Building Better Arts Facilities: Lessons from a U.S. National Study, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Building Better Arts Facilities

Lessons from a U.S. National Study, 1st Edition

By Joanna Woronkowicz, D. Carroll Joynes, Norman Bradburn


184 pages | 30 B/W Illus.

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At the turn of the 21st century, a significant boom in the construction of cultural buildings took saw the creation of hundreds of performing arts centers, theaters, and museums. After these buildings were completed, however, many of these cultural organizations struggled to survive, or, alternatively, drifted off mission as the construction project forced monetary or other considerations to be prioritized. Building Better Arts Facilities: Lessons from a U.S. National Study examines the ways in which organizations planned and managed building projects during this boom, and investigates organizational operations after projects were completed.

By integrating quantitative data with case-study evidence, the authors identify the differences between the ways some organizations were able to successfully meet the challenges of a large construction project and others that were not. With empirical evidence and analysis, this book highlights better practices for managing and leading cultural building ventures. Readers of this book – be they arts managers, politicians, board members, city planners, foundation executives, or philanthropists – will find that book provides valuable perspective and insight about building cultural facilities, and that reading it will serve to make building projects go more smoothly in the future.


An original empirical investigation of the problems of cultural infrastructural projects that asks uncomfortable questions, and provides effective answers to them, for students, academics and practitioners alike.

Clive Gray, Associate Professor, Centre for Cultural Policy Studies, University of Warwick, UK

An important landmark in our reflection on the role and place of cultural facilities in the development of a rich, diverse and above all sustainable cultural landscape. By combining solid statistical data with a challenging analysis of qualitative aspects such as leadership, mission statements or political context, and by confronting success stories with real disasters in various fields (ranging from centers for performing arts to museums), this book succeeds in offering an indispensable tool for the creation or the implementation of cultural facilities. (Jan Baetens, University of Leuven)

Table of Contents

Introduction 1. Two Case Studies 2. The Rise of the Performing Arts Center 3. The Southern Boom 4. Not Just Big Cities 5. Museums 6. Conclusion Afterword

About the Authors

Joanna Woronkowicz is an assistant professor of nonprofit management and arts administration in the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University, Bloomington, USA. She previously served as the Senior Research Officer at the National Endowment for the Arts.

D. Carroll Joynes is a Lecturer at the Harris School of Public Policy Studies, University of Chicago, USA. He co-founded the Cultural Policy Center and served as executive director for its first ten years. With Norman Bradburn, he is currently serving as director of the research project Cultural Infrastructure in the United States.

Norman Bradburn is the Tiffany and Margaret Blake Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus in the faculties of the University of Chicago’s Irving B. Harris Graduate School of Public Policy Studies, Department of Psychology, Booth School of Business and the College, USA, and a Senior Fellow at NORC, also at the University of Chicago. He is co-director of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences’ Humanities Indicators project and principal investigator of the CPC’s Cultural Infrastructure project.

About the Series

Routledge Research in the Creative and Cultural Industries

This series brings together book-length original research in cultural and creative industries from a range of perspectives. Charting developments in contemporary cultural and creative industries thinking around the world, the series aims to shape the research agenda to reflect the expanding significance of the creative sector in a globalised world.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
ART / Business Aspects
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Nonprofit Organizations & Charities
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Museum Administration & Museology
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Project Management