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AEA Consulting: The Platform

AEA Consulting stands with those grieving and protesting the murder of countless Black people at the hands of the police. We are educating ourselves to better our understanding of these issues and exploring ways to participate actively in fighting for justice. 


Reopening the Cultural Sector

How the cultural sector is approaching reopening amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

How Should a Museum Reopen in a Post-COVID World? 

Adrian Ellis and András Szántó

Art museums in the United States are figuring out when and how to reopen. They will be greeted by a changed world. To resume operations successfully, they need not only to minimize the risk of infection by the COVID-19 virus to visitors, volunteers, and staff, but also—critically—to instill confidence in all three parties.

Read the full artnet News article here.

MFA, Houston

Image: artnet News / MFA Houston

Museums Must Make the Most of This Crisis

Adrian Ellis

In this article in The Art Newspaper, Adrian talks to some museum leaders on whether there are any opportunities in this period of crisis. 

Read The Art Newspaper article here

MFA, Houston

Image: The Art Newspaper

Response, Recovery, Renewal

Global Cultural Districts Network Conversations

During the span of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Global Cultural Districts Network has been hosting online conversations for its members to discuss the impacts of the virus on cultural districts. In its third series, cultural leaders discuss reopening strategies used in their respective countries and the realities that accompany these steps to recovery. 

Watch GCDN Conversations here

GCDN Zoom Sessions

Image: Global Cultural Districts Network

AEA News

Making Change

Adrian Ellis

On Monday, June 1, Director Adrian Ellis gave the lead presentation at Opera America's 50th Annual Opera Conference on the topic of Making Change discussing how crises have accelerated cultural organization's need and ability to adapt to change. (Adrian will also participate in the Making Change panel discussion today, June 3 at 2pm-3pm EDT).

Listen and read Adrian's presentation here

Tune-in to Opera America's YouTube channel to view live and previous recorded discussions. 

Opera Conference / Making Change: Lead Presentation

Image: Opera America

2019 Cultural Infrastructure Index

AEA Consulting is pleased to announce the upcoming release of the 2019 Cultural Infrastructure Index. Now in its fourth edition, the Index seeks to analyze investment in capital projects in the cultural sector, identifying those with a budget of US$10 million or more that were publicly announced or completed within a calendar year. 

Look out on The Platform and AEA's website for the Index's release in the coming weeks. 

View past Cultural Infrastructure Indexes below: 

Cultural Infrastructure Index

Industry Reports

An overview of cultural sector research the AEA team has been reading this past month.

In this report, SMU DataArts begins with the often cited statistic that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused the cultural sector $6.8 billion in losses. Drawing from their years of research, learnings from the 2008 recession, and analysis of data from cultural institutions across the country, they suggest what the future of the sector might and should be (assuming the majority of these organizations reopen in the fall of 2020): a cut of approximately 26% from annual budgets; a proliferation of new strategic plans, mission statements, and the like; and a greater focus on DEAI internally and for audiences. The reference list contains other recent analysis for further consideration.

Drawing on the priorities of their 2020-30 strategy Let’s Create, Arts Council England has released a report on diversity in the cultural sector by race, disability, gender, and sexual orientation using data from its NPOs. Black and Minority Ethnic people make up 11% of the total workforce and 15% of boards. Disabled and LGBT people are each 6% of the total workforce. Women are 47% of the total workforce, 7% of board members, 9% of chief executives, and 8% of artistic directors.

Over the span of the COVID-19 pandemic, the University of Floria Center for Arts in Medicine has worked with collaborators and partners to develop a growing suite of frameworks, resources, and opportunities for incorporating the arts into COVID-19 response and recovery efforts.

A recently published WHO Health Evidence Network synthesis report (The role of the arts in improving health and well-being in the WHO European Region) demonstrates how arts interventions can help improve health and well-being, contribute to the prevention of a variety of mental and physical illnesses and support in the treatment or management of a range of acute and chronic conditions arising across the life-course. As such, arts interventions are often low-risk, highly costeffective, integrated and holistic treatment options for complex health challenges to which there are no current solutions. 

PEC presents a guide on Nesta’s methodology of ‘dynamic mapping’, adopted by the DCMS in 2014, which uses ‘creative intensity’ -- the proportion of ‘creative’ roles per sub-sector -- to measure and identify creative industries. This updated metric finds fewer industries (which employ a majority of creative professionals) that can be classified as creative, captures creative activity at an occupational level, and permits accurate international comparison using industry (SIC) and occupational (SOC) codes. 

The National Campaign for the Arts in Ireland proposes a 13 point COVID-19 recovery plan with a clear presentation indicating the issues, solutions, beneficiaries, and responsible parties per point. Centered around putting artists back to work, the plan calls for an extra €20 million from the Arts Council this year, a full Minister for Culture in the next Cabinet, streamlined grant applications for 2021, and more. 

Survey results of 80 IETM members from 23 countries remind us yet again that COVID-19 has left organizations with little money, few staff, and a whole lot of “options to explore.” Largest number of testimonies from European institutions, plus a summary of EU response and short, mid, and long term necessities for the sector (including: setting a cross-border line for artist support, paying out all cancelled contracts, and applying flexibility to funding models). 

Stephen Follows & Screendollars interviewed 363 film professionals on the future of exhibition: with the majority concerned about insolvency, and expecting some change in the market, most are still eager to see studios continue to release films traditionally, with fewer than one in ten supporting a complete move to video on demand. 

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.