Barcelona Cultura

Covid-19 and museums: the updated data

According to the weekly evolution of visitor numbers (only in catalan), Barcelona’s museums are on the road to recovery. In the week of 5 to 11 July, the figure rose above 27,000 visitors. This is undoubtedly still a far cry from the figure of over 64,000 visitors to those centres during the same period in 2019, but little by little, the curve is rising in a sustained way, marked here and there by peaks which correspond to open days.

Although it is true that since May, and especially since June, the number of foreign-national visitors has risen sharply (in just one month, the number of foreign visitors rose from 5,000 to 15,000), it is also true that the oscillations in the curve can mostly be explained by open days: the local public takes full advantage of them. This was especially clear during the celebration of Museum Night, on 15 May, an extraordinary open day which led to a rise in the number of visitors that week to 28,344, the highest figure of the year so far. Nearly 16,000 of those visitors were Barcelona residents (doubling the number of city residents who had visited museums the week before). A massive response which consolidated Museum Night and showed the interest it fosters in our city.

With the prospect of a fifth wave that may turn things around, it seems that the trend that started in May is being maintained for the moment: the number of foreign nationals is increasing, free admission continues to have a considerable effect on the number of visitors (especially locals) and, all in all, the financial revenue from ticket sales is increasing significantly. This is therefore good news for the city’s museums: the recovery continues.

New Covid-19 and Culture section

The website of the Cultural Data Observatory has opened a new Covid-19 data section* in order to monitor the recovery of cultural activity in the city

* Only available in the Catalan version of this website

Museums were one of the first sectors to be analysed, but data was also compiled on the activity of local centres, such as libraries and civic centres, basic facilities for culture in the various areas of the city.

The Barcelona Social Pact was presented on Friday 4 June. As a preliminary phase of this project, a report was produced, featuring a diagnosis of the state of culture in the city (you can see the report at this link). However, the Covid-19 crisis marked a turning point for this diagnosis, and consequently, the various political forces taking part proposed that the work should continue, in order to systematically analyse the evolution of the situation. It is in this context that, in order to present all of this information, you will find a specific Covid-19 section on this website, making it possible to follow the effects of this health crisis on various sectors.

In recent months, the Cultural Data Observatory has been working on two lines: to determine which cultural-activity data could be monitored continually and to monitor it; and to be able to repeat some of the analysis that was initially carried out in the diagnosis, and examine its evolution in 2021.

Museums were one of the first sectors to be analysed. It is important to highlight that, for the first time, the visitors to a large number of centres have been monitored on a weekly basis, and this information has made it possible to monitor the sector’s evolution in real time.


An analysis that goes beyond the figures

The analysis of the museum sector, compiled in the indicators, includes data concerning origin: the number of foreign nationals who visit the museums. This is not only relevant data for the analysis of visitors but also an indirect indicator of the number of tourists arriving in our city.

Another data set refers to the activity of local centres: libraries and civic centres, which are basic facilities for culture in the city’s various areas. In this case, the data are monthly, but they make it possible to see how these centres maintained their efforts to remain in contact with people at all times.

Finally, the data from the new Citizen Culture Office (OCCU) express the change that occurred in the cultural information office in the middle of La Rambla, which is mostly dedicated to tourists. With the onset of the health crisis, it turned its attention to providing support for the cultural network and city residents interested in creating culture.

Diagnosis prior to the Barcelona Cultural Pact

The municipal government and opposition promote the Barcelona Cultural Pact, which makes it possible to agree on measures to meet new future challenges

In November 2019, within the framework of the City Council’s Commission for Social Rights, Culture and Sports, all of the municipal groups agreed –on the proposition of JxCat and the support of ERC– to work together to establish the basis for the Barcelona Cultural Pact. 

The emergence of the health crisis caused by Covid19 in March 2020 led to a redefinition of the mission, in order to adjust it to the new realities and challenges in the area of cultural policies. Therefore, in the midst of the pandemic, in July 2020, the Barcelona Cultural Pact was approved, bringing together the country’s main institutions and organisations with the aim of identifying the most important cultural challenges.

This agreement defined various lines of action which would form the basis for fostering the transformation needed in Barcelona’s cultural policy, through the agreement of all the political forces present in the City Council. The result of this work was presented on Friday 4 June in the City Hall’s Saló de Cent:

As a preliminary phase of the proposed pact, a diagnosis was conducted of the state of Barcelona’s cultural sector, which you can consult in this document:

Profile of museum visitors. Survey 2020

The Covid-19 crisis had an unavoidable direct impact on the number of people visiting museums in 2020, and on the configuration of the profile of those visitors.

In spite of everything, the centres taking part in the museum survey, promoted by the Barcelona Institute of Culture since 2011, have maintained their efforts to survey their visitors, in order to find out more about their public during such a different, complex year.

Therefore, we once again present the report on the results of the museum survey, a questionnaire that the Barcelona Institute of Culture has been promoting since 2011, in order to study the profile and habits of the people visiting the city's museums.

This year, the report places special emphasis on the change in the profile of museum visitors (pre-Covid versus post lockdown), which saw the almost total disappearance of foreign nationals, and an increase in the percentage of local residents.

The 2020 report also contains a preview of the results of some questions on Covid-19 and visiting museums, which were first asked at the beginning of 2021.

The survey was presented on Friday 14 May. At these links, you can see the video and the analysis document presented during the session:

Evaluation of the Caixa d’Eines [Toolbox] and EducArts programmes

In May 2021, the Evaluation Report on the Caixa d’Eines [Toolbox] and EducArts Programmes was presented. It was initiated in the 2017-2018 academic year as part of the Barcelona Neighbourhoods Plan, with the support of the Barcelona Institute of Culture (ICUB), the Barcelona Education Consortium (CEB) and the Municipal Institute of Education (IMEB).

These two programmes were carried out as part of the government measure “Towards a Public Policy for Culture and Education” and they share the aim of introducing and reinforcing the arts in schools, considering them to be socio-educational and development tools.

The report, produced by Ivàlua, the Catalan Institute of Public Policy Evaluation, assesses their level of implementation, the effects and achievement of the initially-proposed goals, and shows the results of a survey aimed at the managing bodies of educational centres.

It also reveals the inequalities in terms of opportunities for accessing educational teaching in the City of Barcelona.

This report is an example of good practice in terms of evaluating public projects and policies: it combines qualitative and quantitative methodologies, carries out an exhaustive documentary review of the programmes and the literature on the relationship between education and the arts, and summarises the existing evidence based on twenty similar studies and experiences in other programmes evaluated.

Covid-19 and Barcelona

Barcelona City Council’s Municipal Data Office has launched a website for monitoring the scope and impact of the Covid-19 pandemic in the City of Barcelona. It shows the evolution of various indicators relating to people's health, the economy, the job market, mobility, education and culture.

This website is conceived as an analytical tool that offers a global perspective from various areas of what the city was like, what it is like now and how it will recover.

A new set of data was recently included. with the monitoring of the total number of visitors to eleven city museum centres (either municipal facilities or with strong municipal connections).

The aggregated data corresponds to the following centres: Born CCM, Montjuïc Castle, the Design Museum, Museu Etnològic i de Cultures del Món, the Frederic Marès Museum, MUHBA Plaça del Rei, Monestir de Pedralbes, the Picasso Museum, the Natural Sciences Museum, the Botanical Garden, the Music Museum).

The series was initiated in January 2019 and is updated every week, with the aim of observing the trend and pace of recovery with regard to visitors returning to museums, a process that we expect to accelerate in the coming months.

We believe that including cultural data in the monitoring of the city is good news, and that this is the first step towards incorporating more data.