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Funding arts and culture: everyday experiences and organisational portfolio precarity

Funding arts and culture: everyday experiences and organisational portfolio precarity
Funding arts and culture: everyday experiences and organisational portfolio precarity

This article examines the everyday experiences of arts and cultural organisations in negotiating the UK government and cultural policy priority for funding income diversification. Identifying the challenges of declining public funding and the connected pressures for arts and cultural organisations to be accountable, this article positions income diversification in relation to New Public Managerialism. In doing so, the need to examine the everyday experiences of how arts and cultural organisations engage with and respond to the income diversification priority is established. This article then presents findings from empirical research with arts and cultural organisations under the following three themes: balancing simultaneous sources, managing timelines and working through change. The discussion develops this analysis by identifying portfolio working and precarity as prominent and significant features of organisations’ experiences. Portfolio working is evident in how organisations identify and manage multiple, potential funding sources. Precarity is evident in the uncertainty and instability of managing the multiple funding sources, and in the way that organisations address operational issues of planning and working practices. To conclude, the concept of organisational portfolio precarity is proposed as a way to critically understand the everyday situations and implications of how art and cultural organisations respond to the income diversification priority.

Arts and cultural organisations, New Public Managerialism, austerity, cultural industries, cultural policy, portfolio working, precarity
1367-5494
Ashton, Daniel
b267eae4-7bdb-4fe3-9267-5ebad36e86f7
Ashton, Daniel
b267eae4-7bdb-4fe3-9267-5ebad36e86f7

Ashton, Daniel (2022) Funding arts and culture: everyday experiences and organisational portfolio precarity. European Journal of Cultural Studies. (doi:10.1177/13675494221118386).

Record type: Article

Abstract

This article examines the everyday experiences of arts and cultural organisations in negotiating the UK government and cultural policy priority for funding income diversification. Identifying the challenges of declining public funding and the connected pressures for arts and cultural organisations to be accountable, this article positions income diversification in relation to New Public Managerialism. In doing so, the need to examine the everyday experiences of how arts and cultural organisations engage with and respond to the income diversification priority is established. This article then presents findings from empirical research with arts and cultural organisations under the following three themes: balancing simultaneous sources, managing timelines and working through change. The discussion develops this analysis by identifying portfolio working and precarity as prominent and significant features of organisations’ experiences. Portfolio working is evident in how organisations identify and manage multiple, potential funding sources. Precarity is evident in the uncertainty and instability of managing the multiple funding sources, and in the way that organisations address operational issues of planning and working practices. To conclude, the concept of organisational portfolio precarity is proposed as a way to critically understand the everyday situations and implications of how art and cultural organisations respond to the income diversification priority.

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Ashton, D. (2022) Funding arts and culture, EJCS
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More information

e-pub ahead of print date: 23 September 2022
Published date: 23 September 2022
Additional Information: Funding Information: I would like to acknowledge support from the Winchester School of Art Strategic Research Fund that enabled this project. Many thanks to all the participants for generously giving their time and insights. Thanks also to Dr Tully Barnett for the hugely helpful conversations and explorations that were supported through the Australian Research Council – Linkage Scheme project, ‘Meaningfully Communicating the Value of Arts and Culture through Reporting’. Many thanks to the editors and peer reviewers with the European Journal of Cultural Studies for the invaluable comments and suggestions that were composed with such care and support. Funding Information: The author(s) received financial support for the research, authorship, and publication of this article from the Winchester School of Art Strategic Research Fund, University of Southampton. Publisher Copyright: © The Author(s) 2022.
Keywords: Arts and cultural organisations, New Public Managerialism, austerity, cultural industries, cultural policy, portfolio working, precarity

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 470398
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/470398
ISSN: 1367-5494
PURE UUID: 31acfb33-4f98-49a6-84e5-f5a516144023
ORCID for Daniel Ashton: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-3120-1783

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Date deposited: 10 Oct 2022 16:36
Last modified: 11 Oct 2022 01:47

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