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What would a list of critical questions about the current financial crisis in the museum sector look like?

Did you ever feel you lacked an overview of how the current European financial crisis affects museums and the culture sector as a whole?

I found a list of questions asked by the museum directors, fund-raisers, marketing managers, policy-makers etc. around Europe at the moment:

  • How can cultural heritage be an economic driver?
  • How can its economic impact be measured?
  • What are the key technological innovations which have useful applications for the sector?
  • Gimmick or gold dust – how can practitioners identify what technological developments create real impact and help organisations meet their objectives?
  • How is new technology being used creatively to improve the visitor experience and engage new audiences?
  • Can innovative technology be used effectively for a modest budget or does it always require a substantial investment?
  • How do you future-proof investment in technology and avoid it becoming obsolete?
  • What are the key drivers that will influence the shape of the sector in the next 10 years?
  • What are the main challenges that need to be faced and what are the opportunities that can be harnessed?
  • How can marketing strategies help organisations survive the current economic downturn?
  • How can marketing practitioners still deliver results with dwindling budgets?
  • In particular case studies are sought which have made the most of social media and/or operate on a shoestring budget.
  • How can cultural heritage be used effectively in regeneration schemes?
  • How can the impact of heritage-led regeneration be evaluated?
  • What strategies are being used to develop new audiences for heritage sites and museums?
  • How can venues attract diverse audiences and compete with so many other demands on people’s time?
  • How can the local community be engaged and turned into frequent visitors?
  • What will encourage families and young people to visit?
  • As the sector faces devastating funding cuts, what alternative methods can organisations use to generate income?
  • What can the cultural heritage sector learn from business approaches?

(from the Culture Matters 2012 website).

The problem with the list is it’s managerial lingo throughout. I wonder what a corresponding list of critical museum questions would look like? Slavoj, where are you?

(the Slavoj Žižek image is from Verso Books)

Thomas Söderqvist

Author Thomas Söderqvist

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