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TRADE JURNAL
Leisure Arts in Bookstore Push
Milliot, Jim. Publishers Weekly255.41 (Oct 13, 2008): n/a.

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Craft book publisher Leisure Arts has signed on with Midpoint Trade Books as part of its effort to expand its presence among booksellers. Throughout its history, Leisure Arts has focused its sales operation on crafts stores.
Details
Subject
Book industry;
Bookstores;
Distributors;
Agreements;
Distribution channels
Company / organization
Name:
Leisure Arts
NAICS:
511120;
Name:
Midpoint Trade Books Inc
NAICS:
422920, 511130
Title
Leisure Arts in Bookstore Push
Author
Milliot, Jim
Publication title
Publishers Weekly
Volume
255
Issue
41
Pages
n/a
Number of pages
1
Publication year
2008
Publication date
Oct 13, 2008
Year
2008
Section
Foreword; New Channel
Publisher
PWxyz, LLC
Place of publication
New York
Country of publication
United States
Publication subject
Publishing And Book Trade, Library And Information Sciences
ISSN
00000019
CODEN
PWEEAD
Source type
Trade Journals
Language of publication
English
Document type
News
ProQuest document ID
197101688
Document URL http://search.proquest.com.ezaccess.library.uitm.edu.my/docview/197101688?accountid=42518 Copyright
Copyright Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier, Inc. Oct 13, 2008
Last updated
2015-02-23
Database
Arts & Humanities Full Text
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Craft book publisher Leisure Arts has signed on with Midpoint Trade Books as part of its effort to expand its presence among booksellers. The Midpoint deal, in which Midpoint will handle sales while Leisure Arts will handle marketing and fulfillment, is the last step in the separation of Leisure Arts from its former sister imprints at Time Warner-Oxmoor House and Sunset Books-since Leisure was acquired by Liberty Media in early 2007.
Throughout its history, Leisure Arts has focused its sales operation on crafts stores, and the company will continue to distribute to that channel where it also handles distribution for about 200 publishers. Pam Stebbins, v-p of sales and marketing for Leisure Arts, said she expects Midpoint to offer between 25 and 30 Leisure Arts frontlist titles and about 30 backlist titles to the book trade in 2009. The focus of Leisure Arts' trade efforts will be licensed products with such well-known authors as Debbie Macomber and Mary Engelbreit. Leisure Arts publishes a series of Macomber knitting books-Knitting Along with Debbie Macomber-that complement her Harlequin novels, and seven titles are signed in the line. Its first book with Engelbreit, tentatively titled Sewing with Mary Engelbreit , is set for May 2009.
In addition to its licensed products, Stebbins believes Leisure Art's "teaching titles," such as encyclopedias and how-to books, will find a good reception from booksellers. "Even though trends change, people need to start with the fundamentals," Stebbins said. The company's encyclopedias include works on crocheting, knitting and scrapbooking; most are about 240 pages and sell for $24.95. Leisure Arts has also recently acquired the e-commerce scrapbooking company Two Peas in a Bucket. Stebbins said Leisure Arts will explore ways to use the company's popular brand in the scrapbooking world in both its publishing and promotional programs. "Two Peas gives us a great way to learn how to build online communities," Stebbins noted.
According to Stebbins, Leisure Arts is developing trade and consumer marketing plans to support its push into the bookselling market. "We're very excited about this," Stebbins said.
Word count: 341
Copyright Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier, Inc. Oct 13, 2008

Interest in cross-media work up in Graphic Arts
Anonymous. Graphic Arts Monthly74.9 (Sep 2002): 16.

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According to data gleaned from the TrendWatch Graphic Arts Summer 2002 survey of creative markets, the term "cross media" is becoming fairly well recognized among graphic arts firms, as evidenced by increasing numbers of companies taking on projects within this realm.
Details
Subject
Statistical data;
Polls & surveys;
Graphic arts
Location
United States, US
Classification
9190: United States
9140: Statistical data
9000: Short article
8690: Publishing industry
Title
Interest in cross-media work up in Graphic Arts
Author
Anonymous
Publication title
Graphic Arts Monthly
Volume
74
Issue
9
Pages
16
Number of pages
1
Publication year
2002
Publication date
Sep 2002
Year
2002
Publisher
Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier, Inc.
Place of publication
Newton
Country of publication
United States
Publication subject
Communications, Printing
ISSN
10479325
Source type
Trade Journals
Language of publication
English
Document type
News
ProQuest document ID
203301550
Document URL http://search.proquest.com.ezaccess.library.uitm.edu.my/docview/203301550?accountid=42518 Copyright
Copyright Cahners Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier, Inc. Sep 2002
Last updated
2014-05-20
Database
Arts & Humanities Full Text
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According to data gleaned from the TrendWatch Graphic Arts Summer 2002 survey of creative markets, the term "cross media" is becoming fairly well recognized among graphic arts firms, as evidenced by an increasing number of companies taking on projects within this realm.
Among design and production firms (a category that includes graphic designers, ad agencies, corporate design departments, and commercial photographers), the study indicates that 53% of the firms surveyed do cross-media work. Among publishing firms (which includes magazine, catalog, and book publishers), 61 % of survey respondents work on cross-media projects.
But among Internet design and development firms (which includes ad and PR agencies, Web design and development firms, and corporate Internet departments), just 37% of survey respondents handle cross-media projects.
The findings suggest that those firms most entrenched in print work do the most crossmedia work, while those most removed from print do the least. Half of publishing firms (49%) said that cross-media projects are strategic to their business survival. Slightly fewer design and production firms (42%) reported as such, and only a fifth (19%) of Internet design and development firms found cross-media strategic.
Thus, the bulk of cross-media work being done involves going from print to some other medium, primarily the Web. Clients desirous of this kind of work want at least a Web site or some other type of Internet presence, while some savvier customers are pushing the envelope with wireless and other new media.
However, those firms that already are ensconced in new media are not going to print. TrendWatch doesn't anticipate that print will fall under the category of "other media" any time soon, but it does see non-print media taking on increasing importance among printers' clients.
Copyright Cahners Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier, Inc. Sep 2002

Magazine
IDYLLWILD ARTS: A WELLSPRING OF CREATIVITY
Benesh, Carolyn L E. Ornament32.3 (2009): 68-71. 1. -------------------------------------------------
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The village community of Idyllwild (once the summer home of the Cahuilla Indians) and Idyllwild Arts reside on the mountain's westward slope, part of the San Bernardino National Forest, where Ponderosa, Coulter and Knob Cone pine forests and Manzanita trees thrive and wildlife abound in contrast to the austere desert-facing eastern edge, overlooking Palm Desert. Heather Companiott, Director of Special Programs, Adult Programs and Native American Arts, points out that the summer series of workshops for adults (class sizes are roughly ten to fourteen students) balances returning teachers, providing continuity in the program, with new teachers each year who help keep the program fresh and stimulating.
Details
Subject
Artists;
Colleges & universities;
Students;
Academic libraries;
Creativity;
Arts festivals;
Museums;
Workshops;
Native art;
Jewelry stores
Title
IDYLLWILD ARTS: A WELLSPRING OF CREATIVITY
Author
Benesh, Carolyn L E
Publication title
Ornament
Volume
32
Issue
3
Pages
68-71
Number of pages
4
Publication year
2009
Publication date
2009
Year
2009
Publisher
Ornament Inc
Place of publication
San Marcos
Country of publication
United States
Publication subject
Art, Jewelry, Clocks And Watches
ISSN
01483897
Source type
Magazines
Language of publication
English
Document type
Feature
Document feature
Photographs
ProQuest document ID
1010741883
Document URL http://search.proquest.com.ezaccess.library.uitm.edu.my/docview/1010741883?accountid=42518 Copyright
Copyright Ornament Inc 2009
Last updated
2012-06-19
Database
Arts & Humanities Full Text
Each scenic and unique, the various Southern California routes taken into the Idyllwild Arts campus are enriching in themselves as the basin which holds the multitudinous greater Los Angeles slides behind to gradually sink obscured by the surrounding grayish haze. (Hills are rounded, ever upward, and then mountains scaled, the bold and brutal San Jacinto, in fact: listen again to Peter Gabriel's song of San Jacinto and you will re-imagine these unusual mountains and life anew).
The village community of Idyllwild (once the summer home of the Cahuilla Indians) and Idyllwild Arts reside on the mountain's westward slope, part of the San Bernardino National Forest, where Ponderosa, Coulter and Knob Cone pine forests and Manzanita trees thrive and wildlife abound in contrast to the austere desert-facing eastern edge, overlooking Palm Desert. Idyllwild is known for its mountain biking trails and rock climbing and for being totally laid-back; only a cup of coffee from Café Aroma is likely to jolt the serenity that seeps in more and more the longer the stay.
Following the school's directions for a secure arrival from the San Diego area, where Ornament is based, the drive is perhaps less dramatic than others but sweet and languid. Two hours just about does it: Hwy 15 north to Temecula; exit Hwy 79 south toward Indio/Palm Desert; turn left onto Hwy 371; left at Hwy 74; ten miles to Hwy 243; turn right, four miles to Idyllwild; left at Tollgate Road; then one mile to the campus. Once the urban/suburban areas are left, every change in the journey is progressively seductive and a reminder that it is still possible to feel faint with delight over the beauties of this state called California.
An over-the-road banner beckons and with that welcome Idyllwild falls into place and completes itself, establishing in one full swoop the approaching imminence of spontaneous experience joined with new memories for later reflection. The beguiling associative value of the name Idyllwild takes over-visualizations of peace and contentment, the rustic life, pastoral scenery, an interlude, a carefree episode, natural simplicity, pleasing and picturesque, romantic and lighthearted -there is much ahead to look forward to if the heart is open.
Located in Strawberry Valley and at a five-thousand-foot elevation, Idyllwild was founded in 1946 as a summer center for the arts and includes today both a summer program now in its sixtieth year and an independent boarding school, an academy dating from 1986 for young students talented in the arts. The summer program extends over eight weeks and hosts some seventeen hundred students ranging from age five to senior adults. There are over one hundred hands-on workshops in creative writing, dance, music, theater, visual arts, and Native American arts taught by professional artists/teachers. During the summer calendar there are, in addition, lectures, demonstrations, exhibitions, and performances, with all events open to the public and with free admission.
Some seventy buildings or meeting locations dot the more than two-hundred-acre campus rich in hilly terrain and lovely meadows. Attending students can choose to either stay in the Academy's residence halls and eat at the dining hall or go to the village two miles away with its many bed and breakfasts, motels and restaurants. There is even San Jacinto State Park where some students prefer to camp during their stay. The Krone Library, dedicated to Max and Beatrice Krone whose original vision inspired the creation of Idyllwild as a place where people of all backgrounds can experience the arts, is a light-filled, calming environment with a choice collection of art books, periodicals and audios of diverse and sublime music. Computer stations are many in the library proper and in another study room outside of it. A small museum within the library building contains memorabilia of the Krones with records of the myriad programs, activities and artists over its history. There are indoor and outdoor art studios (jewelrymaking takes place in the Academy's chemistry classroom), dance studios, rehearsal halls, and a professional kiln complex. The Parks Exhibition Center showcases works of the resident faculty artists and displayed for sale are paintings, ceramics, jewelry, weavings, and wood carvings.
From its beginning, Idyllwild Arts attracted artist/teachers who believed not only in imparting their personal art and craft to those receptive to the enriching process of the artistic experience but to its fundamentally ennobling qualities for all of humanity. The campus has been the appreciative recipient of tutelage by Ansel Adams, David Amico, Ray Bradbury, Norman Corwin, Merce Cunningham, Françoise Gilot, Sam Hinton, Fred Kabotie, Lucy Lewis, Maria Martinez, Susan Peterson, Juan Quezada, Roland Reiss, Paul Saufkie, Lawrence Saufkie, Pete Seeger, Lora Steere, Meredith Willson. Bella Lewitzky built the modern dance program and was on the summer faculty from 1954 to the 1980s.
The strong draw of professional artists continues today. Heather Companiott, Director of Special Programs, Adult Programs and Native American Arts, points out that the summer series of workshops for adults (class sizes are roughly ten to fourteen students) balances returning teachers, providing continuity in the program, with new teachers each year who help keep the program fresh and stimulating. Recent classes in ceramics and the Hot Clay workshop have been conducted by artists like Esther Shimazu, Eduardo Lazo, Richard Burkett, Ingrid Lilligren, and Terry Rothrock. For 2009, faculty is represented by Cynthia Consentino, Greg Kennedy and Paul Lewing.
Metals Week is another popular program with its experienced teachers arriving from all over the country. In 2008 Ken Bova taught Embracing the Eclectic in jewelry. Bova, featured in Ornament, Vol. 31, No. 5 that same year, combines metal, paper, metallic paints, and many more elements that are tied, glued and stitched together. Just one pin can contain sterling silver, twenty-four karat gold leaf, candy wrappers, bone, butterfly wings and U.S. currency. In 2008 Deborah Love Jemmott demonstrated soldering, one of the most difficult, but most important techniques for the beginning jeweler to master, but for 2009 she has taken on the rolling mill, guiding students step-by-step through the roller printing process. Last year glassblowing was conducted by Margaret Zinser; but for 2009 Heather Trimlett (Ornament, Vol. 32, No. 2) promises to take the complexities out of clear casing, stringer work and shaping a disc.
Also for 2009, Idyllwild Arts sponsors Arline Fisch's class in Textile Techniques in Metal, including weaving, plaiting, knitting, crocheting, and basketry. Fisch is a world-renowned jewelry artist, who founded the jewelry and metalsmithing program at San Diego State University in 1961. Fisch's work is contained within collections around the world, some of which are the Victoria and Albert Museum in London; Renwick Gallery in Washington, D.C.; and the Museum of Arts and Design in New York City. Her influential book, Textile Techniques in Metal, was major in describing this additional technique, contributing a new semantics to the language of metalsmithing.
Of particular pleasure each year for Companiott, the staff of Idyllwild Arts and Southern Californian community at large is the Native American Arts Festival consisting of many workshops, lectures, presentations, and performances. A Native American program was among the earliest missions of the educational institution wherein the history, social organization, religion, philosophy, and, of course, arts of Native peoples would inform and educate, ultimately extending its reach beyond the mountain tops of Idyllwild.
In 1950 that mission became a reality and the Festival's themes and explorations have varied each year over the ensuing decades. The 2009 classes are as diverse as Cahuilla Basketry (Donna Largo); Hopi-Tewa Pottery (Mark Tahbo); Mesoamerican Instruments (Ernesto Olmos-Hernandez); Native American Flute Making (Marvin and Jonette Yazzie and Ernest Siva); Navajo Inlay Jewelry (Richard Tsosie); Navajo Weaving (Barbara Ornelas and Lynda Pete); Native Plants for Food, Medicine and Utilitarian Uses (Barbara Drake and Lorene Sisquoc); Cahuilla Survival Technology (Kim Marcus); and Santa Clara Pottery (Susan Folwell).
Consultants to the Festival, Joe Baker also teaches Native American Beadwork and Michael Kabotie instructs the class in Hopi Jewelry.
Henry David Thoreau wrote that "you cannot perceive beauty but with a serene mind." It is not possible to overstate the memorable personal journey taken when relieved of constraints and permission is given with a deep breath to enjoy and experience, to learn and gain skills, to live in the moment and leave behind the life of the perennial observer. That pleasure can be gained by attending art programs such as Idyllwild Arts. You become part of the community and it serves to enrich and stimulate, to poke and prod your intellect and heart to higher levels of consciousness. Then with a serene mind, beauty opens before you.
Sidebar
P E T E S E E G E R t a u g h t fo l k music in 1957-1959 and 1963. AU T H O R R AY B R A D B U R Y g a v e s p e c i a l w e e k e n d workshops in 1976 and 1981.
A N S E L A D A M S t a u g h t photography in 1958-1960. MERCE CUNNINGHAM taught dance from 1955-1958.
Archival photographs are cour tesy of Idyllwild Ar ts . All other photogra phs by Carolyn L. E. Benesh taken in 2008.
SCULPTOR LORA STEERE, at age 87, returned in 1975 to sculpt Maria Martinez, age 97. Steere funded the first studio on campus. Martinez, who revived the burnished black on black pottery of San Ildefonso, taught from 1974 to 1978.
HOPI OVERLAY SILVERSMITHING JEWELRY CLASS, JULY 2008. From left to right: Silversmithing instructor, Michael Kabotie (Lomawywesa); Assistant to Michael Kabotie, Lyndsay Rice; Students, Timothy Snyder, Robert Haack, Maria Bastanchury, and Werner Hilberink. Art historian and anthropologist Spencer MacCallum visiting with Kabotie in the jewelry classroom. MacCallum spoke on the history and evolution of Mata Ortiz pottery to the Idyllwild Arts community.
PAINTING AND GRAPHICS CLASSES have always been a prominent component of the summer arts program.
CERAMICS INSTRUCTOR Richard Burkett, Professor of Art at San Diego State University, teaches a class on Pouring Vessels.
PORCELAIN ARTIST Leslie Thompson is shown taking the Navajo Weaving class, taught by Barbara Ornelas and Lynda Pete.
HEATHER COMPANIOTT (right), Director of Special Programs, Adult Programs and Native American Arts for Idyllwild Arts, congratulates Ornament Coeditor Carolyn L. E. Benesh for her certificate in completing her forty-hour participation in Hopi Silversmithing, taught by Michael Kabotie.
Word count: 1717
Copyright Ornament Inc 2009

