Course blog for American University PERF-570, Fall 2014
During the survey class I am continuously wondering what would a small non-profit arts organization looks like because some hot issues we discussed in class such as hierarchical structures, leadership and conflicts may be different in smaller ones. This article gives a detailed analysis on small arts organizations from management to fundraising.
Due to the undercounting of small arts organizations, the study of them cannot cover the whole in a comprehensive way. But some traits of smaller ones clarified in this article have hit me in the confusion room. I am interested in the statement that “Smaller arts and cultural organizations are more likely to be embedded in geographic and/or affinity (ethnic, immigrant, age, sexual preference, specialized art form) communities than are large organizations (Markusen 2009). Neighborhood or territorial identity is common. ” Tightly connected with special communities, smaller arts organizations are undertaking missions more than presenting arts and there may be some society functions combined in the meantime. Therefore arts quality might not be the only pursuit. What’s more, the leadership in a small arts organization is more likely to involve community or committee participation, which would benefit its function.
In my previous bias, small arts organizations are just having hard time making both ends meet. However it appears a unique management methodology for smaller ones, which deserves more exploration for me. I love tiny things, and they should not be underestimated.