Artist Management: Agility in the Creative and Cultural Industries

By Watt, Andrew | MEIEA Journal, January 1, 2018 | Go to article overview

Artist Management: Agility in the Creative and Cultural Industries


Watt, Andrew, MEIEA Journal


Guy Morrow. Artist Management: Agility in the Creative and Cultural Industries. New York and London: Routledge, 2018. routledge.com

Guy Morrow draws on a well-credentialed academic career as well as hands-on experience as an artist manager in contemporary music to write this concise examination of the role of the artist manager in the modern creative industries. While Morrow would have experienced a number of relevant scenarios while co-managing Australian band Boy & Bear, he does not offer any anecdotal material from that experience, rather, avoiding "participant observation" as a method and in so doing "maintained the independence of my role as an academic researcher."

The book draws on eighteen interviews done in Australia, London, Toronto, and New York in 2009 and 2010 and those interviews are attributed to artist managers bearing fictitious first names only. Such is the difficulty of writing and publishing a book in a rapidly evolving industry- there is a risk that some of the very frank views of the interview subjects may well have changed through the passage of time and in the changed context of the role of the artist manager. The identity of the speakers and an understanding of their backgrounds would certainly have added further depth to their insightful comments.

With those small reservations this book is a very useful investigation. Morrow focuses on the role of Agile Project Management (APM) and its very clear applicability to artist management. It provides a framework for the truism often stated by artist managers that they "make it up as we go" and indeed Morrow suggests that artist management is "agile" by default. Several times while reading the book I felt that Morrow was validating the feelings that many artist managers have instinctively, by explaining that there was a theoretical construct that gave structure to those experiential responses to their work. …

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