What to do about the arts
Epstein, Joseph. Commentary99.4 (Apr 1995): 23. 1. -------------------------------------------------
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Operating under the pressures of multiculturalism, the tyranny of the "cutting edge" and plain old-fashioned politics, the National Endowment for the Arts has helped spread mediocrity across the US.
Details
Subject
Organizational profiles;
Art
Company
National Endowment for the Arts
Title
What to do about the arts
Author
Epstein, Joseph
Publication title
Commentary
Volume
99
Issue
4
Pages
23
Number of pages
8
Publication year
1995
Publication date
Apr 1995
Year
1995
Publisher
Commentary
Place of publication
New York
Country of publication
United States
Publication subject
Religions And Theology, Religions And Theology--Judaic, Ethnic Interests,Literary And Political Reviews, Classical Studies
ISSN
00102601
CODEN
COMNBI
Source type
Magazines
Language of publication
English
Document type
Feature
Accession number
02314549
ProQuest document ID
195867501
Document URL http://search.proquest.com.ezaccess.library.uitm.edu.my/docview/195867501?accountid=42518 Copyright
Copyright American Jewish Committee, The Library Institute of Human Relations Apr 1995
Last updated
2015-06-13
Database
Arts & Humanities Full Text
Full Text * TranslateFull text * Turn on search term navigation
Nobody with a serious or even a mild interest in the arts likes to think he has lived his mature life through a bad or even mediocre period of artistic creation. Yet a strong argument can be made that ours has been an especially bleak time for the arts.
One of the quickest ways of determining this is to attempt to name either discrete masterpieces or impressive bodies of work that have been written, painted, or composed over the past, say, 30 years. Inexhaustible lists do not leap to mind. Not only is one hard-pressed to name recent masterpieces, but one's sense of anticipation for the future is less than keen. In looking back over the past two or three decades, what chiefly comes to mind are fizzled literary careers, outrageous exhibitions and inflated (in all senses of the word) reputations in the visual arts, and a sad if largely tolerant boredom with most contemporary musical composition.
People who look to art for spiritual sustenance have been dipping into capital--they have, that is, been living almost exclusively off the past. In literature, less and less do the works created since the great American efflorescence earlier in the century seem likely to endure. (One thinks of 1925, that annus mirabilis for the American novel, which saw the publication of F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby, Theodore Dreiser's An American Tragedy, John Dos Passos's Manhattan Transfer, Sinclair Lewis's Arrowsmith, and Willa Cather's The Professor's House.) In visual art, the line is drawn--if not for everyone--at Abstract Expressionism, after which no powerful school or movement seems to have arisen, and so many reputations seem, as the English critic F.R. Leavis remarked in another connection, to have more to do with the history of publicity than with the history of art. In serious music, performing artists continue to emerge, but the music they perform is almost exclusively that of past centuries; the greatest appetite of all remains for the works created between J. S. Bach (1685-1750) and Maurice Ravel (1875-1937). True, dance, under such geniuses as George Balanchine and Martha Graham, has had a fine contemporary run. But no one, I think, would argue against the proposition that the only works of art capable of stirring anything like extensive excitement in the nation just now are movies, which, given their general quality, is far from good news.
In explanation, and partially in defense, of this situation it has been suggested that we are living in a time when sensibility has been fundamentally altered; and, it is sometimes also argued, advancing technology--the computer, the video--only figures to alter it further. The artistic result of this putative shift in sensibility goes under the banner of postmodernism. Although the word means different things to different people, generally postmodernism in the arts includes the following: a belief that a large statement, in everything from poetry to architecture, is probably no longer persuasive; a self-reflexiveness, a playfulness, and a strong reliance on irony which the advocates of postmodernism find a refreshing and fair exchange for spirituality in art; and a contempt for criticism traditionally understood as the activity of making discriminations, distinctions, and, especially, value judgments.
At the same time that some argue for a change in sensibility, suggesting in turn the need for a change in the nature of art, others feel that if art is not to lose its standing entirely, more than ever it needs to give itself directly to social and political purposes. We have driven around this block before, of course, most notably in the 1930's when novelists and poets, painters, and even musicians were scolded for insufficient engagement in the political struggles of the day. Then, these criticisms were directed by Communists and fellow-travelers; today they are made under the aegis of an ideology that finds its chief outlets in environmentalism, sexual liberation, a lingering anti-capitalism, and an inchoate but determined multiculturalism.
The paramount enemy for such people, then as now, is disinterested art that attempts to transcend political and other sorts of human division. This is art of the kind Marcel Proust had in mind when he wrote that it "gives us access to higher spiritual reality resembling the otherworldly metaphysical speculations of philosophy and religion." This is art which, among its other effects, seeks to broaden horizons, to deepen understanding, and to enhance consciousness as well as to convey the ultimately unexplainable but very real exaltation that is integral to heightened aesthetic pleasure.
By such measures, most contemporary art has fallen down badly on the job. Art still functions to confer social status on what today one might call the educated classes, as witness the large crowds that attend certain museum shows and operas and concerts given by performers who have been declared superstars. But high art (except the political kind) has more and more been relegated to a minority interest and is under attack for doing what it has always done best. Much of high Western art is now even judged, mirabile dictu, to be politically less than correct.
Some of this might have been predicted--and, in fact, it was. More than 40 years ago, in an essay entitled "The Plight of Our Culture,"* the late Clement Greenberg wrote that "high culture has lost much of its old implicit authority." In that essay, Greenberg ran through those brutal simplicities--as he rightly called them--known as highbrow, middlebrow, and lowbrow.
Highbrow art, from Homer through Rembrandt to Schoenberg, had always made the greatest demands on its audience--and those demands, it had always been understood, resulted in the highest rewards, both philosophical and aesthetic. In its modern forms, highbrow art, wrote Greenberg, tended to be synonymous with avant-garde art, which made even stricter demands. Avant-garde art was often about itself, and the avant-garde artist, turning inward, was interested above all in solutions to the problems his particular art presented: problems of surface and perspective in painting, of tonality and dissonance in music, of language and depth psychology in literature.
Because of this it had become more and more difficult to admire a modern artist's work apart from his technique. As Greenberg had put it in an earlier essay, as the avant-garde became highly specialized, so "its best artists [became] artists' artists, its best poets, poets' poets," and this, not surprisingly, had "estranged a great many of those who were capable formerly of enjoying and appreciating ambitious art and literature, but who are now unwilling or unable to acquire an initiation into these craft secrets."
Lowbrow art presented no difficulties of definition: it was mass art, produced for and aimed at the lowest common denominator, and promising nothing more than entertainment. But then there was middlebrow art, where the problems, for Greenberg and others, arose. Middlebrow art promised both to entertain and to educate, and attempted to pass itself off as highbrow by its appearance of seriousness. Yet the middlebrow was not finally serious; it was instead merely earnest, which was not at all the same thing. Middlebrow art was always teaching, if not preaching. (In our own time, it has been chiefly preaching political lessons.) And middlebrow art was responsible for deploying one of the most self-serving myths of our age, the myth of the artist as a permanent rebel against society.
Writing in a special issue of the British magazine Horizon in 1947, Greenberg called for a frankly highbrow elite that would help bring about an art characterized by "balance, largeness, precision, enlightenment." We have had, he wrote, "enough of the wild artist." What we need now are men of the world not too much amazed by experience, not too much at a loss in the face of current events, not at all overpowered by their own feelings, men to some extent aware of what has been felt elsewhere since the beginning of recorded history.
Nearly a half-century later, all one can say of Clement Greenberg's aspirations for art is that none of them has come into being, whereas most of his worst fears have. Middlebrow art is taken so much for highbrow in our day that the very category of highbrow is in doubt. My own personal, shorthand definition of a middlebrow is anyone who takes either Woody Allen or Spike Lee seriously as an artist. And most of the country, it will not have gone without notice, does.
One of the consequences of the debasement of art is that fewer and fewer people are able to make the important distinctions which high art itself requires for its proper appreciation. An institution that has played a large role in bringing this situation about is the university. Formerly free from the tyranny of the contemporary--the tyranny, that is, of being up to the moment--the university now takes great pride in being a center for the creation of contemporary art. Over the past three or four decades, the university has become something akin to a continuing WPA program by furnishing an ever-larger number of artists--chiefly writers but painters and musicians, too--with jobs.
This might not be so bad, but, with all these artists on hand, the university now also provides a fairly strong diet of contemporary fare in its curriculum. Once, it was not thought necessary to teach the works of contemporary writers, painters, and composers; if a student was a reasonably cultivated person, or had the desire to be such a person, he could learn about such things on his own. No more. Some artists even teach themselves.
Although many universities continue to offer traditional subjects in the arts, the university has, at the same time, caved in to the demand for courses that fit the politics of a large number of the people who teach there: feminism, Marxism, Lacanism, the new historicism, deconstructionism, semiotics--"the six branches of the School of Resentment," as the literary critic Harold Bloom has called them. Thus, in the contemporary university literature and painting are often put through the meat grinder of race, class, and gender. This is well-known. What is perhaps less well-known is the odd way it has skewed the arts themselves.
To give an example of how the skewing works, the week before President Clinton's inauguration I was called by the (London) Daily Telegraph for my opinion of the poet Maya Angelou, who had been chosen to read a poem at the inaugural. I told the reporter that I had no opinion of Maya Angelou, for I had read only a few of her poems and thought these of no great literary interest. Ah, he wondered, did I know anyone who might have an opinion that would be interesting to English readers I conceded that I knew of no one who read her. When asked how that might be, I responded that what the reporter had to understand was that in the United States just now there were a number of authors who were not actually for reading but only for teaching, of whom Angelou, who herself teaches, lectures for vast fees, and probably has more honorary degrees than James Joyce had outstanding debts, is decidedly one.
By teaching so many contemporary writers and simultaneously laying itself open to the political aspirations of multiculturalism, the university has had a serious hand in helping to discard the idea of standards, which is absolutely essential to high art. The politics of many university teachers have played a key role in this, with the result that today we no longer have in force the only distinction in the arts that really matters--that between the good and the bad, the well-made and the shoddy. Once one starts playing this particular game, the essential, the only really relevant, fact becomes not the quality of an artist's work but which category it fits into: black composers, women painters, gay/lesbian poets, and the rest of the multicultural melange.
All but a handful of people who currently work in the arts--writers, painters, musicians, arts administrators, and patrons---seem to go along with this program. Multiculturalization has for many seemed a way out of the wrenching dilemma of wishing to seem as democratic as possible while knowing in one's heart that serious art is nothing if not thoroughly meritocratic and, in the best sense, finally and irremediably elitist.
"In art the ideal critical ethic is ruthlessness," wrote the music critic Ernest Newman. "The practice of art should not be made easier for the weaklings; it should be made harder, so that only the best types survive." Such notions are troubling to people of tender liberal conscience. The arts are now somehow construed to carry the message that they are themselves a means to progress, and progress implies encouraging the downtrodden; clearly, the last thing such people want to be caught acknowledging is that the arts are not--at least not necessarily--for everyone.
The misguided belief that art is one of the forms that progress takes is connected with the notion that the avant-garde itself is a kind of movement, or party, for progress--an appealing notion for people who wish the arts to do things they were never meant primarily to do: to fight censorship, to give groups pride in what is called their "identity," to increase the awareness of AIDS, to fight inequities of every kind. As Clausewitz said that war was diplomacy carried on by other means, so art is seen as social justice and political enlightenment carried on by other means.
The avant-garde of an earlier time, beginning in the 1890's and proceeding through the early decades of the 20th century--the "banquet years" of French painting, music, and writing--was (again) an avant-garde of technique. It was impelled by a spirit of experimentation; it attempted to provide fundamentally new ways of seeing, hearing, and understanding: post-impressionism, atonal music, stream of consciousness, and free verse were names given to some of these experiments. Whether or not one admires the results, the utter seriousness as well as the aesthetic purity of the enterprise cannot be mistaken.
The practitioners of what must now somewhat oxymoronically be called the old avant-garde were true revolutionaries. They wished to--and often did--change the way we intuit and understand and feel about the world around us. They truly altered sensibility. For a complex of reasons, their revolution has been halted. While new experiments in style and technique continue, the avant-garde has largely turned away from technique and toward content.
Obscenity, homoerotic exhibitionism, sadomasochism, political rage--these have been the hallmarks of the advanced art of our day. In a way never intended either by Matisse, whose early paintings so upset the Parisian audience, or by Stravinsky, whose The Rite of spring caused its audience to bust up chairs in the hall in which it was performed, the avant-garde artists of our day are knocking themselves out to be outrageous. An avant-garde magazine puts a woman's vagina on its cover and runs the tag line, "Read My Lips"; child pornography, if set out "tastefully," is not thought beyond the bounds of respectability; neither is a production of Tannhauser with the title character as a TV evangelist and Venus as a hooker. If the political revolutionaries of an earlier day cried, "Burn, baby, burn!," the artistic revolutionaries of ours exclaim, "Squirm, baby, squirm!"
The targets for such art, it ought to be clear, are middle-class respectability, the family, heterosexuality, organized religion, and finally high culture itself. The aesthetic standard by which this art asks to be judged is the degree to which it succeeds in hitting its targets. As a panel for the National Endowment for theArts (NEA) once put it, a work that is "challenging and disturbing...precisely...shows us that it is worthy of consideration." The more outrageous the art, the more worthy of notice and protection.
Consider by contrast how T.S. Eliot, a great avant-garde poet himself, saw the role of the artist:
The artist is the only genuine and profound revolutionist, in the following sense. The world always has, and always will, tend to substitute appearance for reality. The artist, being always alone, being heterodox when everyone else is orthodox, is the perpetual upsetter of conventional values, the restorer of the real....His function is to bring back humanity to the real.
Yet the contemporary, putatively avant-garde artist is neither alone nor heterodox. He is today almost invariably part of a larger group--a feminist, a gay liberationist, or a spokesman for an ethnic or racial group--and his thought, far from being heterodox, is, within both his own group and what is called the "artistic community,' more rigidly conformist than a Big Ten sorority. He is published in the fashionable magazines, exhibited by the toniest galleries, awarded Pulitzers and other prizes, given federal grants, and generally rewarded and revered.
The politicizing of art, setting it on the side of all the politically-correct causes, has rendered it more acceptable even as it has become less artistic. A commercially successful painter named David Salle, a man with a good feel for the ideological winds, was quoted last year in the New Yorker apropos the politics of contemporary artists:
Because in art-politics to be homosexual is, a Priori, more correct than to be heterosexual. Because to be an artist is to be an outsider, and to be a gay artist is to be a double outsider. That's the correct condition. If you're a straight artist, it's not clear that your outsiderness is legitimate. I know this is totally absurd, that I'm making it sound totally absurd. But the fact is that in our culture it does fall primarily to gays and blacks to make something interesting. Almost everything from the straight white culture is less interesting, and has been for a long time.
How could we possibly get into a condition in which what David Salle says, absurd as it assuredly is, can nonetheless be taken as axiomatic truth! We did it by accepting the quite false notion of the artist as an outsider and extending it to the point where the farther "outside" one represents oneself as being, and the more victimized, the greater one's standing as an artist.
I first came across the name of the dancer Bill T. Jones in an article in the New York Times Magazine, where he was described as the "HIV-positive son of migrant workers," which, in current New York Times-speak, means a man beyond any possible criticism. Recently Jones and what he represents have come in for some trenchant comment in, of all places, the New Yorker, a magazine where only a few weeks earlier he had been the subject of a fawning profile. Arlene Croce, the magazine's distinguished dance critic, wrote a powerful piece demurring from the general celebration and entering the opinion that "the cultivation of victimhood by institutions devoted to the care of art is a menace to all art forms, particularly performing-art forms."**
Croce's article, "Discussing the Undiscussable," takes up the question of how the art of victimhood--so depressing, so manipulative, so intimidating, and ultimately so uncriticizable--has risen to such a high place in contemporary culture. She understands that some of its appeal is a combination of false empathy and real snobbery on the part of its audience: "There's no doubt that the public likes to see victims, if only to patronize them with applause." But she makes the larger--and, I think, valid--point that the behavior of government, specifically through the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), has had a great deal to do with the situation she deplores.
