Insights from AEA Consulting | View in browser

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. 

Ukrainian Conflict

How Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine Will Reshape Eastern Europe’s Cultural Scene

Amid the death and devastation caused by the war, it has strengthened cultural connections and collaborations between Ukraine and the rest of the world. (The Art Newspaper)

Russian Forces Have Destroyed Nearly 200 Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Sites, President Zelensky Says

Zelensky said that Russian forces have damaged or outright destroyed nearly 200 cultural heritage locations since the start of the occupation in February—the Kuindzhi Art Museum and the Babyn Yar Holocaust memorial complex in Mariupol among them. Ukrainian officials also claimed that Russian troops have looted more than 2,000 artworks from cultural institutions in the port city. (Artnet News)

‘Not Everyone Is on Board With Us’: Experts on Protecting Cultural Heritage Amid Ukraine War and Climate Change

The war in Ukraine and the looming threat of climate change have thrust the issue of safeguarding cultural heritage to the center of conversation among arts and cultural professionals. A panel at the New York edition of TEFAF, Europe’s premier art fair, devoted the conversation to the subject under the title “First Aid to Cultural Heritage in Crisis.” (ARTnews)

Lviv Reopens Art Galleries 'To Show We Are Alive'

Now, some parts of the National Gallery’s 65,000-piece collection are being put back on exhibit in the organization’s network of galleries for Ukrainians hungry for culture in the midst of war. For the gallery’s director, Taras Voznyak, putting up the work is an act of resistance. (The New York Times)

After Fleeing to Salem, A Ukrainian Museum Director Leads a Global Effort to Preserve Her Country’s Heritage

From her parents’ dining room table near donated puzzles and toy trucks, Oleksandra Kovalchuk has led an effort to assist more than 20 cultural organizations, most of them in and around Odesa. At her own museum, now fortified with razor wire, that has meant helping secure money for staff who remain in country. For other institutions, it has meant funding and logistical support, helping procure everything from crates and bubble wrap, to hazmat suits and gas masks. (MSN)

Museum of Civilian Voices

The Museum of Civilian Voices is the world’s largest archive of stories told by civilians who suffered from hostilities from Russia’s War against Ukraine. The Museum is actively creating a reliable source of information about the life of civilians amid the war told in the first person that provides better understanding in the name of a better future. (Museum of Civilian Voices

Urban Imaginations

Cultural Anchors

AEA Senior Consultant Natalia Vartapetova and Research Analyst Christie Lam write in ArtsProfessional of their recent work with the Creative Industries Policy & Evidence Centre led by Nesta about how UK cultural institutions can ‘anchor’ and facilitate growth in creative districts. (ArtsProfessional)

The AfterCovid.City Global Charter

Placemaking Europe and Placemaking X have invited the world's leading urbanists to collaborate on the AfterCovid.City Global Charter. This document articulates the direction and clear steps our cities must take to shape a prosperous future after the Covid-19 pandemic and leverage the power of public space for recovery. It is aimed at urban leaders, global decision-makers and organisations working to improve our environment - socially, environmentally, economically and physically. (AfterCovid.City


Covid-19 and the Global Cultural and Creative Sector

Anthony Sargent writes about his report that offers a global overview of research into the impacts and responses to the Covid-19 crisis. (ArtsProfessional

'We're Driving Straight Up the Cliff': Theater is Back, But Recover Proves Perilous 

A recent study conducted by a group of arts organizations, L.A.’s Performing Arts and Reopening Survey, found three troubling trends: Both operating capacity and audience attendance are down to almost 50% of pre-pandemic levels, and ticket revenue is about one-third of what it was before COVID-19 struck. (Yahoo! News)

Cultural Infrastructure 

The Flanders Phenomenon: How Belgian Buildings Went From Joke to Genius

Once derided as ‘the ugliest country in the world’, Belgium now has some of the greatest public architecture on Earth, from sculptural water silos to bombastic port HQs. What happened? (The Guardian

A Case for the Arts

Museum Leadership: Taking the Pulse 2021

This global study of museum leadership, undertaken by INTERCOM, brings attention to global museum leadership. The project examines and highlights two main processes and one significant principle: (i) leadership and change, with a specific interest in leading in times of unprecedented crisis based on the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic; and (ii) strategic leadership. Its principle is diversity, as it covers multiple territories, multiple governance models, and a wide range of priorities. (International Council of Museums)

Better Data on the Cultural Economy

The UK’s Department for Digital Culture, Media and Sport has released this report that outlines ways to strengthen cultural sector data to help ascertain its value and contribution to UK economy and society, enabling effective policy development. (DCMS)

A New Deal for Artists in the 21st Century

Rachel Chanoff, founding director of Artists At Work, speaks to the Mellon Foundation about forging a new model for artist-driven community collaborations and why we need artists as problem solvers. (Mellon Foundation)

Cultural Placemaking and Grassroots Social Enterprise

Head of Arts & Culture Finance led by Nesta Seva Phillips makes the case for the role of culture and cultural institutions in driving the social and economic development of a place and highlights the support grassroots cultural entrepreneurs need in order to ensure this kind of development is community focused and inclusive. (Arts & Culture Finance


U.S. Museums Are Trying to Return Hundreds of Looted Benin Treasures 

“If we can emerge from this having done the right thing, with collaborations that are mutually beneficial, it is a win for everybody,” said Christopher Woods, Director of the Penn Museum. (MSN)

Nigeria’s Looty Seeks to Reclaim African Art in Digital Form

The vision for Looty is two-fold. First is repatriation, which reclaims the stolen artwork and links them with local museums in Africa, arts organisations, and Africans in general whom he describes as "the original owners of these pieces". Second is reparation, aimed at helping artists across Africa, whom he believes also had opportunities for inspiration stolen from them by the British looters. (BBC

New Models

Designing A Modern Performing Arts Organization

For a long time, arts organizations large and small alike have relied on an organizational structure built around one goal: producing great art. However, with the dual pandemics of Covid-19 and racial and social injustice, coupled with changes in the nonprofit landscape like the need for digital transformation and more innovative business models, the old org chart isn’t effectively serving our work anymore. (Medium)

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.