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Artwork by Alyssa Cartwright


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? 

New Study Measures the Sales Decline of the 2021-22 Season

Relative to pre-pandemic times, the 2021-22 season saw a 14 percent decline in the amount of seats sold, a 17 percent reduction in paid capacity, and an 8 percent drop in revenue per performance. The Omicron variant, which surged throughout the season in question, played a significant role in the percentage of capacity sold. (American Theatre

How 3 Seattle Arts Groups Are Moving Forward Without PPP Funds

Paycheck Protection Program loans, designed to combat layoffs, were available to businesses small and large, as well as sole proprietors and independent contractors, first in 2020, with a second round in 2021. These loans were life-sustaining for many of Seattle’s arts-and-culture organizations, which used the funds to maintain staff who could, for example, develop virtual programming. But what happens if those funds are dried up and revenue still hasn’t hit pre-pandemic levels? (Seattle Times

Ecological Sustainability

‘Museums Are Allies’: At Cop27, ICOM Speaks Out About Climate Change Protestors Attacking Art

Choosing museums as a backdrop to protests is "a testament of their symbolic power and relevance in the discussions around the climate emergency,” International Council of Museums says. (The Art Newspaper)

Can Cities Combat ‘Green Gentrification’?

According to Barcelona-based researcher Isabelle Anguelovski, cities have yet to internalize the consequences of a growing divide: In city after city, she argues, new green infrastructure has brought real estate speculation, rising housing costs and community displacement. Here’s how cities can boost both livability and equity. (Bloomberg CityLab

Equity & Social Justice 

The BTA 2022 Art Museum Trustee Survey

The Black Trustee Alliance for Art Museums examined the experiences and demographics of art museum trustees from museums in the US, Canada, and Mexico. The report investigates the characteristics, roles, and experiences of Black trustees in North American art museums. Trends should encourage trustees to consider how their boards and board experiences compare; what issues resonate; and what dynamics and nuances, spoken and unspoken, might shape the inner workings of their boards. (Black Trustee Alliance)

The State of Play: DEIB in 2022

Organizations have taken a larger interest in the practice of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging since COVID-19, the murder of George Floyd, and other pivotal events brought long-entrenched societal inequities into the spotlight. While their arc of progress is uneven, the simple fact remains: injustice occurs as prominently in workplaces as anywhere else, affording companies the opportunity – perhaps the responsibility – to model solutions that could ultimately yield a wider societal benefit. (NationSwell

A Case for the Arts

The #CultureForHealth Report

The aim of this scoping review is to synthesise existing evidence on the positive effect of arts and cultural activities on health and well-being. This means the review is not limited to a few research questions but seeks to provide a clear indication of the volume of existing literature, the key concepts, focus points and the types of studies that exist. It also identifies knowledge gaps in the existing literature. Finally, it gathers policy recommendations and identifies challenges, further expanding the scope of the report beyond the proposed policy directions and specific policy measures. (CultureForHeatlh

Digital Frontiers 

Life After Twitter: A Plan for Museums and Heritage Organisations

Organisations have invested time and talent to build an audience and attract new visitors. So, what if Twitter becomes unstable? What if a subscription cost alienates potential followers? What if leaving the platform becomes the only moral option? (Museums + Heritage)

“Immersive" Entertainment is All the Rage

People are yearning to ditch their sofas and phone screens for transcendent experiences that let them move around and mingle, untethered from a theater seat or virtual reality headset. (Axios)

Urban Imaginations

Cities Alive: Designing Cities That Work for Women

Arup’s new report Designing cities that work for women, produced in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the University of Liverpool, identifies four key areas of focus for improving women’s lives in cities and outlines a new gender-responsive approach to planning and design. (Arup

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.