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Although all but the smallest arts organizations recognize the need for more professional management, many are uncomfortable with the consequences of this shift.Even larger organizations that have successfully adopted more managerial approaches regularly decry the compromises they have had to make.For example, human resources must often deal with high profile performers who appear with the company for a short time under quite specific constraints.
As we will see in the following discussion, all of these issues are being influenced by environmental changes affecting the arts community.
In addition to work at the organizational level, the activities of individual managers within arts organizations have come under increased scrutiny.
Despite this increasing interest in management issues in arts communities, there is relatively little solid work to draw upon.
Those who are engaged in managing arts organizations or who staff agencies that provide them with resources write much of what is available.
A common complaint is that preparing and administering grant proposals uses managers’ time and energy that they might better spend on program delivery.
Similarly, placing an emphasis on moneymaking exhibitions rules out more speculative programs featuring unknown artists or experimental presentations.
Arts management is a relatively new field in management research but one that is attracting increasing attention.
At one level—the most predominant thus far—arts management is concerned with the activities of organizations such as museums, galleries, orchestras, dance and theater companies, opera houses, and groups promoting the arts in culture.
One of the key issues in the arts as well as in the larger NFP arena concerns increasing pressures to adopt standard management practices.
Concerns with efficiency and effectiveness along with the demands of funding agencies and donors for more coherent and transparent procedures have convinced many arts organizations to initiate reforms in their administrative apparatus.