How can the cultural sector survive the financial crisis?

LabforCulture  January 2009

Helmut K. Anheier (Ph.D. Yale University, 1986) is Professor of Sociology at Heidelberg University and the academic Director of the Heidelberg Centre for Social Investment. He is also Professor and Director of the Center for Civil Society and the Center for Globalization and Policy Research at UCLA’s School of Public Affairs. Anheier’s work covers the civil society, the nonprofit sector, philanthropy, organisational studies, policy analysis and comparative methodology. In 2008, he published Cultures and Globalization: The Cultural Economy.

It is clear to everyone who follows daily reports about the cancellation of cultural events and the closure of opera houses and theatres, or learns about economic troubles at one cultural institution or another, that the global financial crisis is already having a significant impact on philanthropic giving and non-profit organisations. [1]
It is also clear that the crisis’ impact is going to get deeper and wider for some time to come. It is less clear how long the fallout will last; and it is especially unclear what the crisis ultimately means for policy-makers, leaders and managers in the cultural sector. This article examines how the arts and culture sector is responding to growing uncertainty in the global economy – and how the sector can weather the gathering storm.

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