The Corona Rollercoaster Publication

Culturapedia and Erasmus University Rotterdam chronicle the experience of entrepreneurs, policymakers and creators working in the cultural sector during the pandemic in a new book ‘The Corona Rollercoaster’. This free e-book documents the response of the cultural sector to the pandemic in real-time, creating an invaluable resource to inspire and inform cultural organisations.



In March 2020, the world climbed aboard the COVID-19 rollercoaster, not knowing how long the ride would last. A group of cultural economists from Erasmus University Rotterdam foresaw ups and downs, winners and losers and a lot of creative problem-solving. They saw an opportunity to collect and share stories that chronicle the experiences of professionals working in Arts and Culture. In the years to come, there will be plenty written, in hindsight, on how the pandemic changed the way that we do things or accelerated changes that were already underway. The chronicles offer an immediate record of entrepreneurial responses, issues, challenges and ideas as they were happening. They have been a modest remedy to cope with the uncertainty and early feelings of loneliness and discomfort. The pool of authors came from Arts and Culture Studies students, alumni and staff members from the Erasmus University School of History, Culture and Communication (ESHCC). Its international courses mean that the call out received responses from across the world, offering an insight into different institutional and government responses and personal challenges.

The chronicles collected in the e-book reveal the range of national response and impact and the differences in how the arts and cultural sectors responded, thrived, and tried their best to survive. Who was left stranded? Who adapted? Why and how? What have been the temporary tactics to alleviate the consequences of the restrictions, and which new ways of organising production, distribution and participation will be there to stay? How will we know it is over? Throughout five chapters, the book addresses these questions and topics, including Audiences and distribution, Event management, Organizations, Artists and entrepreneurs, Cultural policy. 


The free online publication contains a wide range of responses, including interviews with artists and creative entrepreneurs; oversight articles observing a specific sector or government policy; notes from the field that demonstrate the act of creative problem-solving in real-time; plus opinion pieces. It is not a peer-reviewed journal. It is a series of edited articles from diverse players across a hard-hit sector. Collectively they reflect the ups, downs and sheer momentum that cultural organisations all experienced on the Corona Rollercoaster. 

As things gradually start to open up once more, it is an excellent time to publish this collection of bright, creative and enterprising ideas and experiences as an e-book. This publication will also inform historians of the crisis and identifies how the creative sector responds to turbulent times.

Click to download the book