Museum innovation. Culture in Crisis. Sixth edition update.

This month I want to share two articles from the United Kingdom that I think are of interest. The first focuses on technology trends in museums and heritage sites and the other is a report about the impact of Covid on the UK cultural sector. I also want to give you a quick progress report on the sixth edition of Management and the Arts.

Technical Innovation

The folks at the Museums + Heritage Advisor recently offered an overview of eight trends they see being employed in the museum world. The projection mapping approach is popular and might be coming to a museum near you soon if it hasn’t already. VanGogh is one among many of the immersive exhibitions on tour around the world. Some of the other trends mentioned in the article worth exploring include the binaural audio used at the MET museum in New York, the use of apps as “all-knowing tour guides,” and deployment of visitor flow technology at the Museo dell’ Opera del Duomo in Siena, Italy.  

Culture in Crisis

Ben Walmsley and his colleagues at the Centre for Cultural Value at the University of Leeds recently published a comprehensive research study of the impact of Covid-19 on the cultural industries in the UK. What has happened to cultural organizations, the cultural workforce, and audiences in the UK also can apply to North America during this same time. The report looks at the impact of Covid between March 2020 and November 2021. I have provided links to an executive summary and the full report below. One of the key findings included was the fact that “digital distribution is not the great equalizer or diversifier that much of the sector was hoping or even claiming it to be.”

Sixth Edition Update

The revised and the updated sixth edition is moving into the home stretch. The final copy editing is complete and the typesetter is hard at work moving the manuscript to the print and e-book versions. The design for the cover is also underway and I hope to be able to share that with you next month. The book and the new companion website should be accessible by May 2022. Stay tuned for an update next month.


8 tech innovations becoming standard in museums and heritage sites

January 22, 2022

Source: Museums + Heritage Advisor

For better or worse, the museum and heritage sectors are in somewhat of a technological arms race, all the way from the front desk to the headline exhibition.

“With the introduction of new innovations comes a debate over how best to move the technology from novelty to a valuable story-telling device. Here, Advisor sets out some of those technologies, as they move from proof of concept to working examples.”

Trends noted include:

  • Projection mapping
  • Binaural Audio
  • Visitor flow technology
  • And more

Link to 8 tech innovations:

The software tool noted in the article in connection with virtual museums might also be of interest to you: Curatours opens debut ‘Museum of Plastic’


Culture in Crisis

Impacts of Covid-19 on the UK cultural sector and where we go from here

February 2, 2022

This report summarizes the findings of one of the world’s largest investigations into the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic on the cultural industries.

“Our research was conducted over 15 months, from September 2020 to November 2021. It involved an interdisciplinary project team of 35 people, drawn from 10 universities and independent research organisations, and incorporated the following methods and strands: quantitative analysis of the Office for National Statistics’ Labour Force Survey; five waves of a UK-wide population survey regarding attitudes to cultural engagement; case study and organisational analysis based on over 230 interviews with sector professionals from English theatre, Scottish festivals, Welsh screen and media industries, northern English museums, galleries and visual artists, as well as emerging cultural leaders in Northern Ireland and recent creative graduates; interviews and placements with funders and policymakers; social media analysis; and an ecosystem analysis of Greater Manchester.”

Source: Walmsley, B. et al. (2022). Culture in Crisis: Impacts of Covid-19 on the UK cultural sector and where we go from here. Centre for Cultural Value, University of Leeds.

Link to the PDF of the Executive Summary (4 pages):

Link to the PDF of the full report (44 pages):