Editorial

Associate Professor Jo Caust

Abstract


Welcome to Volume Four of the Asia Pacific Journal of Arts and Cultural Management. In this edition there are academic papers about cultural policy in Australia, arts management in China, arts management in Vietnam and the concept of the 'creative city' in the New Zealand context. There is also a fascinating interview by Pearl Panickar with Dr Michael Volkering, tracing the development of different cultural policy approaches in New Zealand over a thirty year period. The first paper in the academic section is by Hilary Glow and Katya Johanson and examines different forms of literature relating to the current framing of cultural policy and its locale within a creative industries framework. Drawing from the Australian experience in particular, but referencing other examples, they critique the focus of cultural policies by governments on the consumption of arts and culture, while ignoring the impact of this approach on the process of arts making and the needs of artists. This discussion utilises the views of a range of commentators including academics, practitioners and public intellectuals. Glow and Johanson explore the notion of 'cultural value' in particular, and argue for a recognition by policy makers of the intrinsic cultural value of the arts, rather than a continuing reliance on arguments for the economic benefits of the arts. In the second paper, Huong Le reviews western literature around the skills, knowledge and needs of arts mangers in a market orientated environment. She particularly focuses on arguments for arts managers to be entrepreneurial and income generators. This is then considered in the context of a changed environment for arts organisations in Vietnam, given a policy of economic reform since 1986. Le notes that this has meant that the environment for arts organisations has become much more market driven and less reliant on government support. She then considers two arts organisations in Vietnam as case studies, and examines the attitudes and approaches of the leaders of these organisations. Le then concludes, given her earlier literature discussion, that Vietnamese arts mangers and arts organisations will need to make some important changes to adapt to a new competitive global environment. These changes may include developing more formally developed skills in management, leadership, entrepreneurialism and income generation. Joy Scott's paper considers the significance of Chinese cultural values on the style and practice of contemporary arts management in China. She begins by exploring the historical influences on the development of Chinese culture, both religious and political. Scott then uses this as a theoretical framework for observing arts management in practice. Her case study for this observation is the organising of an arts exhibition within a tertiary institution. Scott uses 'participant observation' as her methodology for her research discussion. Scott then draws conclusions about organisation and decision making process in this case study. This discussion is connected to literature about Chinese styles of management as well as to core Chinese cultural values, described earlier in the paper. The conclusions of this study would appear to be very relevant to the development and application of western approaches to arts management in China. The final academic paper is by Michael Volkering. He profiles his home city of Wellington in New Zealand within Richard Florida's concept of a 'creative city'. The discussion of this notion is done in the context of a visit by Richard Florida to Wellington in 2003. As Volkering notes, Florida argues that a 'creative city' must have particular characteristics related to lifestyle and cultural amenities. Florida asserted that Wellington had these characteristics when he visited in 2003 and therefore qualified for his endorsement as an example of a 'creative city'. Volkering uses Florida's 'creative city index' to examine the essential characteristics of Wellington. While supporting the assertion that Wellington is a 'creative city', Volkering argues that Wellington's development was shaped by certain characteristics relating to its history and culture. These factors may not be necessarily consistent with Florida's framework however. In a sense, therefore, Volkering is suggesting that Florida may have mis-read the reasons behind the development of the unique profile of Wellington, while agreeing that Wellington is presently a particularly creative urban environment. In this issue of the journal there is also one industry paper. This paper takes the form of an interview conducted by Peal Panickar with Dr Michael Volkering in New Zealand. Volkering has had a long involvement in the development of cultural polices and programs in New Zealand. In this interview he describes the various approaches taken to support arts activities and to develop cultural policies in New Zealand, given the country's characteristics and its Maori and European heritages. During this discussion he comments on his own views of this process over 30 years, both from his own direct involvement and from a more detached perspective. Associate Professor Jo Caust Managing Editor Asia Pacific Journal of Arts and Cultural Management

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