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

Some media outlets may be behind a paywall. 

Does this change everything?

A New Kind of Museum is Emerging – Here's What the Future Holds

International museum leaders are confronting manifold challenges in the wake of COVID-19 and innovating in six principal ways, writes András Szántó. (The Art Newspaper

Our Revels Now Are Ended

What the pandemic portends for the performing arts in America. (The American Scholar)

Will Coronavirus Be the Death of Cities? Not So Fast?

An urban expert on how the pandemic will give us a once-in-a-century opportunity to reinvent our cities, suburbs and rural areas. (The Wall Street Journal)

What Does Brexit Mean for UK Cultural and Creative Cities?

Cultural and creative sectors (CCS) are increasingly recognized as a driving economic force. In addition to their undisputed soft power, creative jobs are expected to prove more resilient to automation, and may therefore play an important role in the future growth cycles of advanced global economies. But how is Brexit going to affect the UK’s flourishing creative economy at an urban level? (Sage Journals)

The Year Everything Got Cancelled: How the Arts in Australia Suffered (but Survived) in 2020

“The message to artists from the federal government was: you are not important to the national agenda, and therefore we can — and will — ignore you.” (The Conversation)

Moving into 2021 – What's Trending?

Axios Capital – What’s going to change in 2021?

Chief financial correspondent Felix Salmon explores the trends of 2020 and what is going to change in the year to come – and what isn’t. (Axios)

The Economics of Creativity

This report explores the economic importance of the Creative Industries and the significant shifts that have taken place in 2020. (The Economist)

Fjord Trends 2021

Across Fjord Trends 2021, the over-arching theme is mapping out the new territory. With the events of 2020 upending so much of what we took for granted, we now need to look ahead with focus and a desire to help people solve their challenges on their own terms. 2021 will redefine the 21st century. (Accenture)

Six Traits of Forward-Looking Cultural Organizations

Tessitura has listened to arts and cultural leaders, managers and line staff, and has found that organizations had one or more of six traits in common that point to a semblance of success amidst these difficult times. (Tessitura Network

Top Ten Most Popular Articles of 2020 for Cultural Executives

IMPACTS Experience has taken stock of the articles cultural executives found most valuable this year from advice for cultural organizations confronting chaos to factors driving attendance during the pandemic. (Colleen Dilenschneider

Twelve Charts on the Global Economy from the McKinsey Global Institute

From new risks such as COVID-19’s impact on global health and economy, to long-term challenges such as climate change, 2020 was an extraordinary year. The McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) tracked the most important trends changing the global economy and the impact they have on lives and livelihoods. (McKinsey)

21 Meaningful, Trend-Driven Innovation Opportunities for 2021

TrendWatching’s team has carefully curated opportunities to help you imagine and build new products, services and campaigns that will have a purposed impact in 2021 and beyond. (TrendWatching)

Trends 2021: Three Scenes from the Future

From perspectives on the accelerated adoption of remote work, to visions of distorted realities and changing consumer behaviors, Frog Design is sharing different possible views of 2021 and beyond—and the products, services and experiences that will shape our future worlds. (Frog Design)

Cultural Infrastructure

Western Australian Cultural Infrastructure Framework 2030+

The Western Australian Cultural Infrastructure Framework 2030+ – the region’s inaugural roadmap for holistic cultural infrastructure planning and investment in the State – has been released. The Framework outlines the principles for how considered planning of cultural infrastructure can drive participation in arts, culture and creative activities for all Western Australians, showcasing the region to the world. (Dept. of Local Gov., Sport and Cultural Industries)

COVID Has Finished Off the Old High Street, But We Can Replace It With Something Better

Newcastle, notoriously, was forced to cut 100% of its arts funding in the 2010s; new cultural buildings round here used to be like the Baltic and Sage over the river in Gateshead – shiny, expensive and fully employed. Without proper funding or council backing, this is the form that many creative reuses of the gutted high streets will take. (The Guardian)

Trump Issues Executive Order Mandating ‘Beautiful Architecture for Federal Buildings’

The order states, “New Federal building designs should, like America’s beloved landmark buildings, uplift and beautify public spaces, inspire the human spirit, ennoble the United States, command respect from the general public, and, as appropriate, respect the architectural heritage of a region.” (ARTnews)

Survey Says...

Attending an In-Person Convention or Conference During COVID-19

Sodexo commissioned research with Harris Interactive to understand perceptions of attending a live event as the world deals with the COVID-19 pandemic. (Sodexo)

A New Census Wants to Hear From You: What Future Do You Want for the Art World?

