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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.

Some articles may be behind a paywall. 

Does this change everything? 

Visitor Figures 2020: Top 200 Art Museums Revealed as Attendance Drops by 77% Worldwide

The Art Newspaper's annual survey shows how the pandemic had a devastating impact on museums around the world—but there were some silver linings. (The Art Newspaper)

U.S. Box Office Plummeted 86% in 2020

While many arts organizations have been experimenting with selling tickets to digital performances, the revenue is hardly enough to sustain the performing arts culture that existed before the pandemic, the new data show. (NPR)

A Year Into COVID, How Theater is Changing Maybe Forever

One year into the pandemic, the performing arts have re-emerged by transitioning to technological platforms such as film, online recordings, audio, and immersive theater. The explosion of digital productions over the last year has not only changed the way live theater is consumed but is giving artists looking to break into the industry hope that theater is still alive. (DC Metro)

Political Storm Raises Stakes for Hong Kong Museum M+ and Its Lofty Ambition to be Among World’s Best

In the wake of major changes in Hong Kong’s political landscape come fresh attacks on the M+ collection and curatorial independence, with pressure to remove artworks considered critical of China. (South China Morning Post

Collections and Deaccessioning in a Post-Pandemic World

MuseumsEtc recently released Collections and Deaccessioning in a Post-Pandemic World, a volume of three books about how museums must be different after COVID-19, both socially and financially. AEA’s Director Adrian Ellis and Consultant Harry Fisher-Jones were among a distinguished group of authors, contributing a chapter titled, The Other End of the Telescope: Deaccessioning as a Public Good. Use code DXS10 for 10% off a copy. (MuseumsEtc)


Benin Bronzes Aren’t Safer in the West Than They Would Be in Nigeria, Academics Say

At a virtual conference held by Columbia University’s Italian Academy for Advanced Studies in America on Friday, academics pushed against a number of myths surrounding the Benin Bronzes, a group of thousands of art objects looted from the Kingdom of Benin, in what is now Nigeria, in 1897 by British troops as part of a colonial conquest. (ARTnews)

Church of England Enters ‘Discussions’ for Returning Benin Bronzes

As momentum grows in Europe behind a push for repatriating the Benin Bronzes, the Church of England is considering returning two works from the cache in its holdings. The Evening Standard first reported the news. (ARTnews)

National Museum of Ireland Forges Plan to Return Looted Benin Bronzes

The National Museum of Ireland (NMI) intends to return 21 historical artefacts looted from Nigeria in the 1890s. While there is no formal plan for when the Benin bronzes will be returned, the NMI said it was committed to progressing “a restitution process” for the artefacts. (The Sunday Times

New Models

Breonna Taylor Show Points Art Museums to a Faster Track

Assembled in a mere four months, pivoting off an important national event, the Speed Museum offers a new, relevant exhibition model for aging institutions. (The New York Times)

Can Museums Really Make Digital Visits Pay?

As venues experiment with selling virtual exhibition tours, talks and workshops online, the key to success may be an emphasis on the expert, bespoke and exclusive. (The Art Newspaper)

How Tianjin Juilliard Is Building Bridges Through Culture

Despite being 7,000 miles apart, drawing from largely distinct student pools and operating in starkly different cultural contexts, the consistency of experience is essential to the promise Juilliard is making in China. (Jing Culture & Commerce)

How the Pandemic Propelled Online Education for a World-Class Art Foundation

The Barnes closed its doors on Fri., March 13, 2020, and a little over a week later, the team launched a YouTube series, sending out “daily servings of art” to its 150,000-subscriber email list. (Fortune)

Clubhouse: Is the Audio App Really worth $4bn?

Clubhouse had about 13.4 million users in late March, according to research firm App Annie, having added about a fifth of that number over the previous four weeks alone. (BBC)

Cultural Infrastructure

The National Gallery Announces Six Shortlisted Design Teams for NG200 Plans

The National Gallery (UK) has announced six shortlisted design teams in its search for a partner to work with on a suite of capital projects to mark its Bicentenary. AEA Consulting is honored to be among one of the firms selected with a team led by Selldorf Architects. (Malcolm Reading Consultants)

Parks Are Critical Infrastructure – NYC’s Next Mayor Needs to Treat Them That Way

Executive Director of New Yorkers for Parks, Adam Ganser, writes about the policy actions that New York City can take to prioritize parks as critical infrastructure and crucial parts of New York’s equitable economic recovery and environmental resilience. (AmNY)

Digital Frontiers

Virtual Museums: The Future is Here

If people cannot visit museums and may not be able to do so for a while, how can the culture sector take museums to the people? Virtual Museums may provide the answer. (Medium)

The Future of Technology in Museums

In recent years, advancements in technology have become increasingly essential to visitor experiences and museum operations around the world. From providing immersive digital engagements, curating the visitor journey, improving wayfinding, and streamlining operations, technology has diverse and growing applications in the museum ecosystem. Now, more than ever, it is imperative that museums stay up to date on the latest trends in technology. (CambridgeSeven)

Miss Art Museums? The Louvre Just Put Its Entire Art Collection Online

The French museum has released an online platform featuring all of the museum's artworks, consisting of more than 480,000 pieces. The website showcases artworks from collections in the museum's eight departments, ranging from Islamic art and Renaissance sculptures to Egyptian antiquities and paintings from artists all over the world. (CNN)

Why We Need a Digital Preservation Strategy for UK Museums

Collections Trust is calling for a sector-wide preservation strategy to improve the digital storage arrangements of hundreds of museums and futureproof the benefits of short-term projects. Kevin Gosling suggests it can be done by making better use of existing funding. (Collections Trust)

The NFT Bubble Might Be Bursting Already

NFTs have been an investing and pop culture mania for the past few weeks, leading some to wonder if the frenzy is a market bubble fueled by the wealthy and younger traders flush with stimulus money. (CNN Business

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.