In 1984 I was appointed a member of the National Council of the National Endowment for the Arts, a body on which I sat for six years. One of the most impressive moments I can recall from my years on the Council was when the director of the music program mentioned that a particular orchestra had had its grant reduced by something like $20,000 because of some "spotty playing in the cello section." I was much taken with how the NEA music panelists were able to pin down this fault, by the professionalism with which they went about the task of judgment. It seemed to me the way things ought to operate.
But outside certain select programs at the NEA, they seldom did. By the end of my term, every member on the Council had been appointed under either the Reagan or the Bush administrations--and yet, despite this, the reigning spirit in the room, as among the staff of the Endowment generally, was preponderantly liberal-Left. Time and again, when arguments about standards and quality came up against what was taken to be democratic fairness and sensitivity to minorities, the latter inevitably won the day.
How could it be otherwise? Given our debased standards, how could one hope to make the hard professional judgments about modern painting or sculpture or literature, let alone mixed-media works? The chief problem with "the peer-panel system," as it was reverently called at the NEA--a system in which artists were asked to sit in judgment of other artists in their field--was that the sort of people who served on these panels were the same sort of people who applied for and received grants themselves. Like was giving money to like.
I could not help noticing, too, the special obligation which the people who worked at the NEA felt toward what passed for avant-garde or "cutting-edge" art. The cutting edge, almost invariably, was anti-capitalist, anti-middle-class, anti-American, the whole-earth catalogue of current antinomianism. What was new was that the artists who wanted to seem cutting edge also wanted the government they despised to pay for the scissors.
Most people at the NEA and on its Council thought this a perfectly workable arrangement. If someone ever suggested that a grant application had all the earmarks of something too obviously political as well as boring beyond excruciation, the air would crackle with potential accusations of censorship and Cassandra-like warnings about slippery slopes heading into McCarthyism.
Those NEA grants that issued in obscenity and horror--Karen Finley smearing her nakedness with chocolate, Robert Mapplethorpe's photographs of men with plumbing and other appurtenances up their rectums, a man spreading his HIV-positive blood on paper towels and then sending them skimming over an audience--have given the Endowment its most serious problems in the press and on Capitol Hill. Yet the NEA's defenders are correct in saying that these comprise only a minuscule proportion of the Endowment's total grants. What they do not say--possibly because they are themselves unaware of it--is how mediocre have been so many of the artists who have received NEA grants.
Mediocrity, the question of what may be called quality control, was rarely discussed during my time at the NEA. It could not be. Most NEA panelists believed in encouraging the putatively disadvantaged more than they believed in art itself, and this made them prey to the grim logic of affirmative action. (Even the panels themselves were put together on an affirmative-action basis.) Add to this the assumption at the NEA that artists themselves were yet another downtrodden minority group, as "entitled" to their grants as other supposed victims. And then toss in plain old-fashioned politics in the form of Congressmen and members of the Council who wanted to make sure that, say, Florida and Colorado got their share of grants. What we had was a fine recipe for spreading artistic mediocrity across the country.
Viewed from the middle distance of a seat on the NEA Council, the grants to individual artists seemed small potatoes. Most were for less than $20,000--an award which generally encouraged self-congratulation and the continued production of unnecessary art. What drained the spectacle of triviality was that the money was not "ours" to give away. No one felt too badly about this, for the NEA budget, generally hovering around $170 million, was, as government spending went, just above the level of walking-around money. Still, the spectacle was more than a little depressing.
The question of what is now to be done about the arts and arts policy in America is not one that admits of easy or persuasive answers. It is made all the more complicated once one concedes how hard it is to explain what, in any society, actually encourages the production of great art.
Traditions help immensely. In 18th-and 19th-century Vienna, the pressure of strong musical traditions along with a system of monarchical patronage played a part in fostering the magnificent music of that era. The splendid efflorescence of painting in 19th- and early-20th-century France can also be partially understood through the role played by French artistic traditions--and the reactions of artists to and against certain of those traditions. But how does one explain Russian literature in the 19th century, except to say that in Pushkin, Gogol, Dostoevsky, Turgenev, Tolstoy, and Chekhov, God chose to create six: geniuses who happened to share a geography and a language?
Since genius can never be predicted, one looks to institutions that might encourage art to set out in directions likely to be more rewarding than those of the past few decades. What, today, might such institutions be?
The first that comes to mind is criticism. Critics of the arts have traditionally functioned as gatekeepers, deciding what meets the mark and passes through and what does not and is therefore excluded. Some critics have also taken a much more active hand, preparing the ground for the acceptance of new and difficult artthrough explication and the main force of their authority. One thinks of Edmund Wilson who in Axel's Castle (1991) did just this for modernist literature, and, two decades later, of Clement Greenberg who did something similar for Abstract Expressionism.
Critics of this power are not on the scene today. Nor are there important movements in the arts that require such skills. Today our critics commonly function as doormen--or, more precisely, as cheerleaders. Their job often consists in justifying the trivial, vaunting the vapid. Yet they seem quite happy in their work.
In part this derives from the fact that, like so many of our artists, many of our critics too are not merely university-trained but university-employed. As such they participate in the culture that has dominated academic life over the past few decades: they tend to disbelieve in the possibility of disinterested art; they condone the new multiculturalism and are willing to lower standards to make way for it; they are dubious about judgments of value; and they understand that "criticism" of the work of minority-group members, feminists, or homosexuals must be restricted to praise.
Criticism, then, is not an institution that can be counted on to help revive the arts of our age or in any serious way to arrest their decline--at least not for now. There are a few serious critics on the scene, but the best they can do is continue to remark that the emperor has very few clothes, and wears them badly.
Private foundations, on which many people in the arts depend, are also less than likely to help, for they, too, are hostage to the notion that art ought to be socially useful--that it is most relevant and vibrant when in the service of "social justice." The Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Fund is fairly typical in this regard. Consider its program for resident theaters. According to the Fund, money for such theaters should be used to expand their marketing efforts, mount new plays, broaden the ethnic make-up of their management, experiment with color-blind casting, increase community-outreach activity, and sponsor a variety of other programs designed to integrate the theaters into their communities.
Other major foundations--Rockefeller, Ford, MacArthur--are not differently disposed. All are committed to art for almost anything but art's sake.
That leaves the institutional linchpin of the arts in the United States, the National Endowment, now under fire from a Republican-controlled Congress. Supporters of the NEA, those who like the system as it now is, talk a good deal about the economic soundness of federal support for the arts. They trot out the following numbers: federal support for the arts costs the taxpayer only 64 cents a year, whereas the figure in Germany is $27 and in France and Canada it is $32. Every dollar awarded by the NEA in grants attracts $11 from state and local arts agencies, corporations, and private parties. There are 1.3 million jobs in the arts; if you add tourism, ticket revenues, and other money-making activities, this creates something like $37 billion in economic activity and brings in $3.4 billion in federal taxes. The arts, the argument goes, are good for the economy. So shut up, and eat your arts.
Not only have other nations throughout history supported the arts, NEA publicists maintain, but future generations will judge us by the extent to which we support the arts as 'the finest expression of the human condition." (Ah, Mapplethorpe! Ah, humanity!) When, they remind us, Congress established the NEA in 1965, it noted:
An advanced civilization must not limit its efforts to science and technology alone but must give full value and support to the other great branches of scholarly and cultural activity in order to achieve a better understanding of the past, a better analysis of the present, and a better view of the future.
The arts, therefore, are not only good for the economy, they serve the purposes of moral uplift. So shut up and eat your arts.
To hear its advocates tell it, the NEA enriches community life, stimulates local economies, supports the promising young, makes culture available to the masses, works with "at-risk" youth, satisfies a deep demand for art among the American people-the NEA is in fact good for everything but growing hair. The arts are good for the city, good for the country, good for everyone. So shut up and eat your arts.
But--aside from all these magnificent side-effects--what, exactly, do the arts do? Here we return to the same old litany. Paul Goldberger, the cultural-news editor of the New York Times, a paper that has a great deal to say about what in contemporary art gets serious attention, answered the question by writing that "whatart strives to do...is not to coddle but to challenge." In other words, painters who mock your religion, playwrights who blame you for not doing enough for AIDS, poets who exalt much that you despise, opera composers who make plain that your politics are vicious--all this is by definition art, and, whether you like it or not, it is good for you. So go eat your arts out.
The NEA might have been spared much anguish if someone truly knowledgeable had been in a position of leadership. But in its 30-year history, it has never had a chairman with anything approaching an understanding of the arts. The specialty of Nancy Hanks, the first chairman, was charming Congressmen to support the agency it had founded in 1965. Her successor, Livingston Biddle, was a platitudinarian, who to this day likes to expatiate on his slogan that "the arts mean excellence"; one need only listen to him for two minutes to cease believing in art and excellence both. Biddle was followed by Frank Hodsoll, an intelligent and capable civil servant who, when it came to the arts, was clearly learning on the job. John Frohnmayer, the Bush administration's man, brought to the job enormous ambition exceeded only by ignorance of the ways of politicians and artists alike. The current chairman, Jane Alexander, an actress and hence technically an artist herself, has been running a rescue operation; she apparently thinks the way to do this is to talk about her wide travels in which she finds that the people of the United States could not be happier with all the art the federal government has helped to pay for, and to remind everyone that the arts are good for our souls.
One cannot but wonder what it might be like to have someone in a position of leadership who knows what the point of the arts is. But who of any standing would want to take on the job? In the current political climate, he would find himself locked between radical artists shouting censorship and conservative Congressmen crying obscenity. His efforts could only come to grief.
That the future of the National Endowment for the Arts is in peril ought not to be surprising. What people at the NEA and those who accept grants from it have never seemed to realize is that they are sponsoring and producing official art, just as surely as the academic painters in France or the socialist-realist novelists in the Soviet Union produced official art. That our official art is against the society that sponsors it does not make it any the less official. But given the obscenity and the mediocrity and the politicization of so much of this art, government sponsorship of it has come to seem intolerable, and there is now talk of closing down the Endowment.
Should that be done? Any serious scrutiny of the NEA must begin with the stipulation that politically motivated art ought not to be underwritten by taxpayer money. (The argument that all art is ultimately political is greatly exaggerated; it is a question of degree, and everyone knows it.) Nor for their part should artists upon receiving a grant be asked to accept any condition that will inhibit them, such as not offending any segment of the population. Since these criteria cannot be satisfied in the case of grants to individual artists, and especially those on the "cutting edge," my own sense is that it would better if all such grants were eliminated: better for the country and, though they are likely to hate it, better, finally, for artists.
In one of his essays the eminent cultural historian Jacques Barzun makes a distinction between "public art" and all other kinds. Individual artists, he believes, should fend for themselves, as artists have always done; I agree with him. But then there is public art, by which Barzun means museums, opera houses, orchestras, theaters, and dance troupes. "If as a nation," he writes, "we hold that high art is a public need, these institutions deserve support on the same footing as police departments and weather bureaus."
William F. Buckley, Jr. has supplied a corroborating argument derived, for conservatives, from the most impressive of all possible sources. It was Adam Smith who, in Buckley's words, "counseled that free societies are obliged to contribute state funds only for the maintenance of justice, for the common defense, and for the preservation of monuments." It is only a small stretch, Buckley suggests, to claim that a great many artistic works qualify as monuments.
I agree with that, too--but only in theory. In a different political-cultural climate--less confrontational and litigious--one could easily imagine a place for a federal presence in the arts. The government could contribute to preserving art: it could help to maintain the costs of museums in financial difficulty and ease the financial strain entailed in the performance and exhibition of established and often difficult art that does not figure to have a wide following. Some valuable artcannot realistically hope to survive in the marketplace, ever, and some of the good things the NEA historically helped to do are not likely to be done by private philanthropy--bringing in art from abroad, underwriting costly exhibition catalogues, helping small but serious local musical and dance groups get under way. There are other things, too, that the federal government would perhaps be in the best position to accomplish, if the political climate were not so deliberately abrasive.
Proponents of the NEA point to the fact that most West European governments do support the arts, without great tumult, for the perfectly legitimate reason that they feel a responsibility to their national cultural heritage and to culture generally. But there would not have been a great tumult in the United States, either, if the NEA's advocates, artists' lobbying groups, and artists themselves had not felt the need to justify the mediocre, the political, and the obscene. These justifications have even extended to the argument that not to receive an NEA grant is to be the victim of censorship. When Karen Finley and other performance artists were denied an NEA grant in 1990, they took their case to the courts on this basis, and won. As long as such things go on--and there is no reason to believe that they will not--the federal government would do better to remain outside the arts altogether.
When the abolition of the NEA is currently discussed, many people talk about turning the task over to the states. But the effect of this would most likely be to enlarge state bureaucracies, and art selected for support on the state level is likely to be even more mediocre, and no less political, than that selected on the federal level. The prospect of "devolution" is thus not one that ought to fill anyone with optimism.
It does, however, seem doubtful that, if government divorces itself from the arts, private philanthropy will pick up the whole tab. People who run large artistic institutions--museums, symphony orchestras--seem to agree that the new generations of the wealthy have shown themselves less generous than their forebears: the philanthropic impulse is not, evidently, a genetic one.
This is unfortunate. Although money has its limitations in the arts, there is no question that it also has its distinct uses. In my own time on the NEA Council I sensed that if an art was weak, there was nothing that the injection of money--which was finally all the NEA or any federal program had to offer--could do to strengthen it. If, on other hand, an art was strong, as dance was in the middle 1980's, money could help in small but real ways to support it in its vibrancy. Many dancers, for example, work a 26-week season, or less, and hence are unemployed half the year; and, in a profession that almost guarantees injury, few dance companies are able to offer health insurance. Although nothing was done to rectify either of these situations during even the palmiest days at the NEA, the answer in both instances was fairly simple--money.
Other things that seem eminently justifiable are also not likely to be picked up by private philanthropy. The NEA has sent dance and theatrical and musical groups into rural and backwater parts of the country, so that people, and especially the young, could have an opportunity to see live performance, which, even in a television age, has its own magic. Arts education in the lower grades, which has been gradually yet seriously slipping in recent decades, is something that needs attending to. Private philanthropy is unlikely to step in here, too.
All that having been said, however, it still remains the case that if the Endowment were shut down, the arts would probably for the most part not be drastically affected. In some instances, fresh patrons would step forward to fill the financial gaps; in others, cutbacks in production and exhibition schedules would have to be made; in a minor number of cases, smaller institutions--literary magazines, design projects, local music groups--might go under. But much as the NEA and its advocates would like everyone to think otherwise, the presence of the Endowment is not crucial to the artistic life of this country. This may be a good time to lie low and have no arts policy whatsoever. After all, we had an artistic life-a much richer and more distinguished one--before we had an NEA.
Thanks in part to the NEA, we are now in an age of artistic surfeit. To provide only a single depressing statistic, I read somewhere that there are currently 26,000 registered poets in the United States. Where, it will be asked, do they register? With the Associated Writing Programs, I gather, which are chiefly made up of teachers of writing, who are even now busy producing still more poets, who will go on to teach yet more poets, who will...so that in twenty years' time we will have 52,000 registered poets. Degas, more than a century ago, remarked: "We must discourage the arts." What might he say today?
* COMMENTARY, June 1953.
** See Terry Teachout's "Victim Art," COMMENTARY, March 1995, for a discussion of the Croce article and the controversy it provoked.
Joseph Epstein, a long-time contributor to COMMENTARY, is the author of eight books of essays and a collection of short stories. A new collection of his familiar essays, With My Trousers Rolled, will be brought out by Norton later this month. The present article is the tenth is a series which was inaugurated in September 1994 and which will continue in the coming months.
Word count: 6764
Copyright American Jewish Committee, The Library Institute of Human Relations Apr 1995

