I’ve been working in the arts for four decades and I’ve seen a lot of changes in how arts organizations approach the business of presenting arts programming. Treating the arts as a business is probably the biggest change I’ve seen. This might seem like an obvious direction, but I’ve known very few artists who are wise with a business sense, and fewer still who enjoy the business side of the arts.
Most arts business books I’ve come across have been about “producing” – gathering teams and resources in order to present your chosen art form. But to truly look at the business side of an arts organization one needs to understand the organizations strategic plan. What’s a strategic plan you ask? Well author Michael M. Kaiser has some answers for you in this book.
Kaiser takes the reader through, step by step, with all the essential processes to creating an arts business. One of the key ingredients is having and understanding the strategic plan. And yet this is surprisingly not as easy as it might sound.
The information presented here comes from actual instances of strategic planning and not simply ideal-but-unrealistic proposals. And while none of us reading the book are actually planning on running The Kennedy Center or The Metropolitan Opera, it is most beneficial if we were to proceed as though we were. Even the small town community theatre or symphony orchestra should be treated as professionally as possible and that starts on the business end, with a solid strategic plan.
Looking for a good book? Michael M. Kaiser’s Strategic Planning in the Arts is a must-read for anyone working in an arts organization and wants to see it step up to the next level.
I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher, through Edelweiss, in exchange for an honest review.
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Strategic Planning in the Arts: A Practical Guide
author: Michael M. Kaiser
publisher: Brandeis University Press
hardcover, 200 pages