How the changing economy affects the arts

How the changing economy affects the arts

By Diane Ragsdale


What challenges do arts organisations face as a result of changes in the economy? This article looks at how organisations can transform to cope with change and become resilient, while focusing on long-term social and cultural goals.

There is a vital role for those we currently call arts marketers in helping their institutions weather the current recession and embrace the opportunities inherent in the transformation that is upon us. You are uniquely situated to:

  • Help your organisations draw up a balance sheet and determine whether you have enough supporters and, if not, what needs to change;
  • Use new tools to measure your progress towards social and cultural goals and craft better arguments for the contributions of the arts to the quality of life; and
  • Help your organisation shift its relationship to consumers, understand and strengthen its role in social networks, and join the cultural conversation.

Transformation requires collaboration with all stakeholders, including your ‘competitors’. You can compete against one another for the limited funding that exists and watch as winners and losers emerge, or you can work together to understand and make transparent to policy makers, funders and other stakeholders, which are the most critical functions, links, structures, pathways, and resources within the arts system and to ensure that they continue to be supported.

Resource type: | Published: 2013