Cheryl Kwok


Ways to ‘future-proof’ the cultural workforce - Careers in the CCE

Cheryl Kwok is a musician and cultural policy researcher. Hailing from Hong Kong, she read Music at the University of Cambridge and Education in Arts & Cultural Settings at King’s College London, specialising in music for mixed media and digital cultural policy respectively. She is currently a Consultant at Sound Diplomacy, a global research and strategy consultancy. Cheryl’s research interests include cultural placemaking, digital cultural policy, and improving access and participation in the arts. She is co-author of ‘Revenue distribution and transformation in the music streaming value chain’, a policy brief published by UNESCO in 2022. Other positions she currently holds include Fellow of the European Music Council, Trustee of Culture&, and Project Manager at Young People in the Arts.


Employment precarity in the CCE has frequently been associated with institutional challenges, such as a lack of funding and availability of permanent jobs. Based on its current infrastructure and how it operates, the CCE continues to be susceptible to a ‘brain drain’ of its workforce. Despite being the future of the workforce, there is a gap in understanding how these challenges have impacted young professionals’ reasons for pursuing and maintaining a career in the CCE – particularly during a career stage that is typically characterised by increased volatility. This project therefore aims to identify ways to ‘future-proof’ the cultural workforce by better understanding the motivations and deterrents that affect young people’s decisions to pursue and remain in a career in the CCE, and to translate these insights into initiatives to help ensure that the path to career longevity in the CCE is equitable, achievable, and sustainable regardless of one’s background or socioeconomic profile.