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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. 


Summer Analyst (Remote, United States | Eastern Time Zone) – AEA Consulting

We’re looking for intelligent, thoughtful, and creative university students or early-career professionals to work with us this summer! Through this paid, remote position, a Summer Analyst will have the opportunity to help our clients in the arts, cultural, and creative sector, while gaining consulting experience and practical workplace skills. Applications are due March 31, 2021.(AEA Consulting)

Does this change everything? 

Can Museums Adapt to a Changing World?

Museums around the world are witnessing a rare moment of calm, with many still closed to the public as a result of the pandemic. Yet the debate surrounding their future has become more clamorous than ever. (Financial Times)

How Do We Do Culture Next? Cultural Districts in Times of COVID-19

Alserkal Avenue’s Director Vilma Jurkute reflects on how the culture sector may inhabit paradoxes produced by COVID-19 and be altered as a result of it. (Liverpool University Press)

Museums Launch COVID-19 Exhibits: Virus-Shaped Piñatas, ‘Happy Hour’ Masks

Curators are acquiring homemade face coverings, empty vaccine vials and other pandemic memorabilia to show future generations how we coped. (The Wall Street Journal)

Cultural and Creative Sectors in Post-COVID-19 Europe

Since the COVID-19 pandemic hit Europe in spring 2020, the cultural and creative sectors have been among those most negatively affected. The European Parliament has released research into the effects of the COVID-19 crisis on the cultural and creative sectors, and recommendations for moving forward. (European Parliament)

A Case for the Arts

Arts and the Economy: The Economic and Social Impact of the Arts in San Francisco

The Bay Area Council Economic Institute has released Arts and the Economy, a report that assesses the impact of the arts in San Francisco, finding that the City generates $1.7 billion in economic output per year. AEA’s Director Adrian Ellis contributed to the development of the report, speaking with lead researchers on the social impact of the arts and citing the Global Cultural Districts Network (GCDN)'s 2019 report The Social Impact of Cultural Districts. (Bay Area Council Economic Institute)

Creativity, Culture & Capital: Impact Investing in the Global Creative Economy

The United Nations International Year of Creative Economy for Sustainable Development, Upstart Co-Lab, Nesta’s Arts & Culture Finance and Fundación Compromiso have partnered to illustrate how the creative sector delivers social and environmental impact, and how impact funds are already investing in the creative industries in support of a more just and sustainable global creative economy. (Upstart Co-Lab)

Urban Imaginations

Seeing Clearly: How Lighting Can Make London a Better City

A new report by think tank Centre for London argues that London government needs to take a serious look at the way the capital is lit. The report sets out a new vision for lighting London with recommendations to improve lighting quality as a way of supporting economic recovery and meeting sustainability goals. (Centre for London)


The Art Angle Podcast: What Will Be the Fate of the Benin Bronzes?

Looted from the Kingdom of Benin in 1897 by the British in a punitive raid, the artworks are today scattered across art institutions and ethnographic museums in Europe and the United States – a stain on the Western conscience that is ensanguined with the sins of colonialism. Oxford professor and Pitt Rivers Museum curator Dan Hicks discusses the current status of the looked artworks. (Artnet News)

Forging Ahead with Historic Restitution Plans, Dutch Museums Will Launch €4.5m Project to Develop a Practical Guide on Colonial Collections

With a landmark government policy and a major new research project, the Netherlands is taking the lead in the movement to confront the colonial past in museums. On 29 January, the government of prime minister Mark Rutte became the first in Europe to approve a central mechanism for repatriating colonial loot. (The Art Newspaper)

How One Looted Artifact Tells the Story of Modern Afghanistan

Many of the country’s finest antiquities were stolen under cover of war, ending up in elite museums all over the globe. Should they be returned? (The New York Times)

Equity & Social Justice

Making the Case for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in Orchestras

A report released by the League of American Orchestras, Making the Case for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in Orchestras, offers concrete answers and practical resources that orchestras can use to advance anti-racism and equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) at all levels of their organizations. (League of American Orchestras

Funding & Philanthropy

The Surging Demand for Digital Collectibles Could Offer a Lifeline for Cash-Strapped Museums

In an effort to recover from pandemic-induced budget shortfalls, museums have leveraged social media, virtual tours, and livestreams to attract visitors and recover lost earnings. (Artnet News)

What Keeps U.S. Art Museums Running – and How Might the Pandemic Change That?

ARTnews surveyed 50 key collecting art museums across the United States that help shape the culture and market around art through their size, the significance of their collections, or their stature in the communities they serve. Now, struggling from the COVID-19 pandemic – what is their purpose, whom do they serve, and how do they pay for it? (ARTnews)

CATAPULT: COVID-19 Emergency Relief Programme for Caribbean Creatives

The Catapult Arts Grant programme providing support for Caribbean creatives during the COVID-19 pandemic was an initiative of Kingston Creative, American Friends of Jamaica, and Fresh Milk. Read about the 1,210 contemporary artists from 26 countries and the impacts of the project in the programme’s final report. (Flipsnack)

New Models

Italy Has a New Way to Combat Overtourism

Florence’s Uffizi Gallery has a plan to divert the return of mass tourism when the city reopens with Uffizi Diffusi, or “Scattered Uffizi,” where artworks will be on show throughout the surrounding area of Tuscany, creating a “scattered” museum. (CNN

Digital Frontiers

Virtual Museums: The Future is Here

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic disrupting most aspects of life, how have museums adapted to prolonged closures and the decrease of international tourism to their galleries? If people cannot visit museums for a while, how can the culture sector take the museums to the people? Virtual museums may provide the answer to that. (Medium)

What is NFT Art?

Recent developments in digital art have many confused. The Art Newspaper’s editor-at-large explains the difference between tangible and intangible, fungible and non-fungible assets – and how this relates to the world of art. (The Art Newspaper)

How Google’s Balloons Surprised Their Creator

Algorithms using artificial intelligence are discovering unexpected tricks to solve problems that astonish their developers. But it is also raising concerns about our ability to control them. (BBC)

Ecological Sustainability

Adapting Our Culture: A toolkit for Cultrual Organisations Planning for a Climate Changed Future

Since 2018, Cultural Adaptations has explored the ways in which cultural organisations can adapt to the impacts of climate change – and how they can thrive in a climate-changed world. Adapting Our Culture is an in-depth toolkit, specifically tailored to support cultural organisations to plan their adaptation to climate change. (Cultural Adaptations

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 1,000 assignments in 38 countries, helping clients around the world plan and realize vital and sustainable cultural projects.