Research Projects

A 3-city Comparison of Models of Arts Management: An Engaged Scholarship Approach

Sunitha Janamohanan
SEA History, Culture, Policy

Despite a lack of clearly defined policies and funding mechanisms for the development of arts and culture in many countries in Southeast Asia, the arts is seen to thrive in secondary cities such as Bandung and Jogjakarta in Indonesia, and George Town, Kuching and Kota Kinabalu in Malaysia. This research project seeks to better understand how arts organisations in such contexts are able to operate, survive, and in some cases even prosper in secondary cities with limited resources. Designed as an engaged scholarship research project, a comparative analysis will be conducted on three models of arts management in three cities in Malaysia: George Town in the northern peninsular state of Penang, Kuching in the state of Borneo, and Kota Kinabalu in the state of Sabah, the latter two both on the island of Borneo, East Malaysia. Each of these cities has shown significant growth and investment in the arts in the last decade; each are politically and geographically far from the centre of the national government, displaying greater autonomy in their socio-cultural practices and activities. Focusing on (i) a state funded institution, (ii) an independent arts organisation/collective, (iii) a festival organiser, the study aims to construct an overview of organisational structure and operating and financial contexts, and from the case studies offer an analysis of the landscape of cultural management in each city with policy implications.

Other Research Projects

Interdisciplinary Research
Interdisciplinary Research