NIRA Research Report No. 970107
Arts Management and Cultural Policies
--Research on Initiatives for Cultural Policies in Japan--
Recently, local governments have been seeking the development of comprehensive and consistent cultural policies both in the so-called "hard" and "soft" aspects. Local governments have included in their comprehensive plans the philosophy of cultural policy fundamentals, taking into consideration the "creation of comfortable cities" concept. Subordinate to this comprehensive plan are "view plans" and "amenity plans" which fall under the hard category and "guidelines for cultural promotion" which fall under the soft category.
In short, arts management can be defined as non-profit management aimed at "arranging for opportunities where arts and the public meet." It does not merely "introduce arts to the audience" but also "guarantees the activities of the artists" so that they will be able to pursue creative endeavors. Furthermore, arts management includes supportive activities to "improve the community's potential ability."
The type of arts management urgently needed at present can be defined as follows: "a non-profit entity utilizing a variety of management techniques to operate cultural and artistic groups or cultural facilities for the purpose of contributing to regional cultures."
The operation of cultural halls and other facilities represents arts management in a narrow sense, and cultural policies also substantially correspond to the philosophy of arts management in a broad sense. Cultural policies as a whole including the operation of cultural facilities must drastically change from policies to management.
Since public cultural facilities are categorized as administrative organizations, they are managed under the administration theory. For this reason, cultural facilities are not necessarily managed in an appropriate manner. In order to cope with this problem, the administration should reform its concept of cultural facilities.
In addressing such reform, a plan for grouping museums at the local level is being proposed. Under this plan, medium- and small-sized independent municipal galleries and museums dispersed throughout the country will be considered a single group operated under the same large budget beyond the municipal framework. This plan proposes that art works owned by these museums will be systematically reclassified and reorganized into groups of special museums.
To realize this plan, art experts will be needed. In addition, it is proposed that local governments donate matching funds equivalent to the cost required to establish each museum and accumulate the funds as communal assets for the museum groups.
In order to establish the favorable environment for creation of the arts, a "basic law for the promotion of culture" should be introduced by the government. Such a law should stipulate the aims of cultural promotion, roles of the central government and those of local ones, and should give the basis to improve relevant social systems - such as regal status of arts companies, public subsidies and taxation - which are necessary for performing arts companies to continue stable activities.
Ultimate aims of cultural policies in accordance with such basic law are to guarantee equal opportunities to the arts - both as the audience and performers, and to establish a society system in which diverse culture, freedom of creation, and artistic excellence are guaranteed. To those ends, social and legal status of performers and performing arts organization should be improved for they play important roles as specialists.
Looking towards the future, the most essential ability will be the ability to create information. The factors considered important in terms of fostering this ability are education and the level of a society's culture. A society's cultural affluence is composed of cultural activities which serve as the basis for creating information and cultural resources preserved in society. In order to cultivate culture, policies designed to promote arts management will be urgently needed.
Finally, concrete proposals which may contribute to enhancing arts management will be presented: establishment of training networks and training facilities; establishment of core locations for education and research; exploration of arts management theories; and improved understandings concerning cultural activities.
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