By John Tusa
John Tusa, celebrated broadcaster and journalist, and dealing with Director of London's Barbican Centre for the humanities, has written this feature of passionately argued, candid and hard essays at the kingdom of the humanities in Britain today. He seeks out the ways that the humanities - from movie via theatre to track and opera - might be made to blossom during this cultural and political weather, with cuts in arts investment ever threatened. His matters are the basics of presidency arts decision-making, the paintings of dwelling with out goals, even if management within the arts is a secret or sturdy sense. He tells the genuine tale of arts philanthropy and provides extra own items, for instance at the nice strength of song. His personal philosophy, which informs his winning administration of the Barbican, is clean, eschewing modern obsession with 'objectives' and giving us a unprecedented view of the way a wide multi-arts behemoth truly works; and he in fact appears to the long run with prescience. such a lot of all his is a decision for us urgently to contemplate why artwork issues so crucially for us all.
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We could get on with the job of radically transforming an arts programme in four major art forms without distraction from incidental sub-indicators whose existence was not a material contributor to success. ’ Worryingly, high-level criticism of the distortions of the numerical objective culture has failed to dim its pervasive presence. Writing in 2001 in The Observer about a report which lamented the absence of sufficient statistics about the arts, Andrew Marr noted: In the arts as everywhere, number crunching should be only part, and not even necessarily the dominant part, 45 Engaged with the arts of the conversation.
Commitment, of course, would be desirable; involvement, definitely; real belief and understanding, preferably. Somewhere between these rather contrasting positions, a healthy base for the government’s role should be found. In practice, as New Labour stumbles through its troubled third term, the signs are of the pendulum swinging towards interference rather than the more sophisticated enlightened commitment. If so, the outlook for the arts and government could be gloomy. When Tessa Jowell, the reappointed Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, was leading the celebrations for Tate Modern’s Fifth Birthday in 2005, she declared she wanted to be regarded as a ‘co-conspirator’ in assisting the gallery to achieve its ambitious goals of developing itself still further.
When was the last time that any paladin 42 Living without objectives of the bureaucratic objectives culture enquired whether imposed objectives contributed to the enjoyability of work? When last did they consider that enjoyment might be a contribution to effectiveness? Rayner’s work, and many of his attitudes, was continued under the head of the Number Ten Think Tank, Sir Robin Ibbs. In his key paper, Next Steps, the Ibbs team looked at the impact that management change had had on civil servants working in Whitehall.