Arts Administration

By John Pick; Malcolm Anderton | Go to book overview

Arts organizations

2

2.1

ADMINISTRATION AND ORGANIZATIONS

The arts do not consist of the sum total of arts organizations within a country, any more than they may be fully described by an account of a 'cultural economy'. Nevertheless, arts administrators must work for, and with (even sometimes against) organizations of all kinds. It is essential therefore that the administrator has a keen sense of the way organizations may be classified, from whence they derive their power and authority, and how they work internally and with each other.

The arts administrator is most likely to work for discrete arts organizations. In general these are either created to promote a particular art form, group of artists, or artist, or to run venues, travelling shows or festivals. Such arts organizations may be private or public companies, or (characteristically) a mixture of the two: non-profit-distributing limited companies with charitable aims and status. There is now, in Britain, a greater mix of commercial and charitable organizations within the arts sector.

He or she is, next, most likely to work for an arts department of a larger organization, such as the arts and recreation department of a local government authority, or the arts department of a body with wider purposes, such as the British Council. After that, the arts administrator is most likely to work with an arts regulatory and funding body (such as an Arts Ministry) or an advocacy and research body (such as a Tourist Authority). A growing number of former and part-time arts administrators also work for private consultancies, usually small two- or three-person units which work alongside larger organizations.

Finally, the arts administrator is likely to work with (and sometimes against) a wide range of other public and private bodies which, though they are not set up for the purposes of promulgating the arts, nevertheless set the general legal, fiscal and educational parameters within which art is presented and which mould the audience for them. Almost all kinds of organization can at some time be brought into this category, but such public organizations would normally include in particular national and local government, the courts and other parts of

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