Creative Lenses was a research project that explored the issue of sustainability of European arts and cultural organizations. The goal was to empower cultural organizations with knowledge, methods, and tools to become more resilient so they can better create value for society
Some of the main tasks of Creative Lenses were to research and explore business models in the cultural sector and whether the concept of the business model was a useful tool to drive organizational change and reflection, based on which new, more resilient models of operation were developed. We prepared educational materials which are accessible to European organizations until this day. The project partners produced 25 public events, 24 publications, 10 videos, and 2 digital platforms throughout four years.
- 2015 | Focus groups
Field research of the needs, wants, expectations, and challenges of arts and cultural organizations in several European cities: Amsterdam, Athens, Brussels, Helsinki, Lecce, London, Lund, and Žilina.
- 2015 – 2016 | Creative Lenses Forums
We organized eight one-day forums in several European countries, including Košice. These events aimed to start a debate around the topic of business models in the cultural sector. More than 800 culture professionals and policymakers participated in the forums.
- 2017 | Conference SULA – Sustainability and Love for Arts
The two-day event brought together more than 200 international cultural managers, creative entrepreneurs, and policymakers.
The survey revealed how non-governmental performing arts organizations and cultural centers are innovating their business models. Read the report.
- 2017 – 2018 | Catalyst programme and action-research
Five cultural centers, two theatre companies, and an organization in transition between the two models explored and attempted to transform their business models and audience development strategies with the support of eight mentors.
The digital platform contains more than one hundred selected resources addressing the business model innovation topic in the cultural sector.
- 2018 – 2019 | Benchmarking System – Artsmetric
Artsmetic is a prototype of a digital benchmarking system developed for independent cultural centers and performing arts organizations to compare and evaluate processes, performance and adjust their business models. The platform was further developed by Trans Europe Halles and Creative Industry Košice as part of the project Cultural and Creative Spaces and Cities.
- 2018 – 2019 | Publications
As part of the project, we have published several publications, including research results, case studies, and toolkits. We also prepared a series of podcasts about eight organizations that participated in the project.
- 2019 | Final conference
At the final conference, more than 40 speakers and 210 arts and culture professionals, funders, policymakers, and researchers presented and debated how arts and cultural organizations from all several continents adapt to changing environments and producing value for their communities.
The project strengthened and professionalized the entrepreneurial capacities of European cultural actors and provided them with new skills, competencies, and know-how. This has improved their functioning, the quality of art programs and deepened their relationship with the audience.