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Abstract

Prolonged restrictions on public life and the closure of many cultural activities during the COVID19 pandemic affected urban cultural ecosystems profoundly. Cities worldwide responded to this challenge with a variety of policy measures. Yet how do the cultural policy responses to the COVID-19 pandemic compare across major cultural capitals, and what have been the experiences so far? Which cultural policy developments and frameworks helped or hindered their responses? How did the various governance arrangements affect cultural policy agendas and strategies during the crisis? In this study, we review the cultural policy responses of Berlin, London, New York, Paris and Toronto during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic through the lens of their respective governance capacities. Specifically, we seek to identify initial insights and lessons learned for more effective and resilient urban cultural policies in future.
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... However, for some, like creative and cultural workers, it has exposed issues of precarity (Comunian and England, 2020), heightened the need to rethink working practices and business models (Banks, 2020) and created an opportunity for structural intervention. While a range of research from policy and academia has presented immediate evidence of the impact of Covid-19 on culture and the city (Anheier et al., 2021), a year on from the first lock-down across many nations, we argue for the need to share and discuss current and recent work to map future directions and scenarios for creative and cultural work (Eikhof, 2020;Joffe, 2020). In this workshop (and future special issue) we would like to present research that builds on data collected in the past 12 months, considering a range of challenges and changes that might have taken place and re-thinking practices and business models. ...
Conference Paper
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... However, for some, like creative and cultural workers, it has exposed issues of precarity (Comunian and England, 2020), heightened the need to rethink working practices and business models (Banks, 2020) and created an opportunity for structural intervention. While a range of research from policy and academia has presented immediate evidence of the impact of Covid-19 on culture and the city (Anheier et al., 2021), a year on from the first lock-down across many nations, we argue for the need to share and discuss current and recent work to map future directions and scenarios for creative and cultural work (Eikhof, 2020;Joffe, 2020). In this workshop (and future special issue) we would like to present research that builds on data collected in the past 12 months, considering a range of challenges and changes that might have taken place and re-thinking practices and business models. ...
Research Proposal
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The Covid-19 pandemic has re-shaped the way we live and work. However, for some, like creative and cultural workers, it has exposed issues of precarity (Comunian and England, 2020), heightened the need to rethink working practices and business models (Banks, 2020) and created an opportunity for structural intervention. While a range of research from policy and academia has presented immediate evidence of the impact of Covid-19 on culture and the city (Anheier et al., 2021), a year on from the first lock-down across many nations, we argue for the need to share and discuss current and recent work to map future directions and scenarios for creative and cultural work (Eikhof, 2020; Joffe, 2020). In this workshop (and future special issue) we would like to present research that builds on data collected in the past 12 months, considering a range of challenges and changes that might have taken place and re-thinking practices and business models.
Article
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In this introduction, we outline the context for the international emergence of cultural policy responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. Our article first offers a general account of how arts and culture have been affected by the pandemic, before looking at some of the state interventions (bailouts’) to support the professional sector, and the present and future conditions they might be seeking to preserve or occasion. We then examine the UK as a particular case study. In rejecting a politics of “bailout” and “return”, and in synchrony with others seeking to situate culture in a re-vitalised political economy, we argue that professional arts and culture needs to move forward with a “new deal” in hand; one that can enhance culture’s potential and multipart value, as well as help the sector progressively engage with the many social, economic and environmental challenges ahead and beyond C-19.
Article
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Since the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic, the arts and culture sector has been experiencing a paradoxical situation. While the demand for cultural and creative content has intensified throughout the lockdown period––and digital access has become more critical than ever before––economic indicators predict that the cultural sector will be one of the most affected, and probably one of the slowest to recover. Beyond short-term initiatives such as surveys or data collection aiming to provide artists and intermediaries with financial and logistical supports, both academics and practitioners must engage in joined-up thinking on the future of art consumption, especially from a consumer’s perspective. This commentary paper addresses the main challenges faced by the economy of arts and culture in times of global health crisis by pinpointing the specificities of cultural goods and services. More specifically, the paper shows the extent to which traditional patterns of consumption have been affected, and what research is needed to develop sustainable solutions. We argue that consumers will be critical players in the recovery process, and four research directions are suggested accordingly: (1) data collection on consumers’ cultural practices; (2) consumers and the digital cultural experience; (3) consumers’ engagement and loyalty in the arts and culture; and (4) consumers’ well-being.
