Call for papers for: Arts and the Market

Guest editors: Ian Fillis, Kim Lehman, Ruth Rentschler, Boram Lee.

Submission deadline 1st October 2021

Until recently, consumption of arts and cultural experiences were predominately carried out face to face, with many consumers attending performances and festivals several times per year. Now, however, during the Covid-19 crisis, the sector is experiencing a dramatic cultural and economic downturn, with performance spaces closed, funding in crisis and unemployment of those working in the sector rising dramatically. Certainly, prior to COVID-19 most cultural organisations used the Internet, social media and other digital platforms in some way to interact with their audiences, potential and actual. Though a significant percentage of these interactions were marketing focussed, an increasing number of organisations were using digital platforms as performance and exhibition ‘spaces’. Museums have led this process, viewing the online world as a means of expanding their audiences. However, with the impact of the pandemic these mechanisms for audience engagement became the only means of providing an arts and cultural experience. Neither the cultural producers nor the audience had a choice—online was the only means by which they could be provided or consumed. Although there is now hope for optimism in returning to some sort of normal situation in terms of physical visits to museums and galleries, theatres and other venues may still need to limit their audience numbers for some time, with social distancing and venue patron limits impacting on audience sizes. Crucially, there has been an assumption that the online and digital arts and cultural products are delivering the same experiences as the physical. Clearly, organisations are looking to maximise their revenues, maintain their audiences, and essentially survive. Similarly, cultural consumers are enthusiastically accepting any experience possible.

We welcome empirical or conceptual papers from different parts of the world, where C-19 has affected artists, arts organisations, and communities in varied ways. Attendance and participation in arts and cultural events in traditional venues and in the community has been decimated due to the impact of Covid-19 (Buchholz, Fine and Wohl 2020; Jacobs, Finneran and Quintanilla D’Acosta 2020). However, at the same time, carrying out creative arts, crafts  and music activities from home has actually grown (Cabedo-Mas, Arriaga-Sanz and Moliner-Miravet 2020; Choi, Tessler and Kao 2020) and some traditional barriers to participation have lessened (Eikhof 2020; Mak, Fluharty and Fancourt 2020).

Prior to the impact of Covid-19, the arts and cultural industry in the UK contributed £10.8billion a year to the economy, employing 363,700 people. In the USA it is estimated that it generated US$250 billion in revenue per year. There were 29.5 million people working in the industry globally. Given the impact of Covid-19 on arts and cultural organisations’ ability to offer ‘live’ product (Rentschler & Lee 2020), we invite papers which assess consumers’ reactions to the need for consumption of online and digital arts and cultural experiences (Massi, Vecco and Lin 2020; Rentschler, Araujo & Lee, forthcoming). We also invite papers which research how governments and institutions have dealt with Covid-19 impacts (Banks and O’Connor 2020). Research on how the sector can better utilise the online world to provide a valuable and valued cultural experience for consumers as a pathway to recovery are also welcome (Agostino, Arnaboldi and Lampis 2020).

When visiting a gallery, or other arts and cultural space, in addition to the roles of personal and social factors, beliefs, values and motivations shape the visitor experience (Foster, Fillis, Lehman and Wickham, M. 2020; Gokbulut Ozdemir, Fillis and Bas Collins 2020; Fillis and Lehman 2021; Rentschler, Bridson & Evans, 2014; Rentschler, Jogulu, Kershaw & Osborne, 2012). However, in a Covid-19 and post Covid-19 environment these factors may become less relevant as other experiential cues emerge. Nevertheless, both physical and virtual art experiences, and hence value, are shaped through co-production and co-creation activities (Fillis 2015).  Since art is experience and involvement based, this has a role in determining cultural value (Fillis, Lee and Fraser 2015; Lee, Fraser and Fillis 2018; Lehman, Fillis and Wickham 2021). The question here is whether the importance of value has now been accentuated in an emerging post Covid-19 environment and, if so, how arts and cultural institutions, artists, audiences and other stakeholders are aiming to tackle this challenge and opportunity?

We therefore welcome papers which investigate the issues above; for example, research which addresses the following:

  • Pathways to recovery in the short, medium and longer term
  • Similarities and differences in experiencing physical and online arts and cultural activities – consumer and producer perspectives
  • Perceived differences in recovery and satisfaction between art form and audience type
  • COVID-19 fatigue by policy-makers, audiences and arts leaders
  • Post COVID-19 lessons for arts and cultural organisations, including acquiring and maintaining resilience.
  • Cultural tourism during COVID-19
  • Monetising digital offerings during COVID-19
  • Research which interrogates how audience perceptions of value alters when considering the differences between physical and virtual experiences
  • Marketing the arts in times of crisis

This list is not exclusive and other pertinent work is also welcome.

Submission information

Please review the author guidelines at prior to submission. The link to the submission site for the journal is also available on the home page.  Submissions should be made online and before the deadline of 1 October 2021.  During submission please select this issue from the drop down menu provided. For any queries please contact one of the Guest Editors using the contact information below.


Guest editors:

Professor Ian Fillis, Liverpool John Moores University (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

Dr Kim Lehman, University of Tasmania, (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

Professor Ruth Rentschler , UniSA Business, University of South Australia, (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

Dr Boram Lee, UniSA Business, University of South Australia (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)