Scholarly Journals
From Arts Management to Cultural Administration
Dewey, Patricia. International Journal of Arts Management6.3 (Spring 2004): 13-22. 1. -------------------------------------------------
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Arts administrators may be becoming more aware of the differences between traditional fine arts management and more broadly construed cultural administration, as the focus on fine arts widens to include the entertainment industries, applied arts, the media and amateur arts. This paper begins by positing that four paradigm shifts are taking place which affect or produce systemic change in the cultural sector. In this paper, a paradigm is considered to be "a generally accepted understanding of how select assumptions, conditions, values, interests and processes are interrelated; what goals are desirable and feasible; and what outcomes are expected." The four paradigm shifts are introduced to present a conceptual framework for analyzing constant change in the cultural sector. Then, five change management capacities are proposed for cultural administrators to use proactively in responding to these paradigm shifts. Finally, the evolution from arts management to cultural administration is discussed with regard to curricular considerations for formal education in the field.
Details
Subject
Cultural organizations;
Fine arts;
Organizational change;
Administration
Classification
8307: Arts, entertainment & recreation
9130: Experimental/theoretical
2500: Organizational behavior
Title
From Arts Management to Cultural Administration
Author
Dewey, Patricia
Publication title
International Journal of Arts Management
Volume
6
Issue
3
Pages
13-22
Number of pages
10
Publication year
2004
Publication date
Spring 2004
Year
2004
Section
IDEAS AND OPINIONS
Publisher
Management International
Place of publication
Montréal
Country of publication
Canada
Publication subject
Art
ISSN
14808986
Source type
Scholarly Journals
Language of publication
English
Document type
Feature
Document feature charts; references
ProQuest document ID
205814044
Document URL http://search.proquest.com.ezaccess.library.uitm.edu.my/docview/205814044?accountid=42518 Copyright
Copyright Ecole des Hautes Etudes Commerciales Spring 2004
Last updated
2014-07-19
Database
Arts & Humanities Full Text
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Headnote
ABSTRACT
The author posits that, in North America and Europe, four major paradigm shifts are taking place which produce systemic change in the cultural sector. These paradigm shifts are the world system, the arts system, the cultural policy system and the arts funding system. The author proposes that five change management capacities may be required to proactively respond to systemic change, and discusses the extent to which current training in arts administration is equipped to address the shift from arts management to cultural administration.
KEYWORDS
Change management, cultural policy, arts administration education
Headnote
RESUME
L'auteure pose comme postulat qu'en Amerique du Nord et en Europe quatre paradigmes connaissent des transformations majeures qui entrainent un changement systemique dans le secteur culturel : l'environnement mondial, les arts, les politiques culturelles et le financement des arts. Selon l'auteure, il faudrait cinq habiletes de gestion du changement pour repondre proactivement a ce changement systemique. Elle discute de la capacite de la formation actuelle en administration des arts de s'adapter au passage de la gestion des arts a l'administration de la culture.
MOTS CLES
Gestion du changement, politique culturelle, formation en administration culturelle
Headnote
RESUMEN
La autora plantea que se estan produciendo, en Norte America y Europa, cuatro cambios mayores de paradigma que acarrearan cambios sistemicos en el sector de la cultura. Estos cambios de paradigma abarcan el sistema mundial, el sistema de las artes, el sistema de la politica cultural y el sistema de financiacion del sector de las artes. Segun la autora, se requeriran cinco capacidades de gestion del cambio para poder confrontar, de manera proactiva, los cambios sistemicos anunciados. En el presente articulo, se plantea hasta que punto la formacion en administracion de las artes esta equipada para adecuarse al cambio y pasar de gestion de las artes al concepto de administracion cultural.
PALABRAS CLAVE
Gestion del cambio, politico cultural, educacion en administracion de las artes
The Shift from Arts Management to Cultural Administration: What's in a Name?
It may be simply stated that "modern arts management is based...on the mediation of internal artistic expression with the external public" (Bendixen, 2000, p. 12). However, while the basic function of mediating between artists and the public has existed for over two thousand years, arts management as an academic field and profession emerged in the second half of the 20th century, primarily in North America and Europe. The proliferation and growth of professional artsorganizations and public arts agencies over the past 35 years has created a need for effective management. At first, arts management was generally understood as the management of professional not-for-profit or public arts and culture organizations. In recent years, however, arts managers have come to be employed in a wide range of not-for-profit and for-profit organizations in music, theatre, opera, dance, museums, literature, arts/humanities councils, presenting organizations, service organizations, theme parks, broadcast media, and the film and recording industries (Evrard and Colbert, 2000; Byrnes, 1999, p. 1-25). This broadening range of professional opportunities for arts managers reflects the scope of organizations and institutions now considered part of a more inclusive cultural sector. As Sikes (2000) states, "Arts administrators have a better chance of future employment if they understand they are in the culture industry" (p- 92).
There is a growing perception in the not-for-profit professional arts that training needs to be adjusted to changing conditions in the cultural sector. The term culture, as used currently, "describes the works and practices of intellectual and especially artistic activity" (Raymond Williams, as cited in Chong, 2000, p. 291). The cultural sector may be defined broadly as "a large heterogeneous set of individuals and organizations engaged in the creation, production, presentation, distribution, and preservation of aesthetic, heritage, and entertainment activities, products, and artifacts" (Wyszomirski, 2002, p. 187). The cultural sector is represented by the fine arts (e.g., not-for-profit or public-sector professional organizations), commercial arts (e.g., entertainment industries), applied arts (e.g., architecture and industrial design), unincorporated arts (e.g., amateur groups) and heritage arts. The cultural sector around the world is being affected by changes that suggest an urgent need for new skills in cultural administration.
In North America, the terms arts management, arts administration and cultural management are used interchangeably. The European equivalent term typically translates into English as "cultural management." Arts administrators may be becoming more aware of the differences between traditional fine artsmanagement and more broadly construed cultural administration, as the focus on fine arts (i.e., "high," not-for-profit, heritage, public sector arts) widens to include the entertainment industries, applied arts, the media and amateur arts. Indeed, it is becoming increasingly understood that management of the fine artstakes place within the broad context of cultural policy and administration. As the scope of arts broadens to culture, the scope of management broadens to administration.
But what is causing this shift, in North America and Europe, from arts management to cultural administration? What might the broader context of cultural administration imply in terms of new skills and capacities required of professionals in the field? And to what extent is formal arts administration education equipped to meet changing requirements in the cultural sector?
This paper begins by positing that four paradigm shifts are taking place which affect or produce systemic change in the cultural sector. In this paper, a paradigm is considered to be "a generally accepted understanding of how select assumptions, conditions, values, interests and processes are interrelated; what goals are desirable and feasible; and what outcomes are expected" (Cherbo and Wyszomirski, 2000, p. 9). The four paradigm shifts are introduced to present a conceptual framework for analysing constant change in the cultural sector. Then, five change management capacities are proposed for cultural administrators to use proactively in responding to these paradigm shifts. Finally, the evolution from arts management to cultural administration is discussed with regard to curricular considerations for formal education in the field.
Systemic Change in Cultural Administration
Leaders in the field of arts policy and management in North America and Europe are becoming increasingly aware of changes taking place throughout and around the cultural sector and of an urgent need for new skills in cultural administration. "Change management" is a buzzword at conferences and symposia and in the mission statements of many professional associations and other organizations. Many textbooks, papers, articles and reports being published in the field of cultural policy and arts administration discuss managing change as a factor in the successful development of the fine arts, commercial arts, applied arts, amateur arts and the heritage sector.
According to Wyszomirski (2002), "a decade of profound change following three decades of significant growth, has brought the nonprofit arts and cultural sector to the recognition of a need for even more change and a more positive attitude about accommodating and adapting to the environment. Articulating, integrating, and routinizing the emergent financial, administrative and political paradigms are now the task at hand" (p. 215). A significant problem in cultural policy and administration, however, is that extant research appears not to fully identify the causes and scope of change in the cultural sector nor what, precisely, these new challenges and opportunities might require in terms of new management capacities.
In a background paper ("Creative Industries and Cultural Professions in the 21st Century") prepared for a recent symposium, Wyszomirski (2003) identifies "four factors that are generally acknowledged to be shaping not only the creative sector, but the entire economy and society. Rapid technological advances, globalization, shifts in general population demographics, and a generational turnover in key professions and leadership have all dramatically changed the world we live in during the past decade" (p. 26). These four factors of change are leading to ongoing change in fundamental societal contexts, as reflected by norms, values, public preferences, technological and economic opportunities and constraints, and consumer behaviour patterns. It may be argued that these factors of change are manifested in four paradigm shifts that are affecting or producing systemic change in the cultural sector. It should be noted that systemic change takes place very differently in the diverse sociopolitical and economic environments of various regions, nations, municipalities and communities. Indeed, the interaction of global trends and national or local contexts may lead to a distinct constellation of challenges and opportunities for the cultural sector in any given geopolitical region.
Despite local variation, the following paradigm shifts are proposed. First, the world system is shifting due to the force of globalization; local adaptation through global interculturalism, or "glocalism" - a process by which the influences and impact of global forces are filtered locally - may be the preferred response. second, a shift in the arts system is taking place as boundaries blur among the fine, commercial, applied, unincorporated and heritage arts; the sector's scope is broadening, from a concern with fine arts to a more inclusive interest in culture, consisting of all five areas of artistic activity. Third, a shift in the cultural policy system is occurring as a result of a growing awareness that national and international policy constraints, incentives and assistance strongly affect the administration of arts organizations; thus the cultural sector's sphere of activity is expanding, to include national and international policy as well as organizations. Fourth, changes in economic assumptions and resources are causing a shift in the arts funding system; new funding models reflect changes in the mix of public/private and earned/ contributed income.
Despite the demands created by these systemic changes, however, arts administration education - evident in the curricula of members of the Association ofArts Administration Educators (www.artsnet.org/aaae/) and the European Network of Cultural Administration Training Centres (www.encatc.org) - focuses on (1) the domestic environment, (2) the fine arts sector, (3) organizational administration, and (4) outdated arts funding models. Also, while textbooks and references used in arts administration education have recently begun to address topics such as the importance of change management skills and an international orientation in arts management, instructional materials still concentrate on the traditional administration of domestic fine arts organizations (Byrnes, 1999; Colbert et al., 2000; Hagoort, 2001; Kotler and Scheff, 1997; Pick and Anderton, 1999; Radbourne, 1996).
Each of the four emerging paradigms of relevance to cultural administration in North America and Europe are now discussed in detail.
The Changing World System
There is an extensive body of literature on the forces, causes and outcomes of globalization, although no standard definition of the term appears to exist. Cultural administrators may find it helpful to consider globalization a force that evokes a tension between homogeneity and heterogeneity in the dialectic of the global and the local. Further, an era of globalization may be considered "the dominant international system that replaced the Cold War system after the fall of the Berlin Wall" (Friedman, 2000, p. 7). Globalization may also be understood as complex connectivity, which refers to "the rapidly developing and ever-densening network of interconnections and interdependencies that characterize modern social life" (Tomlinson, 1999, p. 2). Scholte (1999, 2000) suggests that globalization requires a paradigm shift in social analysis towards a world-system approach focused on local and international forces influencing societal interconnections at transnational, national and local levels. Individuals concerned with cultural policy may be interested in the publications of current scholars following the Weberian tradition, such as Samuel Huntington, Francis Fukuyama and Robert Putnam. For example, Huntington (1996) argues that "culture and cultural identities, which at the broadest level are civilization identities, are shaping the patterns of cohesion, disintegration, and conflict in the post-Cold War world" (p. 20).
Finnemore (1996) argues that nation-states should be seen as "embedded in an international social fabric that extends from the local to the transnational" (p. 145). The fact that the nation-state cannot be considered the sole or even primary actor in the globalized world system suggests a paradigm shift for the cultural sector. Wyszomirski (2000, p. 80-81) identifies six possible outcomes of the trajectory of globalization forces on the arts and culture sector: Americanization, homogenization, repluralization, commodification, globalism and glocalism. In order to resist the negative effects of Americanization, homogenization and commodification, a society must be able to take an external cultural influence and adapt it to suit its own frame of reference and purposes. In his bestseller The Lexus and the Olive Tree, Friedman (2000) refers to this critical ability on the part of a society as the ability to "glocalize."
The effects of globalization in the cultural sector are often experienced as the impact of global popular culture, Americanization or Westernization. It may be argued that the only feasible means to achieve a balance in the global-local cultural tension is a hybridization approach, which with respect to cultural forms may be defined as "the ways in which forms become separated from existing practices and recombine with new forms in new practices" (Pieterse, 1995/2000, p. 101) - in other words, a process of glocalization. The point is that, regardless of a community's chosen response to globalization, the global world system must be taken into account. It is no longer possible to focus solely on the domestic environment and ignore a diverse range of transnational actors and norms that may have a dramatic influence on a nation's cultural environment, organizations, competition and public preferences.
The Changing Arts System
Human creative expression has, over time, led to a thriving, vibrant and dynamic cultural sector. As Cherbo and Wyszomirski (2000) explain, "certain art forms take precedence in each era; the functions art serves will vary along with the meanings and values associated with them; the arts are produced, supported and distributed in various ways; the range of artistic activities and their stratification among the population according to time and place as well as in the ways they are linked to power and government, and the ways they are taught" (p. 3-4). Culture and the arts are vital to the world's advanced economies, which are being transformed from information-based systems to creativity-based systems (Venturelli, 2000). Five distinct segments of the cultural sector can be discerned, as shown in Table 1.
