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Cultural organizations continue to suffer during the pandemic

Corona Column

Cultural organizations continue to suffer during the pandemic

Uncertain times lie ahead for the world’s cultural institutions. (Joanna Nix/Via Unsplash)

For the duration of the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, AN will use this column to keep our readers up to date on how the pandemic is affecting architecture and related industries. This weekly article is meant to digest the latest major developments in the crisis and synthesize broader patterns and what they could mean for architecture in the United States. The previous edition of the column can be found here.

This week has been a reminder of the fact that while the coronavirus pandemic continues to threaten millions around the world and to dominate the headlines, the disease is not the only thing killing people. But, as this column is dedicated to covering the pandemic’s impact on architecture, the arts, and the built environment, we can turn to some of the virus-related news that’s appeared on The Architect’s Newspaper’s site this week.

Continuing on the news from last week, it’s been another rough few days for cultural institutions and events. Expo 2020 Dubai, for which Fentress Architects was designing the American pavilion, and the Tallinn Architecture Biennale, one of the many international architecture exhibitions, both postponed their programming to 2021 because of the pandemic.

The National Building Museum in Washington, D.C., permanently cut 42 positions, and that’s on top of layoffs made earlier this year while the museum struggled with funding while closed for six months as a result of reflooring its Great Hall.

Across the pond, London’s Tate Britain museum decided that the Turner Prize, an annual £40,000 award given to a British visual artist, will instead be expanded into 10 £10,000 grants for different artists in need. It’s an example of how the art and architecture worlds may be rethinking things in this moment of global disruption.

For more in-depth coverage of the pandemic’s impact on architecture, check out previous columns, including one on architecture’s role in how COVID-19 is disproportionately affecting Black, Latino, and Native American people in the U.S., and resources for people facing unemployment.

Cheers to a better week next week!