The Blockchain Transformation of Art and Culture is On: World’s Leading Cultural Institutions Entering Web3

Twelve of the leading cultural institutions worldwide, such as Musée d'Orsay or Belvedere Museum, took part in an innovation laboratory called “Unlocking Web3 for the Arts and Culture”.
The aim of this program is to make these institutions Web3 literate in order to enhance arts and culture in a way that’s never been done before.
Read on to find out more.

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web 3 cultural institutions

Illustration: Milica Mijajlovic

Why is Web3 for the Arts and Culture Fellowship Program important? 

These days, everyone seems to be talking about innovations in the tech industry, resulting in more people showing interest in becoming a part of it. As a consequence, arts and culture have never been more underestimated. 

Up until now, that is. 

It was only a matter of time before art professionals, cultural institutions, technologists, and strategists joined forces to come up with innovative and sustainable solutions that would help build a stronger basis for this sector. 

What’s different now is that stakeholders of all sizes are becoming a part of the change – from independent and experimental scenes to ministries, institutes, and museums

The following institutions are a part of the Arts and Culture Fellowship Program

  1. The Royal College of Art, London; 
  2. The Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI), Melbourne; 
  3. Belvedere Museum, Vienna; 
  4. Haus der Kunst München; 
  5. HEK – House of Electronic Arts (Switzerland); 
  6. The French Ministry of Culture; 
  7. The Institute for Sound and Music, Berlin; 
  8. Musée d’Orsay and Musée de l’Orangerie, Paris; 
  9. The Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art Sri Lanka; 
  10. The National Taras Shevchenko Museum, in Kyiv; 
  11. The Reel Store, Coventry; 
  12. The Wooko Makandie Foundation, Utrecht. 

Focusing on the Tezos blockchain, members from the aforementioned institutions will spend 16 weeks discussing, learning and experimenting with the potential of blockchain. 

The program will result in a project for the arts and culture built from scratch. Apart from empowering institutions to continue their missions, this program aims to enhance their ability to face the current financial crisis weighing down on the culture sector by exploring new models for fundraising, membership, and revenue distribution. 

In other words, rather than cultural institutions figuring out the complex world of Web3 by themselves, the blockchain natives will tutor and mentor them, providing them with ready-to-use ideas and revolutionary solutions to ever-lasting challenges. 

So, what will the selected institutions learn? 

According to the published program, these sections will be covered by lessons: 

  • Introduction to Web3 (history, ideology); 
  • Onboarding on Web3 (cryptocurrencies, ledger, wallet, NFTs); 
  • Security and data storage in the Web3 space; 
  • DAOs and governance in the Web3 space; 
  • Social and environmental impact in the Web3 space; 
  • Blockchain technology for cultural institutions (case studies, opportunities, and limits); 
  • The Web3 art space (marketplaces, communities, players, companies); 
  • Encouraging colleagues on their Web3 journey; 
  • Communication and marketing in the Web3 space; 
  • Community building and community engagement in the Web3 space. 

The best part is, this isn’t once in a lifetime opportunity; the next call is to be open in August 2023, so everyone interested can hop on the ride and explore the Web3 world. 

When we say “everyone”, we mean museums, foundations, galleries, art centers, festivals, fairs, and auction houses, but also non-profit cultural institutions. 

How can blockchain make cultural institutions more sustainable? 

The problem with buzzwords such as blockchain is that we’re never sure how exactly they are changing what we’ve known so far. Especially for non-tech people, it can be challenging to understand how a certain technology can improve the way a monumental building has been operating so far. 

So, let’s get practical. 

The arts and culture sector has been struggling for decades now with old and occurring problems. And you know what they say, Old keys won’t open new doors. 

And this sector needs new solutions as soon as possible. 

The good news is – blockchain has made it possible. 

Let’s see how. 

For example, you’ve seen that the French Ministry of Culture has also taken part in this program, right? 

So, how are they planning to integrate blockchain into what they’re already doing? 

Well, according to the official statement, their team will lead a special research track focused on the permanence of artistic royalties through smart contracts, which is one of the main reasons why artists were encouraged to adopt NFTs in the first place. 

Others, such as the House of Electronic Arts, are planning to establish a DAO that will help them build a blockchain-based circle of friends. 

What’s common for all of them, however, is looking for new, sustainable monetization models in the age of the ever-growing economic gap, when cultural programs and activities have become some sort of a privilege that, unfortunately, a significant part of the population can’t afford. 

Moreover, blockchain is supposed to provide greater rights to artists who usually don’t have business lessons during their formal education so they end up dependent on other stakeholders, such as publishers, distributors, and others. 

By becoming literate in the fast-growing Web3 world, they can have more control over their work and can introduce new ways of managing their careers and relationship with the audience or customers. 

A journalist by day and a podcaster by night. She's not writing to impress but to be understood.