The Art & Society Census, a new project launched by the Brooklyn Public Library, hopes to take stock of changes in culture. (Hyperallergic)

Urban Imaginations

Urban Imagination: Instructions for Use

BASE Milano has released the Urban Imagination Toolkit (in Italian), a toolbox for training in civic action and building common future visions, sharing tools to understand the methods and practices used when improving cities. (BASE Milano)

Equity & Social Justice

Centering the Picture: The Role of Race & Ethnicity in Cultural Engagement

This report, released in December 2020, presents Slover Linett’s analysis of response patterns by race and ethnicity in the first phase of Culture + Community in a Time of Crisis (CCTC), a national audience and community survey conducted in the early months of the Covid-19 pandemic. (Slover Linett)

Museums and Human Rights

Curating Tomorrow has released a free guide that goes through a human rights-based approach applied to museums, which is a planning method to help more people attain their basic rights through museums, and for museums to provide more effective, transparent and transformative public service. (Curating Tomorrow

Funding & Philanthropy

Details of the US Economic Relief and Omnibus Bill

The Americans for the Arts Action Fund breaks down the newly $2.3 trillion combined bill that includes $167.5 million for both the National Endowment for the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities, among other opportunities for artists, gig workers, nonprofit, governmental, and commercial arts organizations. (Arts Action Fund

£165m in Emergency Loans Given to Hard-Hit UK Arts Organisations

£165 million offered to organisations including the National Theatre, Southbank Centre, English National Opera and Royal Shakespeare Company who will be supported by major loans from the Culture Recovery Fund. (The Guardian)

Save Our Stages: Stimulus Deal’s $15 Billion Grant Could Give Indie Venues ‘A Fighting Chance’

After nine excruciating months, the vast ecosystem of workers who keep the lights on at the country’s independent concert venues are hopeful they can at last breathe a collective sigh of relief. (Forbes)

UK Government Receives Record £65m Art Gifts in Lieu of Inheritance Tax

National scheme gains significance in the pandemic as "a shift away from blockbuster touring shows" will place greater importance on public collections. (The Art Newspaper)

Digital Frontiers

Digital Connections: How Arts Organizations Can Leverage Livestreaming in 2021

Since February, China’s cultural sector has creatively leveraged livestreaming to serve engagement, branding, and revenue generation needs. In turn, some of the country’s technology giants, such as Alibaba and Kuaishou, have brought these strategies to Western museums offering a dynamic way to reach Chinese audiences at a time of heavily restricted travel. (Jing Culture & Commerce)

Everything the Pandemic Has Taught Us About Virtual Theater (So Far)

The future of streaming theater in relation to the return of live theater is complex, both as far as the impact it may have on the traditional form, as well as its place in the landscape once audiences are able to gather inside to watch a performance again. (Backstage)

The First Full Scale Virtual Museum

This five-minute film explains how Ben Uri Gallery museum and Research Center addressed its challenges by going fully digital, and how to transform and embrace a digital future. (Ben Uri Gallery

From Bob Dylan to Blondie – Why Investors Are Buying Up Hit Songs

As artists starved of touring income because of coronavirus pandemic restrictions cash in on old classics, there are plenty of takers. According to music industry sources, the feeding frenzy for publishing rights has effectively doubled the value of such catalogues in the space of five years. (Financial Times)

Tracks Music Library Is a New Kind of Local Listening Experience

Tracks Music Library, launched in the spring, offers a locally focused alternative. Formed as a collaboration between the Chapel Hill Public Library and Chapel Hill Community Arts & Culture, the streaming platform exclusively features music by local artists, who are compensated for their submissions and given full ownership of their tracks. (Indy Week)


Berlin Museum Reignites Debate Over Germany’s Colonial Past

The opening of Europe’s biggest cultural project in the heart of Berlin was meant to be a moment to celebrate the city’s cosmopolitan confidence. Instead, the Humboldt Forum museum has found itself at the centre of an increasingly toxic debate about colonialism and looted art. (Financial Times)


AEA Consulting – Research Analyst

AEA Consulting is currently seeking exceptional candidates for the position of Research Analyst to join us in our mission to harness the power of art, culture, and creativity to realize the full potential of people and places around the world. Research Analysts are critical members of our consulting team who are talented, culturally engaged, and culturally sensitive problem solvers. (AEA Consulting)

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 35 countries, helping clients around the world plan and realize vital and sustainable cultural projects.