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AEA Consulting: The Platform

AEA Consulting is excited to share with you the first issue of The Platform, a new monthly communication delivering insights from our work in the cultural and creative sectors around the world, providing you with AEA’s distinctive perspective on the critical trends and issues affecting our clients.

The Platform: A Manifesto 

by Adrian Ellis

For the first issue of The Platform, Director Adrian Ellis writes of three overlapping vectors that influence AEA's world within the cultural sector – impacts from external forces; internal dynamics; and the sector's impact on adjacent areas of public life. Learn more about how AEA operates in regard to these vectors and what The Platform will cover in future issues. 

Read the article here

AEA News

Queenstown Lakes District Reveals AEA's Cultural Masterplan

AEA's Cultural Masterplan for Queenstown Lakes District was recently released at the launch of the Three Lakes Cultural Trust in Queenstown, New Zealand. Commenting on the district's first independent Cultural Masterplan, Bill Moran, Chair of the Trust stated, "this Masterplan is an asset to our region and will serve as a benchmarking tool for the progression of arts and culture in the Queenstown Lakes..." 

Learn more about the Three Lakes Cultural Trust and AEA's masterplan here

AEA Commissioned by Creative Industries Policy & Evidence Centre

The Creative Industries Policy and Evidence Centre (PEC) and Nesta have commissioned a research group led by AEA Consulting to conduct a research project exploring the multidimensional relationships between cultural institutions and local creative industries. Focusing on Culture Mile in London as the key case study of a cultural district, we will compare emerging findings to five other UK cultural clusters: Better Bankside (London), Salford Quays, Newcastle/Gateshead Quays, Bristol Harbourside, and Dundee Waterfront.

Learn more about the project in PEC's announcement

Industry Reports

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

Arts Council England’s Environmental Programme first launched in 2012, with a more aggressive initiative coming for 2018-22 to support the portfolio’s 828 organizations with funding, environmental action plans, and other issues related to climate change. This 2018/19 report features data from 747 NPOs, 77% of whom believe that the programme to their organization. Lots of interesting and occasionally depressing statistics, including that energy comprises 81% of overall emissions and touring comprising less than 1%.  ACE’s delivery partner for this programme is Julie’s Bicycle.

In January, Arts Council England released their next 10 year strategy, building on the previous decade by continuing to prioritize children’s exposure to the arts and marking a new direction through an explicit commitment to using art and culture to address major social challenges like economic inequality and climate change. ACE defined “creativity” and “culture” and dedicated its resources to expanding opportunities for every person in the UK to participate more in both. Investment principles for the next 10 years are: ambition & quality, inclusivity & relevance, dynamism, and environmental responsibility

This report provides statistics on adults’ patterns of arts participation across the United States. It features an interactive map for state-by-state data, and the report provides nationwide summaries. Within the 2017 sample year, key findings include: 54% of adults (133 million) attended at least one arts and cultural event; 54% (128 million) created any artworks; and 74% (176 million) used digital media to consume art. Most frequented events are live music (42% of adults attended), fairs or festivals (40%), live plays or musicals (24%), and art exhibits (23%).

Americans for the Arts laid out 10 social trends that will have impacts on the arts sector this year. They include rapidly changing demographics, the rise of the creative economy, “fake news,” climate change, changing modes of philanthropy, and artists asserting political power.

The Global Cultural Districts Network

Welcoming Two New Members

GCDN is delighted to present the two newest members to join the network: Grimshaw (Affiliate Member) and MiSK City

An initiative of AEA Consulting, the Global Cultural Districts Network (GCDN) is an international federation committed to improving the quality of urban life through the contribution of the arts, culture and creative industries. The membership network fosters cooperation and knowledge-sharing among those responsible for creative and cultural districts, and engages leaders in culture and in urban development through convenings, research and collaborations in order to inform global, local and sectoral agendas. 

AEA Staff and Offices

AEA Welcomes New Staff

AEA is pleased to announce the appointments of three new members in our Beacon, NY and London offices! Learn more about their experience and interests below.   

Danielle Benedetti, Research Analyst (New York)

Danielle has a background in cultural policy, visual arts and urbanism. She holds a dual B.A. in Art History and History from New York University, and an M.A. with distinction in Cultural Policy, Relations, and Diplomacy from Goldsmiths, University of London, where she wrote her thesis on the phenomenon of London’s shipping container malls in the context of gentrification, the environment and the street food movement. 

Prior to joining AEA, Danielle worked at Nathan Carter Studio in Brooklyn, where she served as a studio assistant supporting the artist with sculpture production and creative project management. 


Eric Gershman, Consultant (New York)

Eric's background includes long-range strategic planning, industry insight, global research, and organizational learning & development. He joins AEA from Disney Theatrical Group where he was Manager of Strategy & Business Development, advising the organization on its commercial live entertainment businesses worldwide. 

Prior to Disney, Eric served as Senior Advisor at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, where he provided internal consulting and facilitated special projects for the President and executive team of the world’s largest performing arts center. Earlier in his career, Eric held a number of technical production and operations positions with Blue Man Group, the Broadway tour of Annie, and Cirque du Soleil, the latter of which included three new shows in Asia, Europe, and North America. 


Christie Lam, Research Analyst (London)

Christie has a background in visual arts, art history and history. She has served most recently as a gallery assistant at Bastian Gallery in London, and prior to that held internships at Frieze and Christie's in London, and Bank J. Safra Sarasin and Christie's in Hong Kong.

Christie holds an M.A. with distinction in the History of Art from University College London, and a B.A. in History (Hons) from the University of Cambridge. She speaks English, Cantonese, Mandarin and French, and is an avid photographer and musician.

AEA Offices Move

AEA is excited to share that our New York office has moved into the Carriage Works Building in downtown Beacon, NY. To all of our clients and friends, please use this new address:

AEA Consulting 
380 Main Street, Suite 300 
Beacon, NY 12508 

AEA's London office has moved to a new unit in The Print Rooms. Please use this new address: 

AEA Consulting
The Print Rooms
Unit 311, 164-180 Union Street
London SE1 0LH

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.