Department of Arts and Culture studies receives Erasmus Trustfonds and KIEM 2020 funding for two COVID-19 research projects

Pauwke Berkers (L) and Frank Kimenai (R)

Pauwke Berkers and Frank Kimenai received funding for two research projects focused on the consequences of COVID-19 for the music industry. The Erasmus Trustfonds funded the research project ‘Is there a future for the music industry?’, which focuses on the long-term impact of the pandemic on the music industry exploring which future transformative scenario this sector could go through and determining how a resilient music industry can improve societal well-being.

KIEM 2020 funded the research project ‘From necrology to ecology: how system thinking can strengthen the resilience of the Dutch pop music industry’. This project aims to use ecological resilience principles to develop best practices for organisations in the sector and the governance structures around them, in order to strengthen the resilience of the sector and its actors.

Erasmus Trustfonds: Is there a future for the music industry?

The cultural and creative industry is severely disadvantaged by the national Covid containment measures. The music sector was hit particularly hard: event locations were forced to close their doors, performers were out of gigs and festivals were cancelled. As a result, many performing artists have experienced a strong decline in income. The current crisis has laid bare the alarming financial position of the music industry, while simultaneously making clear that music plays a key role in solving the urgent challenges in the area of social welfare. For example, ‘balcony concerts’ are able to connect people who are physically isolated, while virtual concerts by symphonic orchestras can help people to handle stress. The aim is to research the long-term impact of the pandemic on this sector, exploring which future transformative scenario this sector could go through and determining how a resilient music industry can improve societal well-being.

KIEM2020: From necrology to ecology: how system thinking can strengthen the resilience of the Dutch pop music industry

With the outbreak of COVID-19 and the subsequent collapse of the Dutch pop music sector, it became clear what many reports had been trying to make clear for years: the situation is so precarious that the sector is on the verge of collapse. This research focuses on the underlying structures and mechanisms of the sector that are responsible for this collapse. In a healthy situation, the resilience of the sector is embedded in these structures and mechanisms. The current crisis makes it clear that this is not the case. Resilience ensures that systems can absorb stress and shocks without fundamentally changing their form or function. It is a principle that originated in ecology where it is used to investigate and improve the condition of complex systems. The aim is to use ecological resilience principles to develop best practices for organisations in the sector and the governance structures around them, in order to strengthen the resilience of the sector and its actors.