Review by Dr Hans-Christian Andersen, Course Leader MA in Tourism Resource Management and NBS Co-Ordinator for the North Sea Masters at the University of Northumbria
(Routledge 2002, ISBN 0 415 23682 7 £19.99 [£22.95 inc p&p*])
Derrick Chong?s Arts Management is an ambitious attempt to map the ?interface? - perhaps one should say ?battle-zone?? - between management and art. The two concepts are often seen to be in conflict. One (the discipline of leading organisations, controlling their resources and delegating tasks within them) is often considered to be the philosophical antithesis of the other (the activity of creating works of primarily aesthetic value). Given the challenges involved in attempting to account for how the two work together, as ?arts management?, this is a major undertaking, a walk into a minefield, covered in thick fog.
Chong reviews a range of issues that bring the arts and management into contact - and sometimes into conflict - with each other, such as business sponsorship, marketing and its relationship with audience development, the notion of entrepreneurship in the cultural sector, and the use of performance indicators in the arts. He has read widely, in management and the arts, and he covers a broad range of subjects, taking in a wide spectrum of contemporary arts management issues. This, one quickly realises, is not so much a book about how to manage the arts as it is about instances of where art and management get into contact with each other, sometimes in order to manage cultural organisations.
But the author has to pay the price for seeing arts management in as broad a perspective as he does. The book has to make a large number of assumptions about what the reader will already know and understand, to the extent that the logic in the chapters breaks down.
This is a textbook for use in the Higher Education sector rather than in the manager?s office. Nevertheless, as arts management becomes ever more mature and starts to stake out its own territory in management theory, this kind of work will become interesting to anybody with an interest in the subject and perhaps even a career in it.
*For further information contact SAM?s Books (see ArtsDirectory p9 for details)