Editorial

Jo Caust

Abstract


This edition of the journal marks a departure because, for the first time, we have included papers that are not necessarily from the Asia Pacific region. We decided to do this because the possibilities for publication in the fields of arts and cultural management, and in cultural policy, are limited internationally. We are sad to note the departure of our long term editorial assistant, Tammy Latham. However she is now happily pursuing new opportunities in music administration. We are delighted to welcome Carmel Young as her replacement. There are five papers in this edition of the journal, all quite varied in content and representative of many different countries. We have been well supported by conscientious and generous international reviewers who have provided excellent feedback both to the journal and to the authors of the papers. We hope you enjoy the reading. In their paper "Cultural urban regeneration practice and policy in the UK and Singapore" Pei-Chin Tay and J.Andres Coca-Stefaniak consider the impact of cultural regeneration from different perspectives with a specific focus on Singapore and the east end of London. In unpacking reasons for urban regeneration, the authors talk about the different impact cultural regeneration can have on a community and on the culture itself. While it has been argued that cultural regeneration of an urban environment can have a major economic impact on a city, the truth can be more complex. So in their paper Tay and Coca-Stefaniak explore the need for a balance between social and economic needs being addressed. For instance they observe that in the process of cultural urban regeneration the original community can be displaced, the role of the new spaces can be challenging and the impact on the environment can also be contested. They also note that there can be different outcomes according to each cultural environment. The authors conclude that whereas in the UK, the social and economic factors are now being recognised and addressed as part of the regeneration process, this is still not evident sufficiently in Singapore. Leonardo V. C. Darbilly and Marcelo M. F. Vieira in "An analysis of the recorded music industry field in Brazil" provide an interesting assessment of the impact of new technologies on the music sector in Brazil, using Pierre Bourdieu's 'field of cultural production' as their theoretical framework. While acknowledging the copyright and royalties dilemmas and capacity for exploitation created by new tools such as MP3 players, ITunes, Google and YouTube the authors also note that the capacity for production and distribution has now expanded from a few media companies to many new groups and individuals. They talk about new 'actors' on the stage that have freed up the control formerly held by a few. While this has meant that large amounts of income formerly produced from the sales of records is no longer occurring, the capacity for a broader range of music being heard is much greater, and there are no large media companies controlling or mediating the public taste. In Brazil's case this means that many more Brazilian artists and music originating from Brazil, can now be accessed and heard. “Chameleon: a story of adaptation and transformation of theatre ownership models during the transition period in Vietnam†is a paper by Thuy Do. Using 'systems theory' as her theoretical framework, Do analyses the impact of political, social and economic changes in Vietnam on theatre companies since the implementation of 'Doi Moi' in the late eighties. Vietnam has been adopting a form of 'market economy' for the past two decades contrasting with its former centralised controlled economy. In this scenario theatre companies that were formerly fully state funded have to now generate earned income. In addition there has been an opportunity for new, more entrepreneurially driven, theatre companies to arise. This is particularly evident in the south of Vietnam in Ho Chi Minh City. Do looks at what is particular about some of these companies, especially those that have been successful in adapting to the changed conditions and what may be different between the south and north in terms of environmental influences. Helen Rusak's paper "Opera by women in Australia: some data" examines the position of women in the classical music field in Australia, particularly in the field of composing. She draws some comparisons with the position of women in the same field in the United Kingdom and in the United States of America and then focuses on the situation in Australia over the past 40 years. Sadly, despite the intervention of a more aware (and possibly sympathetic) environment for women, it is not a positive report. It indicates in fact that although many women train as both musicians and composers, their representation as composers in particular is still very limited. This is evidenced by work commissioned, works held in public collections and works performed by both small and larger orchestras. Perhaps the worst scenario is painted in the symphonic and opera arena where women, as the primary creators, are barely visible. Rusak explores why this is the case and what, if any, changes are likely in the future. In "A discussion of the suitability of Six Sigma techniques in non-profit arts- and culture-oriented organisations" Larry Weinstein explores the potential advantages of implementing the management system of Six Sigma to improve managerial effectiveness in arts organisations, as well as improve practices or address problems. Six Sigma, he explains, is a comprehensive and systematic strategy for achieving and sustaining quality and process improvement. He notes the challenges that accompany the application of a generic management approach to the arts and not for profit sector. Weinstein argues that despite these challenges, there would be economic advantages to arts organisations if the Six Sigma technique was applied, particularly in the administrative areas of these organisations. He provides an example of its successful application in one American arts company (the Atlanta Opera) where it has generated new ideas in marketing for the company in a period of major change.

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Asia Pacific Journal of Arts and Cultural Management; ISSN 1449-1184
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