Amos D. Asare
- University of Cape CoastScholarship Holder
Cultural Policy and Management of the Performing Arts
In this study, I seek to analyse the complex relationships and interactions between culture, economic, social, environmental and political engagements and the forces behind the commercialization and culturalization of the performing arts for its sustainability. For the performing arts and cultural organizations in general to thrive, quality arts management issues need to be addressed. However, addressing such management issues is not a means to an end but rather, a means of scrutinizing processes of cultural change in today’s changing world. Currently, there is a disconnect between cultural policy and performing arts management in Ghana. The cultural policy document of Ghana, since its inception in 2004 is yet to see any revision. Data on the subject of culture/arts and commerce is rather scant in Ghana. This is a problem that needs to be addressed. I seek to answer the following questions:
• How is cultural policy evaluation and arts management a panacea for the performing arts in contemporary Ghana?
• How do we reconcile the changing effects of cultural services and its commercial related issues in today’s world, and work towards their sustainability?
• What strategies should be developed by performing arts organizations to develop new audiences without losing current ones?
• How can we connect the economic, environmental and social perspectives in ensuring cultural sustainability as far as the performing arts is concerned?
I will employ the case study approach and study one public arts institution (the Centres for National Culture) and one private arts organization (the Musicians Union of Ghana). I will actively observe the activities of other performing arts organizations/institutions and interview policy makers, ministers and ministries of culture, artists and various stakeholders who are involved in the performing arts. There will be some focus group discussions where policy makers and performing arts practitioners will be brought together to discuss some issues about bridging the gap between policy and performing arts management. This is done specially to foster a sustainable development agenda. As suggested by UNESCO, there is a greater need for the exchange of experiences, research and information between countries in order to achieve the global aim of cultural promotion. I will, therefore, dwell on the concept of transcultural collaborative approaches and learn especially from other countries as to how they have been successful in issues revolving around cultural policy and performing arts management. Most importantly, I look at how they have been able to use the two concepts (cultural policy and arts management) to complement each other. I will then have a model for the Ghanaian economy. I do all these with the cultural, environmental and social differences in mind.
The issue of unemployment is a major concern in Ghana. It is expected that the results of this research will help Ghana in attaining the SDG goals 12, 8 and 1. I argue that a proper cultural policy and performing arts management can ensure a sustainable consumption and production patterns. This will lead to the marketability of performing arts products/services creating avenues for employment and subsequently and/or possibly reducing poverty levels.
Amos Darkwa Asare is a Ghanaian PhD student of the SDG-Graduate School ‘Performing Sustainability. Cultures and Development’. He holds a Master of Music (Mmus) degree with research from the Sibelius Academy, University of the Arts, Helsinki, Finland. He received a Diploma in Business certificate from Sunyani Polytechnic in 2005 and a Bachelor of Arts (Music) degree from the University of Cape Coast in 2010. He has been working with the University of Cape Coast, department of Music and Dance from 2011 to date, and now holds a position as a Principal Research Assistant. He has been teaching Music Business/Management, Instrumental Studies (African Drumming) and Music in African Cultures from the Centre of African and International Studies, University of Cape Coast, Ghana. His research interests include indigenous music and healing rituals, music and well-being and performing arts management.