Focusing specifically on visual arts organisations, and underpinned by an understanding of gallery culture and extant visual arts business models, this report offers analysis and recommendations. “There is widespread belief, supported by research, that business models in the visual arts sector are relatively weak and particularly vulnerable to reductions in funding.”

Recommendations include:
1) Funding bodies need to become less tolerant of under performance and more willing to challenge failing organisations.
2) Development of business skills should be a priority for organisations and funders.
3) Organisations need to get much closer to their audiences with a view to attracting more resources via secondary spend, individual giving, advocacy and volunteering.
4) Businesses in the sector need to rethink their support operations to cut costs and/or secure better services.

Susan J. Royce
Arts Council England
2 February 2011
Business models in the visual arts