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)