Issue Editor - Dr Helen Rusak

Helen Rusak

Abstract


This issue celebrates 30 years of the Arts and Cultural Management Program in South Australia. The program commenced in 1979 with Elizabeth Sweeting at the South Australian Institute of Technology which in the early 90's became a part of the University of South Australia. In 1980 the program came under Peter Brokensha. The 30 year celebration was marked with a symposium on the 20th February 2010 and an Alumni re-engagement program. The theme of the symposium was 'Renegotiating the Arts 2010: Creating a New Space' with a focus on arts management in the Asia Pacific region. The keynote address was presented by one of the Program's distinguished Alumni, Luqiang Qiao, Deputy Director General Office China's, National Centre Performing Arts, Beijing. Other speakers on the program included Jo Caust, Program Director Arts and Cultural Management UniSA, Brenda Croft, Lecturer Indigenous Art, Culture and Design, UniSA. Hilary Glow, Program Director & SL Arts & Entertainment Management Deakin University, Kate MacNeill, Lecturer Arts Management University of Melbourne, Christie Anthoney, Artistic Director Adelaide Fringe Festival, Rhoda Roberts, Artistic Director The Dreaming Festival and Creative Director Sydney New Year's Eve, Lydia Miller, Executive Director, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Board, Australia Council for the Arts, Elizabeth Tregenza, General Manager Ananguku Arts and Culture Aboriginal Organisation, Danny Tan, Founder and Artistic Director Odyssey Dance Theatre, Singapore, Karl Telfer, Artistic Director The Spirit Festival, Norris Ioannou, Director Nexus Multicultural Arts, Douglas Gautier, CEO and AD Adelaide Festival Centre, Kate Gould, General Manager and Associate Artistic Director Adelaide Festival of Arts. The participants were made up of key arts industry personnel, students and Alumni of the Arts and Cultural Management program at UniSA. The four papers in this issue are taken from the conference presentation. The first paper by Jo Caust looks at current leadership and arts management practises with particular emphasis upon the multi-faceted nature of management in the arts. It argues that the general manager in the arts has a unique leadership role which involves negotiation with the artistic and board leadership responsibilities. Along with this the arts manager is required to balance these responsibilities with the inherent dichotomy of 'art for art's sake' and the notion of arts as a business. The paper argues that this is a particularly unique skill pertaining to arts management that requires a balanced approach to the instrumentalisation of the arts to ensure that artistic creativity and purpose is not sacrificed in the process. Hilary Glow, in response to Jo Caust's arts leadership discussion argues that arts management requires engagement with conventional management and marketing theory to address current arts development challenges. Glow examines the discourses surrounding the creative industries model which has become popular in recent decades and is based upon the idea of creativity as a basis for new economies. She engages with Caust's critique of this model as commodification of the arts and argues that a redefinition of the purpose and benefits of the arts is required. Glow concludes that the intrinsic benefits to arts audiences must be better understood to assist managers and stakeholders with their definition of the true cultural value of the arts. Luquiang Qiao's paper looks at the current developments in the arts in China. He refers to 'springing up like mushrooms' with reference to the growth in the construction of large, multi-purpose arts centres in the new industrialised China. He maps the recent history of arts policy following the Cultural Revolution and how these policies have affected the cultural landscape in China. He argues that the boom in cultural centre development does not pay heed to environmental concerns, nor is in step with developments in the performing arts and that indeed many of the centres are 'dark' because of insufficient artistic activity. While he notes that the burgeoning edifices are a result of China's industrial boom, he suggests that more attention needs to be paid to artistic output to provide cultural product for these new centres. Danny Tan provides a case study of success at the Odyssey Dance Theatre of Singapore where he is Artistic Director. He demonstrates how in the highly competitive arts environment in Singapore the company has remained at the leading edge through its programs and initiatives. He examines the 10 year history of the company from its beginnings as one of the only contemporary dance companies in Singapore to becoming an international flagship of the Singapore arts scene.

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