Labour and the arts: Managing transformation?
Public support for the arts in England as introduced in 1945 was already atypical in many ways since it operated through an arm's length body and left an important role to the private and voluntary sectors. The adoption of New Public Management (NPM) did not mean a total overhaul of the system, but meant that the State took back some power of decision and control through a specialized Department, created originally in 1992. This Department has asked funding bodies to adopt new management methods which are aimed at their beneficiaries as well... Attempts have also been made to formalise and modify local government support for the arts. The implementation of NPM to the arts sector proved to be complex. The assessment criteria that were adopted were criticized by most administrators and artists alike for being inadequate and simplistic when applied to this sector. The effectiveness of the new framework is assessed in the context of the recent growing support for public spending in the arts from a traditionally sceptical public. The new management, accompanied by budget increases, has led to an instrumentalisation of the arts sector through attachment and this can be equated more generally with a trend towards the commodification of the arts.
Citation:Doustaly, C. and Gray, C. (2010) Labour and the arts: Managing transformation? In: A. Kober-Smith, G. Leydier and N. Sowels, eds. Nouvelle Gestion Publique et Reforme des Services Publics sous le New Labour. Toulon: Observatoire de la Société Britannique, pp. 319-338.