to Balance COVID Safety and the Show

This is life in the purgatory of a pandemic that went away, returned and has now settled in for an unwelcome encore. For some performers, who got a renewed taste for crowds as theaters, symphony halls and clubs reopened in early summer, it’s hard to stop the show. (The Washington Post

A Case for the Arts

Cultural Districts: An Investment in Rich Urban Life

Cultural districts strengthen our cities and communities and support the development of thriving places and people. The Global Cultural Districts Network's (GCDN) new advocacy guide makes a case for support of cultural districts as a necessity for building thriving places and people, and provides language and a framework that cultural leaders can use to communicate with stakeholders. (GCDN)

Cultural Infrastructure 

How to Build a Museum

In this series of ten animated episodes commissioned by M+, French artist Vincent Broquaire responds to the complexity of the museum’s architecture and engineering with a meeting of whimsical fantasy and realistic sonic effects. Step by step, a working man coolly guides us through a gonzo construction process of accordion staircases, inflatable towers, and moveable horizons. (M+ Magazine)


And So It Begins: Germany and Nigeria Sign Pre-Accord on Restitution of Benin Bronzes

The accord paves the way for a more formal contract to be signed later this year and envisages the transfer of ownership of about 1,100 so-called Benin bronzes from German museums to Nigeria in the second quarter of next year, according to Andreas Görgen, the head of the culture department at the German Foreign Ministry. (The Art Newspaper)

The UK Has Rejected UNESCO’s Call on British Authorities to Reassess Their Position on the Contested Parthenon Marbles

The sculptures have been in the collection of the British Museum and a controversy for nearly two centuries. It was alleged that the Greek cultural relics were stolen but the British Museum maintained that the items were legally acquired by Lord Elgin according to an investigation by a parliamentary select committee in 1816, according to a statement by the trustees of the British Museum. (Artnet News)

Funding & Philanthropy

Representation for the 2021 Spending Review

The Creative Industries Policy and Evidence Centre (PEC) has submitted a Comprehensive Spending Review to give the UK government an opportunity to stimulate growth of the world-leading cultural sector of which has been severely affected as a result of the pandemic. The Centre highlights three different policy areas where recent PEC evidence suggests change is needed – innovation-led recovery, UK-wide investment, and a creative workforce. (Creative Industries Policy & Evidence Centre)

Guaranteed Income for Artists Being Tested in Two Cities

This spring, two arts organizations in San Francisco, California and St. Paul, Minnesota, kicked off pilots that provided monthly, no-strings-attached funding to local artists from marginalized communities who have struggled during the pandemic. (Next City)

Equity & Social Justice

Land Acknowledgments Meant to Honor Indigenous People Too Often Do the Opposite

In a move that surprised many non-Indigenous anthropologists to whom land acknowledgments seemed a public good, the Association of Indigenous Anthropologists requested that the American Anthropological Association officially pause land acknowledgments and the related practice of the welcoming ritual, in which Indigenous persons open conferences with prayers or blessings. (The Conversation)

Can Theater & Dance Bridge Divides Over Race, Culture?

After performances, DNAWORKS invites audience members to have conversations about how the work affected them and to share their own experiences. Banks said this part of their work provides the opportunity for healing to take place. (Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Digital Frontiers

Digital Pivot Reverses as Theatres Struggle to Monetise Online Shows

Theatres that pivoted to online productions during the pandemic are turning away from digital because there is no money in it. New research out of the University of Kent found most online producing theatres have returned to live performances only, finding little financial incentive to continue. (Arts Professional)

Long Tail / Long Game

Professor Hannah Grannemann explores Chris Anderson’s concept of The Long Tail approach of which arts organizations may utilize in digital programming strategy as a way of emerging post-COVID. (Arts Journal)

Will the Increase of Online Exhibitions Kill the Physical Gallery?

For some galleries, the growth of online viewing rooms remains exciting and brings respite from time-consuming global fairs. Yet, others are conflicted on whether digitalization is eroding the physical power of art and abandoning the community. (The Guardian

Ecological Sustainability 

Do NFTs Have an Environmentally Sustainable Future?

In response to intense spotlight on the environmental impact of NFTs, eco-friendly NFT platforms are rapidly springing up. As of October 2021, the annual carbon footprint of blockchain network Ethereum is 36.41 Mt CO2, equivalent to New Zealand’s carbon footprint, while Ethereum electrical energy usage is 76.65 TWh, equivalent to Bangladesh’s energy consumption. (Jing Culture & Commerce

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.