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Collaboration in Performing Arts

By C.B.G. (Cees) Langeveld, D. Belme and T. Koppenberg


__Abstract__\ud \ud As a result of declining government support, performing arts organisations (PAOs) face increased\ud challenges and difficulties in the sector. They attempt to develop new ways of generating income and seek\ud new models of organising the production and presentation of performing arts. Hereby, we can think of\ud collaboration and integration as horizontal and vertical within the production chain of performing arts.\ud There are various reasons for cultural organisations to decide upon collaboration, such as increasing\ud organisational capacity, engaging new audience and building organisational networks (Ostrower, 2005).\ud Other reasons for deciding upon collaboration are economies of scale and stronger profiling of the\ud performing arts organisation. Collaboration intensifies knowledge, thus the performing arts market\ud becomes more dynamic and there is more room for experimentation.\ud The issue or threat, however, is that not all collaboration processes are successful. According to Kottler\ud and Scheff (1996), the organisation needs to meet several conditions in order to build an efficient\ud collaboration: one has to set a goal-building consensus, build trust, communicate, design leadership and\ud involvement structures, and commit adequate resources. These are the fundamental conditions but during\ud the process of collaboration there are other issues that need to be considered. A frequent threat is that\ud parties often have different motives to collaborate. For example, for commercial organisations the motive\ud could be generating more profit whereas for non-profit art organisations, especially in these times,\ud collaboration means survival. A related issue is whether collaboration aimed at surviving is a good motive\ud for collaboration formation.\ud Moreover, fear may exist of losing an organisation’s identity or artistic autonomy, employees may become\ud anxious, the coordination costs might increase and parties may need additional resources and time to\ud establish such a project. Backer (2003) summarises this dilemma in the following question: ‘How can\ud parties control the collaboration in an efficient way while at the same time meeting their main objectives\ud and guarding their own artistic identity?

Topics: government support, cultural organizations, arts
Year: 2014
OAI identifier:

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