Arts Administration

By John Pick; Malcolm Anderton | Go to book overview

9

Arts administration: conclusions

Until the 1960s it was still not unusual to find arts enterprises which were administrated, yet had no designated administrator. Many weekly reps would keep their financial records 'in a biscuit tin', and, at best, the administration would be done by an assistant stage manager, or a bit-part actor for one day a week. In numerous 'collectives' all administrative decisions were taken by general vote. Pop groups, companies with touring shows, and radical arts groups formed and re-formed casually, often without any clear business agreement; their names, 'The Wildcats', 'John Bull Puncture Repair Kit', 'RAT theatre', 'Foot's Barn', providing a litany to a vanished age.

Increased complexity of licensing, taxation and company law, combined with a less casual and more bureaucratic funding system, led to each state-supported arts organization having to appoint, in the seventies, a named administrator, who carried responsibility for the handling of government funds. The Arts Council, through its long-serving finance director, Anthony Field, took a leading part in the training of such administrators. At the same time, local government developed its own separate but equally rigorous training schemes through the NALGO Correspondence Institute, with examinations for arts and leisure officers administered by the then Institute of Municipal Entertainment. Commercial enterprises, then, as now, the largest sector of 'the arts industry' generally trained their managers 'in-house'.

Thus there was from the start difficulty with the term 'arts administrator'. Though it was used (alongside 'producer', 'manager', 'leader', 'warden', 'promoter' and 'director') within the state-supported arts sector, it was hardly ever used in local government (where it meant a particular kind of secretary) or in the commercial sector. Some people nevertheless were to use the term as generally as we have used it throughout this book (referring to the officer, manager, leader or organizer of any kind of arts project) but others found the term 'arts administrator' a nuisance. They saw administration as a more limited

-116-

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Arts Administration
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgements ix
  • Introduction 1
  • 1 - The Arts 16
  • 2 - Arts Organizations 27
  • 3 - Development of Arts Administration Systems 39
  • References 51
  • 4 - The Context 52
  • References 63
  • 5 - Government Intervention: Supports and Constraints 64
  • References 77
  • 6 - Arts Programming 78
  • 7 - Arts Marketing 92
  • References 106
  • 8 - Development of Arts Audiences 107
  • 9 - Arts Administration: Conclusions 116
  • 10 - Case Studies 131
  • Appendix A 155
  • Appendix B 168
  • Appendix C 170
  • Index 173
  • Leisure and Recreation Management 180
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