In the United States the fine (or "high") arts are a professional entity in which the dominant organizational form of production combines the professional artist and the notfor-profit corporation. In other countries fine arts organizations are often part of the public sector. Each major fine arts discipline (visual, performing, literary or media) can be divided into subdisciplines, each having its own standards of professional excellence. Management of fine arts organizations has traditionally been, and continues to be, the focus of formal arts administration education.
The arts system may be undergoing a paradigm shift, however, in that the arts segments, disciplines and subdisciplines are no longer considered isolated, independent art forms. "Currently, systems thinking is developing with regard to the arts and culture because of a growing awareness of the intersections and linkages among nonprofit arts, entertainment, and the unincorporated arts" (Cherbo and Wyszomirski, 2000, p. 15)- Creative America, a report published by the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities (1997), states that "amateur, nonprofit and commercial creative enterprises all interact and influence each other constantly" (p. 3). As boundaries blur between the various arts disciplines, new forms of public/private and for-profit/not-for-profit partnerships and initiatives are emerging (Seaman, 2002) and entrepreneurial capacity is growing in importance. This systemic shift is reflected in the number of conferences and publications pertaining to broadly defined cultural industries or creative industries recently in evidence in North America and Europe (Mercer, 2001; Wyszomirski, 2003). With this shift comes a new sector-wide emphasis on creativity - which is sometimes replacing the policy emphasis on "artistic excellence."
The Changing Cultural Policy System
Reflecting shifts in the world system and in the arts system, as described above, "the policy arena is broadening to encompass the high, popular, and unincorporated arts, whether nonprofit or commercial, and deepening to include a number of issues that touch upon the activities of many arts disciplines and are invested in many federal departments and agencies and levels of government" (Cherbo and Wyszomirski, 2000, p. 13). It may be argued that artsadministrators are becoming increasingly aware of the national and international policy frameworks in which they are operating. Throughout the cultural sector, the levels of activity are expanding to include a focus on national and international policy. This paradigm shift is most readily witnessed in cultural heritage and preservation, cultural diplomacy, international touring and presenting, and intellectual property rights issues. However, the elements and constellation of this nascent cultural policy paradigm are not yet fully apparent (Wyszomirski, 1995, 2002).
A key element of the new cultural policy paradigm is the role of community in culture and the arts, in terms of education, community-building, urban development, audience accessibility and generation of social capital (Weil, 2002; Mercer, 2001; Bradford, Gary and Wallach, 2000; Strom, 2001; Harrison and Huntington, 2000; Adams and Goldbard, 2001). Cliche (2001) explains: "[A] creativity governance and management concept of cultural administration is now emerging which goes beyond artistic creation to be viewed as...the foundation of our creativity and progress including economic, political, intellectual and social development. This more open concept of culture implies the participation, at least in principle, of a wide range of decision-makers, promoters and managers in the formation, production, distribution, preservation, management and consumption of culture at all levels of society. It also implies a host of institutions and regulatory frameworks to support such a broadened system of governance" (p. 1).
The nature of the emergent cultural policy paradigm in the United States and abroad is uncertain at present, but it is to be expected that spheres of activity in this paradigm will have to include organizational administration, national policy and international diplomacy. Individual and organizational involvement is expanding to include all three spheres, which is evident in the proactivity in policy entrepreneurship, policy influence, heritage, national identity, cultural identity, social enterprise and cultural diplomacy.
The Changing Arts Funding System
A recognition that arts and culture is a legitimate and worthwhile sector of society, as deserving of state support as other sectors, developed throughout the industrialized world in the second half of the 20th century. Government support for the arts expanded in North America and Europe in the 1960s and 1970s, as part of a dramatic growth in government spending on social programs generally. In the 1980s large-scale deficit financing of social programs came to an end and the arts sector had to adjust to an era of retrenchment (Cummings and Katz, 1987, p. 364-365). Mulcahy (2000) points out that European government subsidies for the arts have declined in recent years and that many European nations are considering the expansion of privatization and searching for alternative sources of arts support. When compared with Europe, the American system of cultural patronage is, in effect, much broader and stronger than may be evident. Also, although federal support for the arts in the United States has decreased over the past decade, "state and local arts councils have increased their composite support and demonstrated their institutional and political resilience in sustaining the nation's cultural infrastructure" (Mulcahy, p. 139). With ongoing change due to recent budget cuts - even elimination of state and local funding for the cultural sector - in the United States, the composite mix of funding will continue to require assessment and adaptation. Budget cuts and government restructuring are forcing countries with a heritage of lavish cultural patronage to search for models of pluralistic arts support. Indeed, as early as 1987 Cummings and Katz asserted that, due to common political pressures and economic forces, the cultural policies and arts funding tools of the Western industrialized nations have tended to converge over time. This trend appears to be continuing as policy transfer, best practices sharing and lessons learned from abroad continue to influence policy-makers throughout the world.
As Wyszomirski (2002, p. 189-191) notes, the 1990s brought significant changes in the revenue patterns of American not-for-profit arts organizations and in the practices of financial supporters of the arts, leading to new challenges and opportunities for fundraisers: "Overall, the amount of money contributed to the artsand culture increased from just under $10 billion in 1995 to $11.7 billion in 1999. However, even though the dollar amount increased, the sector's share of giving decreased from 7.6% in 1989 to 5.8% in 1999" (p. 191). In Europe the 1990s brought new challenges through broad systemic efforts to privatize artsorganizations and decentralize policy (van Hemel and van der Wielen, 1997; Wesner and Palka, 1997), leading to an (intended) expansion of non-governmental support for the arts - such as corporate sponsorship and foundation grants - in many European nations.
Seaman (2002) identifies the key issues and assumptions regarding arts funding in the United States as "(1) private vs. public funding; (2) 'earned' vs. 'unearned' income; (3) public national vs. state vs. local funding that is endemic to the complex 'division of labor' that characterizes a federal system; (4) for-profit vs. non-profit arts organizations; and (5) successful and financially wealthy producers of 'popular' culture and mass entertainment vs. financially vulnerable producers of live, high quality, 'real' art" (p. 7). Such distinctions also exist in Europe, with the European Union, nation-states, provinces and local communities serving as the relevant units of analysis. Additional issues affecting arts organizations include ongoing revision of accounting and reporting standards, increased concern on the part of funders with evaluation and program outcomes, the establishment of new trust funds and organizational endowments, an emerging concern with protecting and exploiting intellectual property assets, and possibilities for e-commerce and e-philanthropy. New arts funding models must reflect these changes in economic assumptions, resources and issues. They must take into account new patronage systems and changes in the means and tools of arts funding.
Having demonstrated the scope and nature of systemic change through the four paradigm shifts, as substantiated by this literature review, we now turn to an overview of five change management capacities that cultural administrators may require in order to proactively respond to systemic change taking place in the cultural sector.
Change Management Capacities in Cultural Administration
The interaction of systemic change and local contexts may require certain capacities (functions) matched with skill sets that are specific to national and local environments. The following five "global" change management capacities - listed in no particular order - may be crucial in the response to systemic change in the cultural sector:
* managing international cultural interactions: competencies to negotiate international touring and presenting, cultural trade, and cultural tourism
* representing cultural identity: the way in which the cultural sector is treated as an element of foreign policy, diplomacy and intercultural exchange; also, the capacity to maintain local identities, pluralism and diversity in the face of global cultural forces
* promoting innovative methods of audience development: for example, cultivating entrepreneurial partnerships between the fine arts and segments of the cultural sector; treating the fine arts as one of the creative industries; encouraging innovative marketing, education and outreach programs; dealing constructively with changing audience demographics; and using technology to develop future audiences
* exercising effective strategic leadership: a constant strategic awareness and entrepreneurial focus on environmental demands in all three spheres (international, national and organizational) of the cultural policy system, both proactive and reactive policy advocacy involvement, and skill in negotiating coalitions and alliances
* fostering a sustainable mixed funding system: the capacity to increase earned and contributed revenues within each representative context.
With regard to the range of skills and competencies required of cultural administrators, it should be pointed out that these five capacities do not replace established skill sets but, rather, add to them in response to changing demand. New systemic requirements and the need for new change management capacities suggest a corresponding need for new training approaches. Such approaches will have to include the education of cultural administration leaders in both "global" capacities or functions (i.e., the change management capacities listed above) and "local" skill sets particular to the specific environment in which they are working.
There may be a mismatch between changing demand in the cultural sector and characteristics of current formal arts administration education, as indicated in Table 2. The five change management capacities are included in this table as they might most closely correspond with changing demand in the cultural sector, but these competencies may imply more than one focus. Multiple interconnections and interdependencies should be considered.
As illustrated in Table 2, a shift in the world system due to the forces of globalization may call for capacities in managing international cultural interactions and in representing cultural identity - capacities that are neglected in the current domestic focus of arts administration education. Similarly, with multiple changing cultural administration opportunities due to a broader, more inclusive concept of culture, a focus solely on management in the fine arts sector is inappropriate. Funding systems for arts and culture vary dramatically according to factors such as the nation's or community's cultural policies, historical patterns, institutions and overarching public preferences. Everywhere in the world, however, new patronage systems and tools of arts funding must be taken into account. Cultivating a sustainable mix of public/private and earned/contributed revenues is a daunting challenge for cultural administrators everywhere. Finally, the most nascent and unarticulated of the paradigm shifts - that of the cultural policy system - might invoke the most critical changes in arts administration education, as cultural administration leaders might in the future increasingly be required to function effectively in organizational, national and international spheres of activity.
Curricular Considerations for Education in Cultural Administration
In this paper it is suggested that four paradigm shifts - the world system, the arts system, the cultural policy system and the arts funding system - can be observed in the cultural sector in North America and Europe. These paradigm shifts signify systemic change in the cultural sector and indicate a shift from artsmanagement to cultural administration. As demonstrated in Table 2, the broader context of cultural administration implies the need for change management capacities that correspond with the four paradigm shifts. These changing requirements would not eliminate the need for the traditional focus of artsadministration education, but would introduce additional skills, capacities and competencies that may increasingly be required in 21st-century cultural administration.
How might arts management education respond to systemic change and the need to develop change management capacities in future leaders in the cultural sector? Traditional curricula are packed with course requirements in such areas as arts management, development, marketing, human resources, arts policy, financial management, legal issues in the arts, information management, cultural theory and research methods (Martin and Rich, 1998; Hutchens and Zoe, 1995; Fischer, Rauhe and Wiesand, 1996; Dewey and Rich, 2003). Introducing additional coursework that focuses on the specialized skill sets needed to react to changing environmental opportunities and constraints may not be the optimal response. Perhaps future education should take a metaskills (i.e., overarching functions and competencies) or metaphorical approach to cultural administration. Sikes's (2000) metaphorical warrior, explorer and architect system, for example, could be implemented in order to develop strategic leadership, audience development and revenue generation capacities. Designing curricula and instructional materials that correspond with such a metaskills approach may prove useful for conceptualizing and developing a systemic capacity-building approach to cultural administration education (Dewey and Rich, 2003, p. 25-28).
Constant systemic change in the cultural sector calls for ongoing adaptation in change management capacities needed to proactively respond to challenges, opportunities, and constraints in the domestic and international cultural sector. This paper has introduced a theoretical construct for conceptualizing and responding to change in the cultural sector, but much remains to be done in adapting formal arts management education to meet changing demands in cultural administration.
References
References
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Chartrand, H. H., and C. McCaughey. 1989. "The Arm's Length Principle and the Arts: An International Perpective - Past, Present and Future." In Who's to Pay for the Arts? The International Search for Models of Arts Support, M.C. Cummings Jr. and J.M.D. Schuster, eds. New York: ACA Books, p. 43-80.
Cherbo, J.M., and MJ. Wyszomirski. 2000. "Mapping the Public Life of the Arts in America." In The Public Life of the Arts in America, J.M. Cherbo and MJ. Wyszomirski, eds. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, p. 3-21.
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Colbert, E, J. Nan tel, S. Bilodeau, J. D. Rich and W. Poole. 2000. Marketing Culture and the Arts, 2nd ed. Montreal: Presses HEC.
Cummings, M.C., and R.S. Katz, eds. 1987. The Patron State: Government and the Arts in Europe, North America, and Japan. New York: Oxford University Press.
Dewey, P., and J.D. Rich. 2003. "Developing Arts Management Skills in Transitional Democracies." International Journal of Arts Management, Vol. 5, n°2, p. 15-28.
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Hutchens, J., and V, Zoe. 1985. "Curricular Considerations in Arts Administration: A Comparison of Views from the Field." Journal of Arts Management, Law, and Society, Vol. 15, n° 2, p. 7-28.
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AuthorAffiliation
Patricia Dewey is Assistant Professor in the Arts and Administration Program, University of Oregon, USA. Her main research interests are arts administration education, international cultural policy and cultural development.
Copyright Ecole des Hautes Etudes Commerciales Spring 2004

