Publications

Creative Lenses Research Findings: Ideas for Policy

The following paper proposes for key lessons learnt during a four-year project Creative Lenses that can be useful to policymakers to be able to support the activities of arts and cultural organisations.

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Creative Lenses Research Findings: Executive Summary

This is a brief summary of the key findings of a four-year project Creative Lenses. It comprises an overview of main perspectives and ideas on applying the concept of ‘business model’ to arts and cultural organisations. The following paper underlines the importance of organisations to shift from applying generic business models to designing their own models that embody their values, objectives and needs.

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Creative Lenses Research Findings

This research report is written as part of a four-year collaboration project Creative Lenses. It highlights research findings on the use of business model concept in arts and cultural organisations. It also sheds light on the dynamics of business model change in the sector and the role of institutional logic in these processes. The report ends with the key conclusions of the project and presents a series of suggestions for policy-makers based on the research.

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Insights from Management Literature to Understand Business Models in Arts and Cultural Organisations

There are concepts and perspectives in business research that put emphasis on a holistic approach to business modeling where organisations are understood as part of wider value-creating systems. These perspectives involve a shift from financial value to multiple accounts of value and value-creation. The following paper combines the perspectives applicable to the activities and behaviors of performing arts organisations and multi-disciplinary cultural venues.

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’NEW BUSINESS MODELS’ FOR CULTURAL ORGANISATIONS: A CRITICAL LITERATURE REVIEW

The following literature review aims to provide a broad overview of existing approaches towards the relationship between the principles and practices of ‘business’ and arts and cultural organisations. It doesn’t focus on academic perspectives but rather looks into how business logics can be applied to the arts and if they can be a focus of organisational change.

 

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Modelling Shared Value and Mediating Values: Describing Business Models in Performing Arts Organisations and Cultural Venues

This working paper proposes a definition and typology of business models in arts and cultural organisations. It is written as part of the research within a European-funded collaboration project, Creative Lenses. The paper draws on insights from literature discussing business models and proposes a working definition of business models relevant to the two focus areas of the Creative Lenses project: performing arts organisations and independent multi-disciplinary cultural venues. It also offers a way to classify the business models of diverse arts and cultural organisations.

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Business model profiling of cultural centres and performing arts organisations

This clearly written and illustrated report gives a reader an overview and analysis of the current profiles of arts and cultural centres and performing arts organisations. It looks into their models, structures, activities, management, finances and practices, highlighting major similarities and differences between them. The paper is based on the combination of desktop research, interviews with the Creative Lenses project partners, a survey of the members of Trans Europe Halles network, a 2016 questionnaire designed by TEH and IETM networks and the author’s own experience and knowledge of the sector.

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Catalyst Programme Case Study: Patricia Pardo Company

Patricia Pardo Company is a small performing arts company from Spain. It has a strong political agenda and beliefs. Yet, the company has failed over the years to secure a steady income. Instead, it almost entirely depends on public funding. This limits the company’s artistic ambition and interferes with their inner work. Willing to tackle these challenges, they participated in the Creative Lenses’ Catalyst Programme. The report follows Patricia Pardo’s journey to a more sustainable business model.

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Conceptual Toolkit – Models to Manifestos

This book is an outcome of four-year Creative Lenses project and offers insights into the conversations, debates and views that emerged from the project. Started as a quest for ‘business models’ to ‘rescue’ struggling arts and cultural organisations, the project later turned into a wider examination of the sector and its role in the society. The book comprises a wide spectrum of views from experienced and informed commentators, case studies and interviews from every corner of Europe.

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Catalyst Programme Case Study: Projecte Ingenu

Projecte Ingenu is an independent theatre company from Catalonia, Spain. The company’s vision resides in the idea of “slow theatre”. It aims to provide space for experiment and risk-taking. Established by a group of friends, the organisation lacks structure or a clearly defined business model. The following paper looks into how the company revisited its structure within the Catalyst Programme. It explains what steps it took to establish future-oriented thinking, better define its audiences and improve internal communication.

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Catalyst Programme Case Study: Kaapeli

Kaapeli is a company that runs two cultural centres based in former factory buildings in Helsinki. The organisation gets no public subsidies for its activities. It survives on the income from renting space for artists, arts and cultural organisations. Yet, the team decided to move beyond renting out space and hosting events. They wanted to strengthen the relationship with their tenants and visitors. This case reveals how even small changes can evoke new thinking of the organisation’s future.

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Catalyst Programme Case Study: Manifatture Knos

The following report studies Manifatture Knos, an independent cultural centre from Southern Italy. The organisation houses several small local businesses and co-programming events. It has a distinct internal culture based on autonomy and individual commitments. Yet, the organisation’s business model is challenged by the emerging political landscape. This case study looks into what changes the organisation implemented to survive in the current circumstances.

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Catalyst Programme Case Study: ODC Ensemble

ODC Ensemble is an independent performing arts organisation from Athens. The organisation has a strong sense of artistic integrity prioritising content over profit. The ongoing financial crisis in Greece and lack of public funding forced the company to find new ways to generate steady income. With the support of Catalyst Programme, ODC Ensemble launched on a journey to become more international and secure the EU funding.

 

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Catalyst Programme Case Study: P60

P60 is a well-established music venue in Amstelveen, a suburb of Amsterdam. They organize concerts, club nights and other activities. The important aspect of their work is to engage local youth and to create events accessible to them. Yet, recent cuts in funding forced the organisation to reconsider its priorities. P60 joined the Catalyst Programme to find a way to secure its financial stability without betraying its core values.

