Performing arts management in a climate of adjustment: case studies from Vietnam and Australia
Author: Le Huong
(The author retains copyright of the thesis)
This paper critically examines how the current socio-economic landscape due to globalization affect the development and strategies of performing arts organizations in Vietnam and Australia. A comprehensive comparative study of selected major performing arts organizations in Vietnam and Australia was carried out to understand why and how the arts leaders adjust to the changing contemporary environment in terms of cultural policies, financial sustainability as well as marketing and entrepreneurial strategies in their respective countries. The justification of comparison between the countries stem from the basis of their long-term bilateral relations, and that both countries have been affected by economic and cultural globalisation during the 1980s and 1990s.
In terms of the methodology used, qualitative case study approach was used through sampling and analysing from in-depth interviews, archival records, direct observations and documentation. These analyses provide insights to comprehend the operation and management of performing arts organisations in both countries to cope with the changes over the years. Two comparative case studies are grouped according to their art forms and selected based on the organisation size (medium to large) and popularity in each respective country: Hanoi Youth Theatre with Melbourne Theatre Company, and the Vietnam National Symphony Orchestra with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra.
Overall, the findings indicate that cultural policies and economic reform play a major role in pushing the arts organizations to adapt. While government funding still plays a part in financial sustainability for both countries, it is recommended that Vietnam could learn from Australia’s strategies to obtain from individual donations and philanthropy, which is a fairly new concept in Vietnam. Furthermore, in the context of the knowledge economy, entrepreneurial skills and innovative marketing strategies are also essential, and it is suggested that certain arts management training courses in Australia could be adapted in Vietnam for capacity-building and that such strategic collaboration could be mutually beneficial.