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Museums learning from successful arts business models: get involved!

Expressions of interest from South of England museums to be partnered with a successful arts organisation through a peer-to-peer approach, supported with seed funding, are now open - closing at 9am on Monday 20 June 2016.

  • Why are museums thinking about business models?
  • What do we mean by business models?
  • What are other cultural organisations doing?
  • What do museums need to do?

Our Arts Business Models project is designed to enable museums to learn from successful arts business models through a peer-to-peer approach.

By ‘business models’, we mean the model by which an arts organisation operates as a business, including its value proposition, sources of revenue, customer base, services or products, operating systems and processes, financial arrangements, relationships with suppliers and partners, workforce arrangements and organisational culture

We commissioned arts business experts Alchemy Research & Consultancy to undertake a significant piece of research to identify 6 case study arts organisations with successful business models, willing to share their learning with museums.

Through the research project, six case studies have been written and warm contacts brokered with the case study organisations: Aspex, Portsmouth; Battersea Arts Centre; Graeae Theatre Company; Lighthouse, Brighton; Multistory; Tobacco Factory Theatres.

The case study organisations have been chosen to demonstrate a diverse range of approaches to success in the arts. They show the rich variety of ways in which successful organisations work to ensure their financial future and to build positive relationships with communities and other stakeholders.

In addition, Alchemy has written an important report providing an overview of key business models found in the cultural sector: what are established and new approaches, which models are emerging as ‘successful’ in the sense of enabling organisations to continue to deliver on their missions in a sustainable way? How can museums improve their own sustainability by learning from other arts organisations’ business models? We are publishing this report to provide valuable learning to the wider museums sector.

As the next stage of the project, we are now offering the opportunity for six museums to each be paired with one of the case study organisations, in order to embark on an 8-month partnership of peer learning.

To apply to take part in this exciting project, read the case studies, download and read the applicant information pack available from the project page, then complete the online Expression of Interest form.

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