The Arts Management Handbook: New Directions for Students and Practitioners

May 24, 2012

Editors: Meg Brindle and Constance DeVereaux

Edition: First

Publisher: M.E. Sharpe

Pages: 368

Price: £78.50 and £40.50 ISBN 9780765617415 and 7422

The field of arts management has been developing rapidly, both in terms of establishing professionalism within arts management, and in the growth of many university-level arts management programmes. Meg Brindle and Constance DeVereaux's edited volume charts the development of arts management education and likens the early developments in the field to the origins and early evolution of the MBA. The editors note the importance of involving practitioners in arts management education and the reliance of arts management programmes on practitioner involvement. It is within this context that The Arts Management Handbook: New Directions for Students and Practitioners was produced.

A range of relevant chapters provides insight into key areas of arts management that are important for arts managers. Most of the contributors to the volume are practitioners, many with experience of teaching on arts management programmes. As such, the text offers a practical approach to arts management - each chapter opens with a case study that establishes the key challenges that exist in each of the substantive areas discussed. These are followed by practically focused discussions on how to deal with specific challenges that may confront arts managers. For this reason, the book should be of particular interest to new arts managers. Although it may also be useful for students of arts management, the book lacks significant engagement with the relevant intellectual considerations.

The book is divided into three sections: "Performing and visual arts management", "Arts management: Education and careers" and "Arts management: Government, nonprofits and evaluation". The first section provides practical insights into operations within arts organisations. The second looks at the educational remit of arts organisations and the role and management of internships within the arts sector. The final section reviews the public policy environment influencing arts organisations. The chapter on arts and cultural policy is a helpful overview of the policy sphere, including philosophical perspectives on policy.

Although this text offers a US perspective, many of the principles covered apply elsewhere. However, there are two key omissions in terms of topics of interest to arts managers, namely insight into arts consumers and artists. Overall, however, this is a good practical text that can be used as a manual by new arts managers.

Who is it for? Arts managers, and as supplementary reading for undergraduate and postgraduate students of arts management.

Presentation Clear, easy to read, practically focused.

Would you recommend it? I would recommend it as a practical insight to arts management.

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