Navigating Uncertain Times: A Scenario Planning Toolkit for the Arts & Culture Sector

Navigating Uncertain Times: A Scenario Planning Toolkit for the Arts & Culture Sector

A scenario planning toolkit from the Wallace Foundation and AEA Consulting offers guidance for arts and cultural organizations with respect to thinking through how to respond to a "new normal" shaped by the COVID-19 pandemic and heightened awareness of the long history of racial injustice in America. Navigating Uncertain Times: A Scenario Planning Toolkit for the Arts & Culture Sector presents four scenarios, each based on a different outlook for the trajectory of the pandemic and how people are likely to respond to it: "cooperative living," in which the virus is largely controlled within fifteen months and the focus on social justice increases, creating a revived sense of optimism and enabling an enthusiastic return to social activities; "new means of gathering," in which a resurgent virus creates significant challenges but deeply ingrained social behaviors persist, albeit in transformed ways; "digital connections," in which the virus is contained but the threat of future outbreaks leads to continued physical distancing and a focus on digital interactions; and "social disintegration," in which a prolonged pandemic and recurring outbreaks caused by mutations in the virus lead to a decline in social activity and its underlying support systems. The online toolkit comprises an overview of scenario planning and the four scenarios and their implications; detailed scenarios outlining the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats facing the arts and cultural sector under each of the four scenarios; and planning worksheets with prompts and questions designed to guide organizations as they consider how they might be impacted under each scenario and how they would respond.

(Photo credit: GettyImages)

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