Technical Report
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The COVID-19 crisis hits hard at arts, culture, and the creative economy. This study estimates the effects of the COVID-19 crisis on the creative economy, comprised of industries such as film, advertising, and fashion as well as creative occupations like musicians, artists, performers, and designers. We estimate losses in sales of goods and services, employment, and earnings for creative industries and creative occupations at the national, state, and metropolitan levels over the period of April 1 through July 31, 2020.
Article
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In this review article I critically reflect on the ambitions set out in Arts Council England’s 10-year strategy “Let’s Create”. My reflections are informed by a comprehensive literature review as well as by my ongoing research into the impact of austerity on local authority museum services. The literature surveyed allows for an analysis both of the alignment between the strategy and broader political rhetoric and discourses of austerity and welfare state retrenchment and of the tension between the rhetoric of "Let's Create" and the realities facing local authorities and publicly funded cultural organisations. I argue that the strategy's indirect acknowledgement of the negative impact of austerity policies is obscured by gestures towards diversity, inclusion and cultural pluralism, which leaves difficult questions of how to translate the strategy's ambitions into actual action unanswered. In conclusion, "Let's Create" is found to be a stark illustration of Arts Council England's acquiescence to the politics and discourses of austerity and the marginalisation of alternative values and practices which, as the literature shows, are alive and well within museums and the cultural sector.
Article
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This article offers some initial commentary on the cultural impacts of COVID-19. It first considers how the pandemic might already have shifted the focus - or challenged our capacities - for cultural studies scholarship. However, the article is more centrally concerned with how measures designed to combat COVID-19 have begun to transform patterns of cultural consumption, production and work. The article considers the current status of cultural workers, in the midst of (yet further) crisis, and poses questions of what might culture be or become, in and beyond the current state of emergency.
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The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the cultural economy poses a significant threat to inclusion and workforce diversity. This article combines pre-COVID-19 research with emerging industry and policy evidence to identify where key impacts on inclusive practice and, consequently, workforce participation and advancement in the cultural economy are likely to occur. The article demonstrates how considering the cultural economy’s typical business models and resultant work and employment practices allows understanding that the inclusion and diversity impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic will be driven by more than workers’ differing abilities to buffer short-term income insecurity. The article highlights four areas relevant to inclusion and workforce diversity that research and policy responses to COVID-19 should attend to in revising existing and designing new responses to the COVID-19 pandemic.
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The precarious nature of creative and cultural work is widely acknowledged in academic literature. However, it has often been invisible in the eyes of policy and policymaking. As soon as the spread of Covid-19 started impacting local and national economies across the globe, many industry and policy bodies rushed into researching the impact of Covid-19 on the creative and cultural industries (CCIs) and the workers in the sector. The paper offers an insight into the key concerns of these organizations through the meta-analysis of the survey and research projects that are currently being undertaken in the context of the UK. The results highlight common concerns in relation to visible and invisible issues that need addressing in the sector. The paper concludes by questioning if Covid-19 represents a moment of crisis for the sector or has simply exposed the unsustainable price of creative and cultural work.
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This report discusses the financialization of urban governance and the built environment as an explicit state strategy, focusing on municipal finance and the use of financial products by the local state and (semi-)public sector. A number of lessons can be drawn regarding the temporality and spatiality of financializing ‘the urban’. Firstly, the financial crisis that started in 2007 has not resulted in a definancialization of the city. Secondly, despite a number of common trends, the literature also highlights the diversity of experiences. Yet it would be too easy to conclude that the financialization of the land, housing and real estate is exclusively a Global North phenomenon, as it extends into the Global South. Finally, the literature notes an emerging gentrification-touristification-financialization nexus. The role of the state in all of this is variegated and often ambiguous.