University arts programs and local communities: A report on a pilot study
Pollak, Thomas; Hager, Mark A; Rowland, Elizabeth. Journal of Arts Management, Law, and Society30.2 (Summer 2000): 146-159. 1. -------------------------------------------------
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Rather than operating as independent organizations, university-based arts programs function as part of their larger institutions. Pollak et al developed and tested a framework that will enable researchers to better define and understand the role of the arts program in the university as well as the interrelationships between university arts programs and the local community.
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Colleges & universities;
Performing arts;
Art education;
Community
Title
University arts programs and local communities: A report on a pilot study
Author
Pollak, Thomas; Hager, Mark A; Rowland, Elizabeth
Publication title
Journal of Arts Management, Law, and Society
Volume
30
Issue
2
Pages
146-159
Number of pages
14
Publication year
2000
Publication date
Summer 2000
Year
2000
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Taylor & Francis Inc.
Place of publication
Washington
Country of publication
United States
Publication subject
Law, Music, Motion Pictures, Theater, Dance, Social Sciences: Comprehensive Works
ISSN
10632921
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Scholarly Journals
Language of publication
English
Document type
Feature
ProQuest document ID
223933578
Document URL http://search.proquest.com.ezaccess.library.uitm.edu.my/docview/223933578?accountid=42518 Copyright
Copyright HELDREF PUBLICATIONS Summer 2000
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2011-09-06
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Arts & Humanities Full Text
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From student performances and exhibitions to the use of facilities for the presentation of professional artists, the production and consumption of art on university campuses can be studied on two different levels.1 First, one can explore arts programs within the university community. Second, one can broaden the view to include the role of university-based arts programs within the surrounding community.2
Given the diversity of higher education institutions in the United States, it is likely that the number and type of fine arts programs3 and the amount of community participation vary among universities. However, systematic study of the nature and variation of programs and participation can be difficult since these activities are embedded within institutions. That is, rather than operating as independent organizations, university-based arts programs function as part of their larger institutions. In the current study we develop and test a framework that will enable researchers to better define and understand the role of the artsprogram in the university as well as the interrelationships between university arts programs and the local community.
Arts Organization-Based Research
Arts researchers frequently focus on organizations as a means of describing arts activities and their presence or absence in a local community. Part of the reason for this choice is theoretical. Many arts activities take place in, are funded through, and gain reputations by association with organizations. Another reason for this focus is methodological. That is, organizations are discrete elements that can be counted and described. Legal definitions neatly divide nonprofit from for-profit organizations. Consequently, given the relative ease with which arts organizations can be defined, counted, and studied, researchers often focus on the organizational level.
Unfortunately, arts organizations are not always freestanding, independently incorporated entities. Researchers would be pleased if definable organizations or programs appeared on a roll of independent organizations, but the world is not always as neat as researchers might wish. The most common conceptual problem of this type is that many arts presenters are embedded in other, larger organizations and therefore do not appear on lists of incorporated entities. An example is an art gallery that is part of a university. The university is an incorporated or statutory entity that is recognized by the state and reports to the Internal Revenue Service, thereby appearing on various lists of formal organizations. The gallery, however, despite the fact that one can easily conceptualize it as an organization and desire to compare it to a freestanding gallery, is not independently incorporated. Consequently, it has largely escaped the attention of researchers who rely on lists of formal organizations as a sampling frame. In this study I make a first step in an effort to address this gap in the research.
The Arts on Campus
The most institutionalized, commonly acknowledged, and easily measured arts activities on campus are found in individual fine arts departments. Students can pursue degree-based courses of study through these departments or take classes to complement study in other disciplines. Higher education guides and course catalogs provide detailed information on the availability of majors, the number of students in the particular programs, and course offerings.
However, the role of arts on campus extends beyond the classroom or studio curriculum. University departments, student life committees, and studentrun organizations present performances and exhibitions. Students, faculty, and staff participate in extracurricular arts activities. The range of these events and rate of participation in these activities, however, are difficult to measure. Many university-based arts activities tend to be less formal and less institutionalized as well as spread throughout the university. The role of these programs in university life is also more varied than degree-based arts instruction. Arts programs can be viewed as vehicles for professional and personal development as well as vehicles of social and entertainment value.
University Arts and Local Communities
In some geographic areas, the local university may be the main source of arts activities, while in others it may be only a small part of the larger arts scene. Its relative importance is likely to vary in relation to both university and community characteristics. Factors include community perceptions of the campus and its activities, the existence of non-university art organizations, the size of the university, the amount of university resources supporting the arts,' and the level of university commitment to the community.
The extent to which a particular university opens its doors to outside participation is likely to be related to the institution's history and mission. For example, land-grant institutions, which were created to meet local needs for agricultural and industrial training and research, have expanded their purview to meet a broad range of public needs (Wagner 1993; Cote and Cote 1993). Given a history of applying university resources and knowledge to local concerns, it would not be surprising if these values were reflected in the activities of their fine arts departments as well. In fact, Kerr suggests that "a new dimension has been added to the land grant idea of service" when the university serves as the main source of culture in a community (Kerr 1995, 87).
When the resources of community-based organizations are limited, university facilities and resources can be of great benefit to the community. In turn, community members and groups can help keep facilities operating at full capacity and generate revenue for the university. Pollack (1994) suggests that community-university partnerships will benefit both university and community by bolstering the cultural life of the locality. More broadly, other scholars have envisioned the university becoming the center of cultural life as public arts funding stagnates (Urice 1990) or as urban centers decay (Kerr 1995).
In contrast to these optimistic and expansive views of the university-community relationship in the arts, one recent study shows universities playing a relatively small role in providing community access to the arts overall. Only 6 percent of respondents in the National Endowment for the Arts' 1997 household questionnaire, the Survey of Public Participation in the Arts, reported that the last time they attended an arts event, the facility was located at a university. However, these national statistics may mask substantial variations in the local role of universities. To begin to understand these variations, we designed our pilot study to explore universities' provision of performing and visual arts to the local community by collecting data directly from the universities.
A Framework for Conceptualizing Arts Programs
In our framework, we use three dimensions to describe the role of university arts programs in the university and community systems. Using the first two dimensions, we describe the level of participation in the consumption (internal versus external audience) and creation (university-only versus community-artist participation) of art by members of the university and local communities. Since the most formal role of the arts is related to the education of students, we use the third dimension to capture whether the program is primarily for professional development in the arts (intramural/club versus com-- petitive/professional character). We discuss each in turn.
Internal Versus External Audience
In most visual and performing arts programs, audience can be clearly differentiated from participants. The dancer, musician, painter, or sculptor is distinguished from the consumer of the art. Participants can be concurrent consumers of their own art (e.g., a conductor enjoying her own orchestra's performance), but mostarts programs feature a presentation or creation by a participant that is consumed by an audience.
The first dimension by which university-based arts programs might be differentiated is the degree to which the art is consumed exclusively by university members. We differentiate between an internal and an external audience. An internal audience is one that is drawn primarily from university members. In contrast, an external audience is one that has substantial representation from the broader community.
University-Only Versus Community-Artist Participation
While community attendance at university arts programs is commonplace, community participation in the production of university arts programs is less prevalent. However, the fact that it is less common makes community participation in university-based arts all the more useful in distinguishing among university-based arts programs. Programs that invite or allow outside participation signal an unusual level of interaction with the local community.
In short, we argue that university-based arts programs differ in terms of the degree to which the students, faculty, or staff are the sole participants in generating or performing the art. Most embedded arts programs are comprised primarily of members of the university community. On the other hand, some programs invite or allow substantial participation from artists who are not otherwise affiliated with the university. Like the distinction made between internal and external audience, the degree to which university-based arts programs permit or forbid community participation is not a simple dichotomy. However, we posit that programs with primarily university-only artist participation differ in important ways from programs with substantial community-artist participation.
Intramural/Club Versus Competitive/Professional Character
Finally, as noted earlier, we also believe that university-based arts programs can be differentiated in terms of their degree of professionalization. Many university programs are primarily expressive or social in nature. That is, students (and potentially others) participate in the program for the sake of art or as a means of meeting and engaging other participants. The ultimate goal of this kind of program is for participants to express themselves through and to increase their appreciation of art. These kinds of programs we label intramural or club-type arts programs.
In contrast, other university programs are primarily instrumental in nature. Participants are involved with the program as a means of learning and honing artistic or managerial skills that they hope to use in a professional career. These kinds of programs we label competitive or professional arts programs, and they are principally intended to serve the professional development of student artists. Individual participants may be more or less interested in professionalization rather than the expressive joy of participation; however, the test of whether a program is club-type or competitive is in its intent and subsequent manufacture of professional artists.
The three dual dimensions result in the eight-cell typology illustrated in figure 1. The typology is useful because any university-based arts program can be placed in one of the eight cells once its audience, participant makeup, and professional-emphasis are determined. Consider four examples:
1. Gamma Sorority Glee Club's participants are university students who sing at university social functions attended almost exclusively by other university students. The women who participate in this group do so because it is a social function of their sorority. While there may be a few voice majors in the glee club, none of them expect that participation in the glee club will substantially add to the likelihood of becoming a professional musician.
Where does this program fit in our typology? Gamma Sorority Glee Club has an internal audience, is made up exclusively of university students, and does not seek to professionalize its participants. Consequently, it may be placed in cell 1.
2. Community-University Band is a collaborative enterprise between a small college and a retirement community. Sponsored by the university and directed by a music faculty member, the band is comprised primarily of retirees, although a smaller number of students are members of the band. The retirees participate because they enjoy picking up instruments they may not have played in many years; the students participate because they enjoy the opportunity to interact with elderly people in a way they have not interacted before. The band focuses on rehearsals rather than performances, both of which are attended primarily by other members of the retirement community.
Like the glee club, the Community-University Band participants do not look to the program as a stepping-stone to a professional career. However, unlike the glee club, the preponderance of participants and audience members are not otherwise affiliated with the university. As a result, the Community-- University Band falls into cell 4.
3. The Student Gallery is an art display space in an obscure corner of a major university student union. The university also has an art museum and other gallery spaces that house traveling collections and student expositions. While the Student Gallery is a place where serious art students can display their work, few people besides other art students and faculty frequent this particular gallery.
The Student Gallery seems to have more in common with the glee club than does the Community-University Band. Like the glee club, the gallery is focused on university members, both as participants and members of the audience. However, the Student Gallery differs from the Gamma Sorority Glee Club because of its orientation toward professionalization. Whereas the glee club members do not seek professional singing careers, students who display their work in the gallery count the experience on their r6sum6s and hope that it will contribute to their chances of becoming professional artists. Consequently, the Student Gallery falls into cell 5.
4. The Urban College Opera produces five major productions each year. While it is nominally a university program and gives Master's in Fine Arts students the chance to participate in major productions as they prepare for a professional career, it is also the premier opera company in the city. Consequently, professionals sing major roles in most productions. Although the college subsidizes student tickets, most of the audience members at Urban College Opera productions are not affiliated with the university.
Like the Student Gallery, the Urban College Opera also includes students and other university members who see participation in the program as a step toward a professional arts career. However, like the Community-University Band, its participants and audience are drawn primarily from outside the university. Consequently, the Urban College Opera is an example of a universitybased arts program that falls into cell 8. Clearly, the typology can differentiate between fictitious programs. How well it classifies real-world university-based arts programs is a question we take up in the following sections.
Method
In this pilot project, we collected data from eleven universities during 1999-2000; these universities represented a broad range of institutions. We chose a mix based on size, level of degree offered, type of funding (public or private), religious affiliation, geographic location, and size of surrounding city.
Using university web sites and talking with university representatives by phone, we compiled lists of campus-based arts programs and performance facilities. We used these lists to construct two customized surveys for each institution, one focused on programs, the other on facilities. For each program, we asked respondents
1. to estimate the number of performances per year
2. to estimate average attendance per performance
3. to estimate the percentage of the audience drawn from outside the university community
4. to estimate the percentage of participants in the performance drawn from outside the community
5. to indicate if they strongly agreed, agreed, felt neutral, disagreed, strongly disagreed, or didn't know that the program was primarily intended to prepare participants for professional careers in the arts.
For the program survey we received a response from at least one university representative at seven of the eleven schools contacted (64 percent). Thirtyone percent of the programs answered at least one of the five questions. The facility survey had a much lower response rate, with only 28 percent of universities returning the survey. As with the program survey, some questions were left blank.
Results
The eleven universities reported a total of 272 programs, an average of 24.7 programs per institution. Setting aside the rural community college that reported only three programs and the elite private university that reported fifty-two, the number of programs reported in the other nine universities ranged from fifteen to thirty-four. This represents a surprisingly narrow range considering the large differences in the size of the student populations (one thousand to thirty-four thousand) for these nine schools. The narrow range in the number of programs leads to remarkable variation in the number of students per program. The five private schools ranged from a low of sixty-five students per program to a high of 125. In contrast, the public institutions, which with one exception were the larger entities, ranged from a low of 366 to a high of 1,130 students per program. It seems likely, given the size of the large public universities with the highest ratios, that some programs were missed. Nonetheless, even if twice as many programs could be located, significant differences would remain between the public and private institutions.
The remaining discussion explores the characteristics of arts programs and facilities by program type/discipline and by the legal status (public or private) of their parent institutions. While public and private art programs display statistically significant differences in audience size (z = -2.9, p < .05) and community audience participation (z = -3.5, p < .05), there are two major caveats. First, this small sample of universities, although intended to be representative, was chosen neither randomly nor proportionally to the number of schools of each type. Second, despite efforts to secure responses from a range of institutions, the private survey respondents were all smaller than their public counterparts.
We identified 203 programs and sixty-nine facilities. Fully 87 percent of the programs were in the performing arts, with the largest single category, music, accounting for 53 percent of the groups and for 43 percent of the total.
Information on the number of performances and exhibitions was reported for sixty-five programs while audience size was reported for only forty-four (see table 1). For all program categories, the average number of performances is fifteen and the average attendance per performance is 360 people. The performing artsprograms, the largest of the categories, average nineteen performances per year and 268 people per individual performance. Overall, the average total audience on an annual basis is an impressive 3,351 persons. A caveat is that, in most cases, the audience numbers represent estimates by the respondents. Given the consistently large numbers reported and the tendency of people to remember extremes, these numbers likely overstate actual attendance and the number of events.
What do these numbers mean in terms of the number of programs and the size of the audience nationally? A rough estimate can be developed by extrapolating either the number of institutions or the number of students represented by the institutions in the survey to the 3,706 higher education institutions and their 14.7 million students nationwide (Bureau of the Census 1997). Assuming that only half of the 1,400 two-year colleges have art programs,5 the number of embedded programs or facilities in higher education was probably between 10,000 and 33,000 in 1995. To put this in perspective, the number of independently incorporated nonprofit arts and culture organizations filing annual returns with the Internal Revenue Service in 1995 (only organizations with more than $25,000 in gross receipts were included) was approximately 20,000. The number of arts and culture organizations with tax-exempt status from the Internal Revenue Service is more than 60,000. If one conceptualizes the embedded programs and facilities as roughly commensurable with the independent programs, these entities would represent an addition of 18 to 60 percent to the total number of exempt arts and culture organizations. The total annual audience is in the range of 32 million to 112 million persons.
Exploring The Conceptual Framework
This section of the article focuses on the three dimensions of the conceptual framework. One preliminary indication of its value is that most of the art programs responding to the survey can, in fact, be readily categorized according to the framework. All of the cells have at least one entry. Moreover, the framework spotlights interesting variations between the visual and the performing arts, such as the absence of visual arts programs in the external audience row (see figure 2). Given the small number of entries that could be classified, however, even this conclusion is tentative at best.
Other than missing data, only two difficulties arose in the categorization of programs. Five programs described the participation as being evenly split between community and the university, making it impossible to designate primary participation. Another difficulty in classification was related to the design of one of the program survey questions, which was constructed with students as the participating artists in mind and was therefore inappropriate for categorizing programs that presented professional artists.
The next sections explore the variations in each dimension by program discipline/type and by the legal status of the parent institutions.
Professional Training Versus Intramura/Club
The first dimension of our framework focused on the role of arts programs in training the art students as professionals. Fifty-nine percent of the respondents strongly agreed or agreed that the primary purpose of their programs was professional training in the arts, while only 20 percent disagreed. Although there is some variation among disciplines, with music having less of a professional training orientation than among the other disciplines, in every discipline more respondents agreed than disagreed with the statement. The art programs in public institutions show a much greater focus on professional training than the private institutions. Of those in public institutions, 53 percent strongly agreed that their primary purpose was professional training while only 5 percent of their private counterparts strongly agreed. The public programs were also substantially less likely to disagree or strongly disagree on the importance of professional training (14 percent) than the private programs (54 percent).
Community Audience Participation
We asked survey respondents to estimate the percentage of their audiences and of the artists from outside the university. Fully 93 percent of the embedded programs reported members of the community in the audience. Respondents estimated that, for the programs reporting community participation, an average of 45 percent of the audience was drawn from the community. The proportion of the audience drawn from the community was particularly large in theater groups (M = 55 percent).
The programs of public institutions show much greater community audience participation. The proportion of art programs in public institutions reporting community participation (97 percent) was somewhat higher than that of private programs (86 percent); the proportion of the audience drawn from the community for the public programs (55 percent) was 25 percentage points higher than that of private institutions' programs (30 percent).
Community Artist Participation
The level of involvement of community members as artists6 is dramatically smaller than their involvement as audience members. Only 42 percent of the embedded programs reported any community participation, less than half the number reporting audience participation. The percentage of programs with outside participation was especially low among music groups-only 21 percent.
In contrast to the greater community audience participation in public institutions' programs, programs in private institutions show greater community artist participation than do public ones. For both public and private, only 41 to 42 percent of programs have community artist involvement. However, 64 percent of the artists in the private institutions, compared to only 40 percent in the public institutions, are drawn from the community.
A number of perspectives shed light on the disparity between community audience and artist participation rates. From an economic perspective, the university orart program has incentives to maximize box office revenue and the learning (i.e., arts creation) opportunities for its students. Assuming that the university audience is insufficient to fill the seats or space for most university-based performances or exhibits and that community audience participation will not crowd out the potential university audience, revenue will be increased by inviting the community to become part of the audience. With an average annual audience of more than three thousand people per program (see table 1), there are doubtlessly many more opportunities to participate as audience than as artist.
In many cases, the institutional role of the event sponsors dictates who will participate as artists. Events sponsored by an art department, which has as its primary mission the training of its students, will serve primarily as educational experiences for the department's students.
Another perspective focuses on the mission of the university. Universities with missions incorporating service into their communities might have more community involvement in the arts than those that limit their mission to the advancement of knowledge and the education of their students. These alternative conceptions of the university are, to some extent, embodied in the mission statements and language used by the institutions to describe themselves. Not surprisingly, the public colleges and universities place far greater emphasis on their role in the community than the private universities. Thus, one might expect to find greater community participation in the arts programs of public institutions.' The preliminary analysis of the survey data shows substantial differences between public and private institutions for the survey responses regarding all three dimensions. A larger sample that included more large private universities and small public ones would enable this hypothesis to be explored in greater depth.
Recommendations for Further Research
Using the Web to locate arts programs proved to be a reasonably efficient means for building comprehensive lists of programs. The surveys revealed that we were able to locate the vast majority of programs within the universities. From the initial list of programs, only sixteen additional programs were added and eleven consolidated into other groups or marked inactive.
While the survey data was much more difficult to collect, the responses provided enough detail to explore the usefulness of the theoretical framework. Although beyond the scope of this initial analysis, the survey data can be further explored to quantify the relationship between professionalization and community involvement. An important next step is to explore relationships among survey questions and the attributes of the university (ownership, size, size in relationship to its surrounding community, types of art degrees and departments, mission) and its surrounding community (urban/rural, education and income levels, and availability of art programs outside the university).
Based on the preliminary findings, a larger-scale study is recommended. We found a large amount of activity and community interaction as well as large variations among the institutions. Expanding the sample size and the scope of the survey instrument would enable researchers to analyze more effectively the relationships listed previously. This expansion would also permit researchers to address a host of additional questions on the relationship of embedded artsprograms to the quality of student life, to the arts programs and organizations in the surrounding community, and, more generally, to the life of the community of which the university is a part.
Several sources of information identified during the course of this study can aid future research. Higher education guides can be used in the construction of sampling frames. Census data can provide community level demographic statistics. Last, the Higher Education Arts Data Project-a joint project of the National Association of Schools of Music, the National Association of Schools of Theatre, the National Association of Schools of Art and Design, and the National Association of Schools of Dance-provides useful summary statistics for academic art departments based on size and institution type. Research focused on university-based arts presenters may be informed by a database maintained by the Association for Performing Arts Presenters. The database contains a wealth of information on programming, fundraising, facilities, and education and outreach activities.
Footnote
NOTES
Footnote
1. The authors wish to thank Emily Finnin (The Urban Institute) and Rebecca Costanzo (Americans for the Arts) for their dogged research assistance. John Urice and Molly Gholson provided valuable insights and feedback. Tom Bradshaw of the National Endowment for the Arts supported The Urban Institute's development of a comprehensive database of arts organizations that led to this study.
2. To simplify the discussion, the use of the term university in this article is intended to include all higher education institutions.
3. The term fine arts programs, as used in this article, includes visual and performing arts, facilities, and groups, and any university-affiliated programs identified by departments or administrative offices. The departments and administrative offices themselves are excluded.
4. The amount of university resources is a factor in terms of both the university's absolute level of resources and the degree to which these resources (idle facilities, empty seats, unfilled artistic roles) lead to excess capacity after the needs of the university body have been met--capacity that can be filled by members of the community.
5. We assume that approximately one-half of the two-year colleges are technical institutes or other institutions that do not offer art programs of any kind. The remainder of the two-year colleges were assumed to have only three programs each-a conservative estimate based on our review of a representative sample of colleges that are members of the American Association of Community Colleges.
6. The term artist, as used here, includes artists, technical staff, and other participants in the production of art.
7. This hypothesis, however, relies on two assumptions that can only be noted here. First, it
Footnote
assumes that the mission statements and language that the institutions use in describing themselves are reflected in the character of the institution; they may serve no other purpose but to help justify its funding to state and local government officials. Second, the hypothesis is based on the assumption that the embedded programs reflect the character of their parent institutions.
References
REFERENCES
References
Cote, L. S. and M. K. Cote. 1993. Economic development activity among land-grant institutions. Journal of Higher Education 64(1): 696-729,
Kerr, C. 1995. The uses of the university. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
National Endowment for the Arts. 1998. Survey of public participation in the arts. Public datafile. Pollack, R. 1994. Arts partnering. Metropolitan Universities 4 (Winter): 41-48.
Urice, J. K. 1990. Government support for the arts in the United States, 1990-2015: A forecast. In The future of the arts: Public policy and arts research, eds. D. B. Pankratz and V. B. Morris. New York: Praeger Publishers.
U.S. Bureau of the Census. 1997. Statistical abstract of the United States: 1997. Washington, D.C.: U.S. GPO.
Wagner, J. 1993. Social contracts and university public service: The case of agriculture and schooling. Journal of Higher Education 64(6): 55-69.
AuthorAffiliation
Thomas Pollak is Assistant Director of the National Center for Charitable Statistics at The Urban Institute in Washington, D. C., where he is building the Unified Database of Arts Organizations. Mark A. Hager is Director of Research at Americans for the Arts in Washington, D.C. His current research efforts include studies of local arts agencies' activities and budgets, the economic impact of the arts on communities, and the sources of financial support for arts organizations. Elizabeth Rowland is a research associate at The Urban Institute's Center on Nonprofits and Philanthropy, where she specializes in the study of artsorganizations, their finances, and their impact on communities.
Copyright HELDREF PUBLICATIONS Summer 2000

