Editorial

Associate Professor Jo Caust

Abstract


In this issue of the Asia Pacific Journal of Arts and Cultural Management, we have four papers that reflect some of the major issues facing both the region and the sector. All of the papers take a critical stance to important issues in the region. A couple of the papers focus on recent issues within Australia (which also have a broader relevance in cultural policy terms), and the other two papers focus on issues relevant to the region as a whole. In the Australian context Hilary Glow and Katya Johanson's paper "The Politics of Exclusion: Political Censorship and the Arts-as-Industry Paradigm", considers the impact of a particular approach to government intervention in the arts. There is no doubt that Jeff Kennett left a strong impression during his tenure as Premier of the Australian state of Victoria in the nineties. In this paper the impact of his 'hands on' approach to the arts is examined and reviewed, noting the direct and indirect outcomes of a strongly interventionist approach by government. The paper particularly examines the impact of the Kennett policies on individual artists noting the impact of censorship and exclusion. The other paper with an Australian setting, looks at the reasons for and outcomes of the corporatisation of the six state orchestras under the umbrella of the Australian Broadcasting Commission since 1997. Stephen Boyle's paper "Beethoven Inc: the Corporatisation of Australia's Symphony Orchestras" traces the history of the orchestras and considers the impact of the recent changes in the way the orchestras are structured, funded and managed. Contextualising the issue within literature about privatisation and the nature of the not for profit entity, the paper addresses the potential contradictions of a government policy which has restructured orchestras to reflect a more corporate model (and the expectations thereof re marketing and income generation), while at the same time continuing a paradigm of a dependency on government subsidy. In respect to broader issues affecting the region, Sunitha Janamohanan considers the implications of the approach to culture by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). The paper titled "ASEAN Culture Week: Issues in the Assessment of Regional Cultural Events" uses the context of the recent Culture Week in Vietnam sponsored by ASEAN, to examine current and recent policy issues, as well as focussing on the particular significance and impact of the ASEAN Culture Week (a biennial event) in the context of the ASEAN framework. The paper also addresses more broadly the nature of festivals and the relationship between politics and culture. Finally Vietnam is not only the location but also the subject of a paper titled "The professional visual artist in Vietnam" by Annette van den Bosch. This paper could be interpreted almost as a plea for help for a greater understanding, support and recognition of the needs of visual artists in Vietnam. Some of the issues raised in the paper could be seen as relevant to visual artists in all countries, particularly the impact of markets on the output and reputation of artists. In addition the position of visual artists in Vietnam is explored, in relation to the dominance of institutional approaches, the lack of resources for development and the impact of commercialisation on quality and content. This is the third issue of the Asia Pacific Journal of Arts and Cultural Management and the final issue for 2004. We hope you have enjoyed the journal so far and we encourage you to consider both subscribing and contributing in the future. 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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