Navigating the crisis

The difficult choices ahead for funders supporting the arts out of the crisis

The pandemic is a big challenge for the cultural sector and things might not be the same again once we have overcome it.

Alan Brown of WolfBrown, a research and consulting firm serving the arts and culture sector, offers a sobering view of the decisions that will need to be taken to rebuild the arts sector after the Covid-19 crisis in this article. While written from a US perspective, it provides challenging food for thought relevant in other parts of the world.

For arts funders, the moral dimensions of the COVID-19 crisis are heartbreaking but unavoidable.

Alan Brown

In a sector where many are under financial strain even in the best of times, some of the tough questions he brings up are:

  • Should funders continue supporting the same organizations they give grants to year after year, or shift focus to other, more vulnerable organizations?
  • Should support of institutions be prioritized above support of self-employed arts workers?
  • Should funding be prioritized for keeping viable nonprofits going, or for salvaging the assets of those whose only option is bankruptcy?
  • Or, should capital be preserved for supporting the eventual ramp up of programming activity amongst those fortunate enough to survive?

His article kicks off a series of papers, blogs and announcements by WolfBrown that will examine the arts sector’s response to COVID-19. Read the article here, where you can also subscribe to the series.

Author: sabine.doolin

Strategy consultant working with the cultural sector

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