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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. 

Funding & Philanthropy

Curtains Up NYC: Shuttered Venue Operators Grant

Curtains Up NYC is a City of New York program that offers free application assistance for NYC businesses and nonprofits connected to live performance applying for the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program of the federal government. Applicants connected to live performance are able to receive a grant equal to 45% of the venue's 2019 gross earned revenue, up to $10 million. (NYC Gov.)

Does this change everything?

Creative Industries Treated as ‘Afterthought’ by UK Government After Brexit

MPs at the digital, culture, media and sport committee hearing told DCMS minister Caroline Dinenage that her department was treated as an “afterthought” by the government and that during Brexit negotiations the creative industries were not prioritised, despite accounting for around a quarter of the UK’s economy. (The Guardian)

The Arts Crisis is Deepening – But There Are Solutions to Stopping a Cultural Catastrophe

“It is critical for culture and commerce to work together and harness London’s creative energy to retain its position as the best city in the world in which to live, work, learn and invest”, Lord Mayor William Russell. (Evening Standard

How Hard Has It Been for Museums and Cultural Institutions to Deal With What Just Happened to Them?

MuseumsNext wanted to know how museums have handled the stress, strain and uncertainty of the last 12 months. They sent questionnaires out to 17,500 members in January. Here is what they said. (MuseumsNext

Is Seeing That Renoir Essential? In the Pandemic, Cities Differ

Arizona has allowed its museums to remain open despite a deadly outbreak, while in cities and states with far fewer cases, the doors have been closed. (The New York Times)

What Future for Festivals?

What is the future of festivals as we look ahead to continuing travel constraints, unpredictable limitations on public events, and looming economic crises? And, even with COVID-19 vaccines now forthcoming in some parts of the world, how will both the festival landscape and festival goers themselves change in the interim? (Salzburg Global Seminar)

DIY vs Beast Mode Capitalism

Denver, Colorado, nestled in the Rockies halfway between Chicago and Los Angeles, once nurtured its own energetic DIY scene. The former cow town lacked a commercial market or prestigious MFA program, but boasted unpretentious people and affordable space. (Art in America

A Case for the Arts

DCMS Outlines New Approach to Valuing Culture and Heritage

The UK’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has launched the new Culture and Heritage Capital Programme that will provide sector-specific evidence of public benefit and impact – similar to that which is already available for sectors such as crime and health – to help guide spending decisions on culture and heritage for both public sector and private investors. (Museums Association)

Strengthening Mental Health Through the Arts (Including Mine!)

Americans for the Arts partners with the National Lieutenant Governors Association (NLGA) to educate Lt. Governors, state leaders, and their staffs about the importance of the arts and culture in America. In this article, Randy Cohen writes on the importance of the arts in mental health. (Americans for the Arts)

Equity & Social Justice

Essentially Invisible: Black Labor After the Siege on Capitol Hill

Not long after an insurrectionist mob of Trump supporters wreaked havoc in the United States Capitol Building, a group of curators and conservators was dispatched to survey the damage done to the cultural patrimony on display there. Given the white supremacist underpinnings of the attack, it is striking that those tasked with cleaning up the ravages were largely people of color. (Art in America)

‘White Supremacy Has to Be Undone’: The First Indigenous Leader of a Public Art Gallery in Canada on Decolonizing Museums

Last month, in a historic and overdue move, the first Indigenous leader was appointed to head a Canadian public art institution. Artnet News spoke with Hampton about the meaning of this role, how to restructure the museum with innovative new appointments, like an Elder-in-Residence, and about how definitions of Indigeneity are being looked at and redefined in the Canadian art landscape today. (Artnet News)

Presidents Have Always Talked About ‘Equity.’ But What Kind?

The Biden administration’s emphasis on equity has drawn praise as well as criticism. But he’s hardly the first U.S. president to invoke the word. (Bloomberg CityLab)

Deaccessioning & Restitution

Deaccessioning Empire

A few daring curators are confronting the imperial histories of their museums. (The New York Review)

Facing Deficit, Met Considers Selling Art to Help Pay the Bills

Like many museums, the Met is looking to take advantage of a relaxation of the rules governing art sales to care for collections. (The New York Times)

As Museums Push to Sell Art, Competing Ideas About Deaccessioning Are Playing Out in Public

The Association of Art Museum Directors have loosened its restrictions on selling art and framed its actions as recognition that the financial disruption caused by the pandemic could be so severe that museums might need to take extraordinary measures. (ARTnews)

Netherlands Takes Lead in Europe’s Efforts to Return Artefacts to Former Colonies

The Dutch government has approved a plan to repatriate artefacts removed from former colonies, adopting recommendations by an advisory commission that called for the “recognition that an injustice was done to the local populations of former colonial territories when cultural objects were taken against their will.” (The Art Newspaper)

New Models

Cities Art Putting Artists Back to Work

The arts have been devastated by COVID-19, which has shut down everything from Broadway to local museums, and elected leaders say restoring beauty in public places will benefit artists and viewers alike. (Axios)

Five Ways Classical Music Is Pivoting

The pandemic has changed the global landscape, and the classical music world has realised it needs to change with it. A complicating factor is that no one knows how long the pandemic will last. Do arts organizations press pause and wait it out, or do they pivot to something else? (Ludwig Van Toronto)

How The Met Engaged Chinese Consumers in 2020 Through Cultural Collaborations

What does the Lunar New Year mean to you? This is a question New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art (The Met) is asking audiences as the world plods into the Year of the Ox. Programming ranges from curator-led tours of the museum’s Chinese masterpieces, to community based activities such as Chinatown Bingo, to arts and crafts sessions held live on the Met’s Teens Instagram account. (Jing Culture & Commerce)

Art Scoping Podcast: Robert J. Stein

This episode covers Robert Stein’s first month as the Milwaukee Art Museum’s Deputy Director and Chief Experience Officer, and a host of topics, from virtual museum experiences during the pandemic to new research in the field, consulting enterprises offered by museums, online experiments that bore fruit, and a prediction about post-pandemic in-person conferences. (Art Scoping)

David Stull Discusses Acquiring Opus 3

In this episode of Arts Engines, David Stull, President of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, speaks about the Conservatory’s historic acquisition of Opus 3 Artists. (Arts Journal)

Cultural Infrastructure

‘Building On Our Strengths’: National Gallery London Unveils Plans for £25m Upgrade

London’s National Gallery is embarking on a £25m-£30m project to upgrade its building, to be partly completed in early 2024 to celebrate its 200th anniversary. There will be three key elements: upgrading the lobby of the Sainsbury Wing, creating a new research centre and improving outdoor space on the edge of Trafalgar Square. (The Art Newspaper

What Does ‘Feasible’ Mean for Cultural Infrastructure Projects Today?

When considering new cultural infrastructure projects, careful planning is required to establish and improve long-term efficiency and effectiveness. Today's environment has added challenging questions that need to be asked under the general rubric of 'feasibility'. The COVID-19 pandemic, climate emergency, and other societal and technological shifts are raising new questions that are equally critical to a project's success. (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 38 countries, helping clients around the world plan and realize vital and sustainable cultural projects.