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The Arts of India: Virginia Museum of Fine Arts
Williams, Joanna. CAA.Reviews New York: College Art Association, Inc. (May 29, 2003) 1. -------------------------------------------------
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The Arts of India: Virginia Museum of Fine Arts
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Williams, Joanna
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CAA.Reviews
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2003
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May 29, 2003
Year
2003
Section
South/Southeast Asian Art
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College Art Association, Inc.
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New York
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United States
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ABCABK
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Book Review-No Opinion
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89214641
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Joseph M. Dye III The Arts of India: Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Richmond: Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, 2000. 599 pp.; 307 color ills.; 175 b/w ills. Cloth $75.00 (0917046609)
To write a book entitled The Arts of India must have been a labor even more daunting than to write a review of one. The Western reader might reflect on what it would be like to address "the Arts of Europe" between two covers. Admittedly this volume catalogues one museum's collection, which might seem to require finite skills. In fact, that collection includes forms often entrusted to separate curatorial departments: stone sculpture (originally part of a building), bronze sculpture (created and set differently), paintings (originally viewed by readers and connoisseurs of diverse kinds), textiles (in a wide range of techniques, mostly made to be worn), and various decorative arts (metal, jade, ivory). The curator of this cornucopia, Joseph Dye, has done a remarkable job of contextualizing each genre and medium, reflecting his familiarity with the places in which they were made and used--experience too rare in many collections of Asian art.
The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts' collection of Indian art is worth consideration in itself. Its core comprises a large purchase from the Parsi art dealer Nasli Heeramaneck and his wife Alice. The Arts of India gives an unusually candid account of the process by which the museum made the acquisition. Yet from reading this, one would not know that another drama was simultaneously at play, whereby another major part of the Heeramaneck collection, once intended for the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, was rejected there and became the core of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art's burgeoning South Asian galleries.
From the catalogue we can see that the Virginia collection has continued to grow admirably in the past two decades. Not every curator would welcome a nineteenth-century image of the Sun God such as cat. no. 53. The choice, however, not only demonstrates the continuity of iconography and the sculptor's use of multiple viewpoints, but also shares with painting the meaning and form of the period in Rajasthan, showing that sculpture had not declined in significance and quality. Among paintings, cat. nos. 162 (Jnaneshvari, Mysore, 1763), 164 (Painter's Modelbook, Karnataka, 1825-50), and 165 (Treatise on Horses, Andhra Pradesh, 1700-50) also represent bold choices, for none are textbook examples of familiar styles. All are lively, interesting works produced in South India at a time of political change. Moreover, all are complete (or close-to-complete) books, kept together in Richmond so that vivid individual images can be seen as part of an entire physical and intellectual project. We can now pursue the first, an illustrated commentary on the Gita Govinda, as a pictorial response to the text, a commentary in its own right. The second, a book of drawings, becomes a document of artistic production. And the third, a text on horses, serves as a colorful statement of courtly material culture. Newly acquired sculptures, a category that fits in the museum with less propriety, are fewer than paintings and include no pieces that bring immediately to my mind an Indian building bereft of its décor. In short, the museum is to be commended on a collection acquired responsibly.
Qua catalogue, this volume is both admirable and weighty. Most of the museum's own objects are reproduced in color and are supplemented with comparative material in black and white. Moreover, sculptures are shown in rear or side view when this is significant, reminding us of their physicality. In an appendix inscriptions are reproduced as well as transliterated, enabling us to check their reading. And another appendix provides ample technical information about the works.
The catalogue entries are often the result of extended research. Thus cat. no. 166, a large painting from the late nineteenth century, has been carefully examined and its inscriptions expertly read by Kannada-speakers. The painter's great grandchildren were tracked down in Mysore, as detailed by Dye in an earlier article in the museum's bulletin, Arts in Virginia. Hence we can see this elaborate, painted narrative as the product of a lineage of artisans and of progressive, enlightened patronage in the Mysore state. What might seem to be an offbeat specimen becomes part of a rich, interesting body of images.
Likewise cat. no. 210, a silver platter embellished with colored glass and gold foil (the thewa technique of Pratapgarh in southern Rajasthan), was the object of another ethnographic expedition by Dye. He succeeded in learning both the history and the carefully guarded secrets of thewa production as it is still practiced by one surviving family of craftsmen. More museums should encourage their curators to undertake such active research, which brings the isolated object alive and contributes to wider cultural understanding.
In so ambitious a work as this catalogue, specialists are bound to have some quibbles. Mine are remarkably few. Among the works categorized as belonging to the Gupta period (fifth to sixth century), I am happy that only four fragments of such rare and lusciously elegant sculpture have made their way to Virginia. With that bias, it is small wonder that I feel impelled to argue that cat. no. 23 is in fact not Gupta but is instead from at least the seventh and possibly the ninth century. This small schist image of Ganesha is radically flattened in the lower part of the body, unlike sixth-century images from western India. And the ears of the elephant-headed god have been defined with the eccentric, linear abstraction that characterizes early-medieval sculpture, more so here than in even a piece from Amjhara, cited in a footnote. Surely we no longer need equate the fine quality of this sculpture with a Gupta date.
More serious is Dye's description of cat. no. 98, a complex mid-nineteenth-century painting of a court festival: "Nawab Wajid'Ali Shah, the possible patron of this picture, was an imbecile who is said to have enjoyed the company of eunuchs, fiddlers, and dancing girls" (266). Here the author repeats the assessment of British administrators, who disapproved likewise of the ruler wasting time with poetry. Admittedly, the Nawab was not much of a politician in managing the state of Oudh or in opposing the encroaching European interests, but he fitted well the South Asian royal trope--which included splendor and sensitivity without Western gender stereotypes. Anyone who would describe that as imbecility should watch Satyajit Ray's film The Chess Players (1977), in which Wajid'Ali Shah figures prominently, as haunting as in this painting. If we are to understand the fine examples of nineteenth-century Indian art brought together in Virginia, it is essential that we recognize the fertile hybridity of the period.
Yet on the whole, this catalogue is only to be praised for the wealth of information and ideas it presents in connection with an interesting collection of powerful images. From this, others can go on to further research and opinions.
Credit: Joanna Williams
AuthorAffiliation
Joanna Williams, Department of the History of Art, University of California, prusty@socrates.berkeley.edu
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African American Visual Arts: From Slavery to the Present
Calo, Mary Ann. CAA.Reviews New York: College Art Association, Inc. (Sep 23, 2009) 1. -------------------------------------------------
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African American Visual Arts: From Slavery to the Present
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Twentieth-Century Art
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Celeste-Marie Bernier African American Visual Arts: From Slavery to the Present Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2008. 320 pp.; 16 color ills. Paper $24.95 (9780807859339)
In the introduction to African American Visual Arts: From Slavery to the Present, Celeste-Marie Bernier positions her study in relation to a widely recognized problem within African American art history and criticism:
In my view, far too many critics celebrate African American artists solely for their ability to survive political disenfranchisement, racist brutality and cultural annihilation, rather than for the ground-breaking formal qualities and aesthetic properties of their art. Traditionally in African American art criticism, artistic issues have been discounted in favour of their sociological, biographical and historical implications. Similarly, attempts by scholars to define a black visual artscanon or a key set of aesthetic principles have led to over-generalized and reductive readings, which eschew the complexities of the tradition. (4)
This statement directs the reader toward the author's methodological concerns as well as toward a set of assumptions about African American art that underscore her study.
Bernier observes, correctly, that there has been far too much emphasis on the sociological meaning of art made by black Americans at the expense of serious inquiry into their formal artistic practices. One hears this lament frequently in the literature on African American art from historians and critics alike. Bernier finds support for her project in a wide range of authors who have spoken with eloquence and conviction on this matter, including, among others, James Smalls, Michelle Wallace, and bell hooks. This book is thus characterized as an object-based inquiry that will "encourage viewers to read against the grain, not only of their own assumptions but also of much contemporary scholarship" (2). Bernier further distinguishes her critical study as one that places particular emphasis on what the artists themselves said about their works and their aesthetic intent, and for this she draws heavily on a range of primary sources, both published and unpublished, from interviews to letters and essays. In this aspect she aligns herself with the approach taken by Romare Bearden and Harry Henderson in A History of African-American Artists: From 1792 to the Present (New York: Pantheon, 1993), and shares with them a "determination to examine artists' thematic concerns and aesthetic issues in light of their personal statements and 'individual histories'" (quoted in Bernier, 3).
Also embedded in this statement is Bernier's acceptance of the premise that an African American visual arts tradition does exist and can be examined as a discrete phenomenon. In considering her own contribution to mapping this tradition, Bernier acknowledges cautions raised by notable historians such as David Driskell and Richard Powell about creating a separate category for black artists that might essentialize race or effectively isolate black artists from mainstream practice along racial lines. But she rationalizes this singular focus on the grounds that black artists clearly influenced one another and that "their works betray a shared commitment to the search for a new visual language within which to represent personal and public narratives and histories related to African American life" (10). In terms of specific themes that have remained consistent elements in what she identifies here as a black visual arts tradition are a continuing interest across generations in, among other things, history, memory, improvisation, narrative, and resistance.
African American Visual Arts unfolds as a series of case studies organized into thematic chapters that are also loosely chronological. Each section includes a brief introduction to the artists under consideration and raises questions about extant critical commentary on their works. This general discussion is followed by the analysis of two individual works for each artist, supplemented by digressions on other artists and on the overall problematic of writing about African American art. Bernier is consistent in terms of the approach described in the introduction and the issues she wishes to examine. The productive interaction in these artists' careers between the struggle to come to terms with black experience and their intense interest in aesthetic principles remains a theme throughout. Bernier's observations are rich and nuanced and, even when not wholly original, enliven an understanding of these objects within the parameters she has set. She draws frequent comparisons between artists across generations and media, reinforcing her thesis that varied and innovative ways of addressing race, representation, identity, and the fight for agency have broadened the scope, range, subject matter, and style of African American art. In this sense she delivers on her promise to encourage close readings and appreciation of aesthetic complexity; as such this book is a welcome addition to the critical literature on African American art.
Some of Bernier's choices are predictable and others surprising. Chapter 1, entitled "Beginnings of the Visual Arts Tradition," is the most playful in terms of the artists selected and their implied connections. She considers in sequence Dave the Potter, photographer James Ball, quiltmaker Harriet Powers, sculptor Edmonia Lewis, and painter Henry O. Tanner. This grouping makes for strange bedfellows and some novel associations. Chapter 2 is a more conventional discussion of the Harlem Renaissance era that focuses on Aaron Douglas, Archibald Motley, and Charles Alston. The Harlem Renaissance chapter rehearses well-known central themes, with attention given to the alternate positions of Alain Locke, W. E. B. DuBois, and James Porter, and to the heavy emphasis placed on race pride and the overturning of stereotypes during this time. One senses the author's impatience with some of the standard Harlem Renaissance tropes such as the romantic idealization of Africa and the straining toward racial uplift that characterized a good deal of this work. Not surprisingly Douglas's Aspects of Negro Life (1934) is addressed in some detail; but the section on Motley includes a welcome look at his late painting, The First One Hundred Years (1963-1972), and the Alstons she examines are works that extend Harlem Renaissance themes into paintings from the postwar era.
Chapter 3, organized around the themes of "Struggle, Survival and Early Abstraction," considers the stylized figurative paintings of William Edmonson, Horace Pippin, and Jacob Lawrence, who are grouped together on the basis of their mutual impulse to reject literal realism. This is followed by a discussion, in chapter 4, of history, narrative, populism, and social activism in Charles White, Elizabeth Catlett, and Gordon Parks. Two final chapters deal respectively with the emergence of new visual languages in the works of Norman Lewis, Romare Bearden, and Betty Sayre, and with the "Transgressive Visual Poetics" of David Hammons, Howardina Pindell, and Kara Walker. The bibliography is very good and usefully separated into archival sources, public and private galleries and museums (all with their web addresses), audio-visual materials (including film titles and producers), and general literature.
Bernier's interest in establishing the aesthetic ambition of these artists is admirable, and she effectively demonstrates the often experimental relationship between subject, form, and content that characterizes their works. But her frequent references to the shortcomings of other historians and critics whom, in her opinion, routinely underestimate these complexities seem at times ill placed. In part this results from taking remarks out of context which are then used to support her arguments either through negation or agreement. She also spoils her case by occasionally exaggerating or simplifying the positions assigned to the authors with whom she takes issue. Her assertion that "scholars of African American Art repeatedly overlook how, for the majority of artists, the desire to represent issues related to a range of black experiences does not preclude formal experimentation," strikes me as overstated, especially given the growing number of historians and critics for whom this dynamic is a central concern (6). And one wonders about the presumed need to point out that the "determination to push aesthetic boundaries while examining cultural, historical, and political issues is not mutually exclusive" (6). (Recent exhibition catalogues on Bearden and Lawrence, for example, stress the compatibility of social engagement and aesthetics in the artists' careers.)
The reliance on artist's statements to establish key ideas and approaches serves Bernier well with the notable exception of the chapter on Lewis, Bearden, and Saar. Here one regrets the absence of a broader art-historical context that would have aligned these artists more closely with their non-black peers. The priorities she conveys through the artists' words were widely shared by an entire generation preoccupied with aesthetic issues, artistic experimentation, and the determination to establish themselves as artists rather than social commentators, claims made on behalf of these three African American artists. The discussion of Lewis seems especially problematic in this regard. She describes Fantasy (1946) as a canvas that "relishes in abstract play to animate a dreamscape of unruly and contradictory emotions and capture psychological landscapes which exist beyond language and can only be released via abstract play," concluding that a viewing of the painting results in a "highly subjective experience with no guidelines for interpretation" (169). Such statements seem as if they could easily be applied to any number of his contemporaries irrespective of race.
Notwithstanding the extensive research that has gone into the production of this book, and despite its rather expansive title, Bernier makes no claims for African American Visual Arts: From Slavery to the Present as a comprehensive history. She argues instead for an enlarged understanding of a singular tradition that can be charted through the handful of innovative works discussed. Because the artists themselves are positioned in relation to one another, as opposed to their time or non-black peers, and because Bernier's readings consistently circle back to aesthetic innovation in the service of communicating race and racial experience, the insularity of African American artists is reinforced even as greater understanding of their work is fostered. While Bernier admits to the potential pitfalls of strictly race-based interpretations, and to an extent lays blame for critical oversimplification at their feet, what is never seriously considered here is the possibility that the very act of reifying the notion of a distinctive African American visual arts tradition might be intrinsically problematic. A great deal of scholarly literature on African American artists, which has grown in tandem with interest in the work of contemporary black artists, encourages a healthy skepticism toward critical approaches that centralize race as an over-arching thematic in appraising and explicating their works. In other words, as a study dedicated to the consideration of African American artists with the stated intention to bring greater complexity to the discourse, Bernier's account must also be measured against emerging interpretive paradigms that do not so much transcend race but call its semiotic dominance into question.
African American Visual Arts is an informative and interesting book. Yet despite the author's desire to avoid a narrow, conventional understanding of her material by foregrounding the aesthetic complexity of the works she examines, the study is ultimately held captive by what Darby English describes as a chronic condition within the history and criticism of African American art: "while limiting our attention to what these artists have to say about blackness will surely 'keep the conversation going,' it will also prevent the conversation from going anywhere particularly new" (Darby English, How to See a Work of Art in Total Darkness, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 14).
Credit: Mary Ann Calo
AuthorAffiliation
Mary Ann Calo, Professor, Department of Art and Art History, Colgate University, mcalo@mail.colgate.edu
Word count: 1874
Copyright College Art Association, Inc. Sep 23, 2009