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Catalyst Programme Case Study: Truc Sphérique

Truc Sphérique is a non-governmental cultural organisation from Žilina, Slovakia. It has long relied on value-driven economy prioritising autonomy of its staff over a structure. Today the organisation is running three venues in the city. The expansion has put a strain on the way the team worked in the past. Within Catalyst Programme, Truc Sphérique tried to rethink its business model to adapt to the new needs and to secure its future

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Catalyst Programme Case Study: Village Underground

Village Underground is an independent cultural venue based in East London. Despite its long-running history of success, the centre has been recently facing new challenges. The increased rent, rapid expansion of the organisation and the shift in its audiences forced them to revisit their current business model. This case study offers a deep insight into the structural changes that VU implemented to become more resilient. The reader is able to follow the journey of the centre to improve its experimental and off-beat organisational structure, research its audiences and empower its team to better adapt to new circumstances.

 

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Online Survey Report on Business Model Innovation

The following report summarises the major findings of the online survey on business model innovation in cultural centres and performing arts organisations. The survey was conducted in 2017 by BOP Consulting. The report gives an excellent overview of the sector and explores links between innovation practice and change in business models.

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Case Study: Niewe Helden – New Heroes

Amsterdam-based company New Heroes develops and produces projects, that might include performances, podcasts, documentaries, exhibitions, etc. The organization has adopted a networked business model, which means that no-one is employed by the company. Everyone involved, including the directors, have freelance contracts. This case study explains how New Heroes developed a network of over 200 creators who have all adopted an entrepreneurial mindset, in order to find projects, secure funding and work in line with their vision and philosophy.

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Case Study: Teple Misto

Teple Misto is a Ukrainian cultural centre whose aim is to provide a meeting point for different stakeholders in the city. Despite the lack of funding and support from the local administration, Teple Misto has demonstrated a successful track record in the delivery of high impact projects. The platform acts as a research and development engine for the city, concentrating on innovation projects. They are primarily funded by local businesses who share their values and vision for the future of the city. The report offers insights into Teple Misto’s business model and its work.

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Case Study: Access All Areas

Access All Areas is a London-based centre that makes urban, disruptive performance by learning disabled and autistic artists. In the following paper, the centre’s unique business model is being analysed and documented. In 2013, the centre’s future was jeopardised as it lost its long-term funding. Since then Access All Areas has developed a diverse revenue model that simultaneously addresses unmet demands and puts an extra emphasis on their strengths and unique expertise.

 

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Case Study: AMBASADA

The following report brings to light the story of AMBASADA, a cultural and resource centre from Romania. AMBASADA serves as a meeting point for NGOs, freelancers, artists, musicians, social and creative entrepreneurs. It originated from a dedicated group of volunteers who were eager to bring positive civic action and social change to the local community. In order to achieve their goals, the centre went on a mission to find a permanent space and gain recognition and support from the community and the city. Today they have managed to become a point of reference on the local and national level, purchase a space in the old hat factory and develop a social enterprise model that secures their financial sustainability.

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Case Study: PPCM

PPCM is a creative initiative from Bagneux, France, that fuses together urban and circus arts with social action. The paper offers a closer look into the development of the centre and the changes it executed in order to become more sustainable and less dependant on external factors. It accurately reflects PPCM’s efforts to retain strong artistic direction and to expand its social impact within the community.

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Case Study: Aalborg Karneval

The report documents the journey of Aalborg Karneval, Northern Europe’s biggest public carnival, which has recently undergone radical transformations in order to overcome challenges it was facing. Despite obvious popularity among the public, the carnival lacked financial sustainability. With the help of external consultants, the organisation managed to reconsider the way they addressed their audience, communicated their values and made decisions, which allowed them to secure revenues and increase public’s loyalty.

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Case Study: L’asilo

The paper follows the story of the Italian group of artists and researchers called L’Asilo who decided to challenge traditional views on culture believing that the language of business cannot be applied to it. They worked hard to persuade the local authorities that the space they occupied does not belong to them, but is rather the property of Commons and benefits primarily the city citizens. With time, they have achieved recognition as a Commons from the local administration allowing them to continue existing on their own terms, creating, experimenting and engaging everyone interested.

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Case Study: Nadacia Cvernovka

The paper offers a closer look at Bratislava-based cultural centre, Nadacia Cvernovka, and the challenges it faced in the past. Being forced to find a new home in 2015, the centre decided to renovate an old industrial school of chemistry, which required a lot of investment. The paper gives insights into the work of the centre, its business model and the strategy employed by its team to secure necessary funding, open a new venue and gain support from the local government. Nowadays, the centre is a point of reference locally and nationally whose way of working inspires many in the sector.

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Risky experiments, mixed returns: recent research on business model innovation in UK performing arts organisations

The report brings together and summarises recent research findings published in the UK relating to the topic of innovative business models in arts organisations, in particular performing arts organisations and venues. This report captures some of the main insights from a range of research reports in the non-academic literature making it more accessible to arts practitioners and cultural producers and managers in Europe.

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Creative Lenses Focus Group Report – Hearing the Voices of Arts and Cultural Organisations

Many arts and cultural organisations (ACOs) around Europe are trying to find new ways to survive and grow up in times of changed and reduced financing sources for culture. Creative Europe project aimed to strengthen and develop business capacity of ACOs to give them the possibility to deliver innovative and exciting arts. To explore the needs and challenges of ACOs, the project organised seven Focus Groups and one Focus Group meeting to facilitate fruitful discussions and gather new perspectives on the subject. The following report summarizes the discussions and ideas brought up in the FGs. It gives fresh insights into the practical challenges, expectations, wants and needs that ACOs feel and face in their daily life.

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