(1 August, 2012) This morning saw the launch of a multi-city report, attempting to benchmark the level of cultural activity taking place in leading cities around the world. It was presented by the Mayor of London’s office and BOP Consultants, who led research on the report. Among the findings are levels of admissions to cinemas, number of national museums, participation figures at festivals, and numbers of libraries.
At the press conference for the launch, the cultural representatives of contributing cities – London, New York, Tokyo, Sydney, Shanghai among them, the main value of the report was to assist cultural leaders in making their case for funding in the arts and to understand how they may be developing industries and audiences.
While not Olympic focused, the Tokyo presentation drew heavily on its bid for the 2020 Games and many questions focused on the role of mega-events like the Games to grow cultural activity. While it was unclear that this case could be made, the collaboration engendered in the report’s development seems an indication of the kinds of outcomes arising from pursuing mega-events.