Nonprofit Enterprise in the Arts: Studies in Mission and Constraint

Nonprofit Enterprise in the Arts: Studies in Mission and Constraint

Nonprofit Enterprise in the Arts: Studies in Mission and Constraint

Nonprofit Enterprise in the Arts: Studies in Mission and Constraint

Synopsis

Taking the dichotomy of nonprofit "high culture" and for-profit "popular culture" into consideration, this volume assesses the relationship between social purpose in the arts and industrial organization. DiMaggio brings together some of the best works in several disciplines that focus on the significance of the nonprofit form for our cultural industries, the ways in which nonprofit arts organizations are financed, and the constraints that patterns of funding place on the missions that artists and trustees may wish to pursue. Showing how the production and distribution of art are organized in the United States, the book delineates the differing roles of nonprofit organizations, proprietary firms, and government agencies. In doing so, it brings to the surface some of the special tensions that beset arts management and policy, the way the arts are changing or are likely to change, and the policy alternatives "high culture" faces.

Excerpt

The primary purpose of this volume is to initiate a process of inquiry into the production and distribution of art in the United States. This effort requires that we raise questions about something that most Americans take for granted: the performance or display of "high culture" (painting, sculpture, symphonic and chamber music, serious theatre, opera, and the dance) under the auspices of nonprofit firms, as opposed to proprietary firms (which dominate other kinds of cultural production in the United States) or government agencies (which sponsor serious artistic activities in much of the rest of the world).

Given the crucial role that nonprofit organizations play in the artistic life of the United States, it is essential that we begin to to understand more thoroughly the implications of their predominance. The articles in this book examine the ways in which it may matter that certain artistic enterprises are organized as nonprofit firms rather than as for-profits or public agencies. They also cast light on some of the special tensions that beset arts management and policy, the ways cultural institutions are changing, or are likely to change, and the policy alternatives that we all face.

A second purpose of this book is the same as that of the series of which it is a part: to make more widely available the products of research sponsored over the past decade by Yale University's Program on Non-Profit Organizations. Eleven of this volume's 15 contributions represent such products, and the research reported on in 2 others was presented in preliminary form at the Program's seminars. Almost half of the papers are published here for the first time; the others have appeared in divers specialinterest publications, for the most part of narrow circulation. Few of the papers are likely to be familiar to any but the most dedicated specialists. Because they are all of substantial interest both to students of the arts and to practitioners concerned with the welfare of contemporary cultural institutions, their appearance together provides a new resource for scholars, managers, and policy makers alike.

AKNOWLEDGMENTS

I am indebted to the Lilly Endowment, Inc. for a grant to the Program on Non-Profit Organizations in support of the production of this volume. The . . .

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