'Genuine mutual benefits': a public value account of arts community engagement programs as core business.

David Adair


This article draws on Mark Moore's theorising of strategic management in terms of 'public value' and a detailed case study to examine some of the key themes and issues raised by recent changes in the cultural leadership role of a public and non-profit organisation in the arts and culture sector. Beginning with an historical account of 'public value' as a variant of strategic management, the article considers it in relation to Australia's performing arts centres and the Adelaide Festival Centre (AFC) in particular, before examining the specific case of the AFC's Our Mob Indigenous visual arts project. This case study discussion illustrates the article's main points about the socio-political contexts within which evidence gains its value and leverage, cultural leadership's potential to lift the burden of proof carried by public arts organisations, and the prospects for arts community engagement programs to reconfigure what is meant by 'core business'.



public value, capacity-building, trust-building, cultural leadership, strategic management, Adelaide Festival Centre, Indigenous art

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