ARTS
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------------------------------------------------------------------------------- LC Control Number : 0000016749 Unit Jurnal dan Pangkalan Data Suhaimi Ahmad Dewan Siswa: ms 6-7; September 2010

------------------------------------------------------------------------------- LC Control Number : 0000016764 Unit Jurnal dan Pangkalan Data Nur Atiqah Rahim Dewan Sastera: ms 27-29; Oktober 2010

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ARTS
WEBOPAC

[Zoom Image] | Control Number - 0000040294 | INTERNATIONAL STANDARD BOOK NUMBER (ISBN) | : | 0787978442 | LOCAL CALL NUMBER | : | PN1590.M227 .B47 2007 | MAIN ENTRY - PERSONAL NAME | : | Bernstein,Joanne Scheff | TITLE AND STATEMENT OF RESPONSIBILITY AREA | : | Arts marketing insights\bthe dynamics of building and retaining performance arts audiences / Joanne Scheff Bernstein; Philip[ Kotler | PUBLICATION AND DISTRIBUTION AREA | : | Hoboken: John Wiley and Sons, 2007. | PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION AREA | : | xx,294p : illus | NOTES AREA | : | Includes index | TOPICAL HEADINGS | : | Performing arts -- Marketing | ADDED ENTRY -PERSONAL NAME | : | Kotler, Philip | | | | | | * Accessions * Editor Reviews * -------------------------------------------------
Top of FormBottom of Form | | | Accession Number | : | J000062203 | Status | : | AVAILABLE | Spine Label | : | PN1590.M227 .B47 2007 | Due Date | : | | Branch | : | | Due Time | : | | Location | : | KAMPUS PASIR GUDANG | Item Category | : | OPEN SHELF | SMD | : | BOOKS | Notes | : | | | | | | |

2 | | Control Number - 0000045090 | INTERNATIONAL STANDARD BOOK NUMBER (ISBN) | : | 4770029772 (v. 1) | INTERNATIONAL STANDARD BOOK NUMBER (ISBN) | : | 9784770029775 (v. 1) | INTERNATIONAL STANDARD BOOK NUMBER (ISBN) | : | 4770029780 (v. 2) | INTERNATIONAL STANDARD BOOK NUMBER (ISBN) | : | 9784770029782 (v. 2) | LOCAL CALL NUMBER | : | N7350 .N64 2003 | MAIN ENTRY - PERSONAL NAME | : | Noma, Seiroku | TITLE AND STATEMENT OF RESPONSIBILITY AREA | : | The arts of Japan / by Noma Seiroku ; photographs by Takahashi Bin | EDITION AREA | : | 1st paperback ed | PUBLICATION AND DISTRIBUTION AREA | : | Tokyo: Kondansha International, 2003.. | PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION AREA | : | 2 v. : ill. (some col.) maps ; 26 cm | NOTES AREA | : | Translation of: Nihon bijutsu | BIBLIOGRAPHY NOTE | : | Includes bibliographical references and index | CONTENTS NOTE | : | v. 1. Ancient and medieval / translated and adapted by John Rosenfield -- v. 2. Late medieval to modern / translated and adapted by Glenn T. Webb | TOPICAL HEADINGS | : | Art, Japanese -- History | TOPICAL HEADINGS | : | Art -- Japan -- History | ADDED ENTRY -PERSONAL NAME | : | Takahashi, Bin | | | | | | * Accessions * * -------------------------------------------------
Top of FormBottom of Form | | | Accession Number | : | J000069255 | Status | : | AVAILABLE | Spine Label | : | N7350 .N64 2003 | Due Date | : | | Branch | : | | Due Time | : | | Location | : | PTDI 2 | Item Category | : | OPEN SHELF | SMD | : | BOOKS | Notes | : | | | | | | |

3 | [Zoom Image] | Control Number - 0000046432 | INTERNATIONAL STANDARD BOOK NUMBER (ISBN) | : | 9781842772638 | INTERNATIONAL STANDARD BOOK NUMBER (ISBN) | : | 1842772635 | LOCAL CALL NUMBER | : | NX180.S6 .S55 2003 | MAIN ENTRY - PERSONAL NAME | : | Smiers, Joost | TITLE AND STATEMENT OF RESPONSIBILITY AREA | : | Arts under pressure promoting cultural diversity in the age of globalization / Joost Smiers | PUBLICATION AND DISTRIBUTION AREA | : | London: Zed Books, 2003. | PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION AREA | : | xi, 275 p ; 24 cm | BIBLIOGRAPHY NOTE | : | Includes bibliographical references (p. [246]-260) and index | TOPICAL HEADINGS | : | Arts and globalization | TOPICAL HEADINGS | : | Arts, Modern -- 20th century | TOPICAL HEADINGS | : | Multiculturalism | | | | | | * Accessions * Editor Reviews * -------------------------------------------------
Top of FormBottom of Form | | | Accession Number | : | J000071581 | Status | : | AVAILABLE | Spine Label | : | NX180.S6 .S55 2003 | Due Date | : | | Branch | : | | Due Time | : | | Location | : | PTDI 2 | Item Category | : | OPEN SHELF | SMD | : | BOOKS | Notes | : | | | | | |

Control Number : 0000040294 PN1590.M227 .B47 2007 Bernstein,Joanne Scheff Arts marketing insights\bthe dynamics of building and retaining performance arts audiences / Joanne Scheff Bernstein; Philip[ Kotler--Hoboken: John Wiley and Sons, 2007. xx,294p : illus Includes index. ISBN : 0787978442 1.Performing arts -- Marketing i.Kotler, Philip

------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Control Number : 0000045090 N7350 .N64 2003 Noma, Seiroku The arts of Japan / by Noma Seiroku ; photographs by Takahashi Bin -- 1st paperback ed --Tokyo: Kondansha International, 2003.. 2 v. : ill. (some col.) maps ; 26 cm Translation of: Nihon bijutsu. ISBN : 4770029772 (v. 1) ISBN : 9784770029775 (v. 1) ISBN : 4770029780 (v. 2) ISBN : 9784770029782 (v. 2) 1.Art, Japanese -- History 2.Art -- Japan -- History i.Takahashi, Bin

------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Control Number : 0000046432 NX180.S6 .S55 2003 Smiers, Joost Arts under pressure promoting cultural diversity in the age of globalization / Joost Smiers--London: Zed Books, 2003. xi, 275 p ; 24 cm ISBN : 9781842772638 ISBN : 1842772635 1.Arts and globalization 2.Arts, Modern -- 20th century 3.Multiculturalism

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