Italian Culture and Crisis: Hitting High Notes in Challenging Times

Angela Besana, Anna Bagnasco

Abstract


Due to exogenous scarcity of public and private funding and though increased marketing and fundraising, the crisis heavily impacted on performances of the Italian cultural industry.

Otherwise, some highlighted entrepreneurs ‘hit high notes on this stage of scarcity’. Among them opera houses, museums of modern and contemporary arts, parks, villas and gardens of the Mediterranean landscape, which was continuously attracting international tourists.

The aim of the paper is the analysis of economic performances of a sample of Italian performing and visual arts in challenging times from 2007, when the international financial and real crisis began. The sample includes 1480 firms listed from database AIDA, for their gains, net assets, total revenues, own revenues (from ticketing), total costs and personnel expense from 2007 to 2016. Per year shares of revenues, assets and expenses were calculated and they were k-means clustered in order to give evidence to groups with significant and average performances, from .

The most crowded cluster with 200 firms is ‘hitting high notes’ of positive performances with gains for the whole period, net assets for at least 30% of total assets, own revenues for more than 95% of total and a modest share of personnel costs. Other four clusters show diversified performances for a sample which is declining public (and private) funding for increasing sales and revenues from ticketing.


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