Engaged with the Arts: Writings from the Frontline

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I.B.Tauris, Mar 15, 2007 - Art - 223 pages
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John Tusa, celebrated broadcaster and journalist, and Managing Director of London's Barbican Centre for the arts, has written this selection of passionately argued, candid and challenging essays on the state of the arts in Britain today.  He seeks out the ways in which the arts - from film through theatre to music and opera - can be made to blossom in this cultural and political climate, with cuts in arts funding ever threatened.  His subjects are the fundamentals of government arts decision-making, the art of living without objectives, whether leadership in the arts is a mystery or good sense.  He tells the true story of arts philanthropy and offers more personal pieces, for example on the great power of music. His own philosophy, which informs his successful management of the Barbican, is refreshing, eschewing contemporary obsession with 'objectives' and giving us a rare view of how a large multi-arts behemoth actually works;  and he of course looks to the future with prescience.  Most of all his is a call for us urgently to think about why art matters so crucially for us all.
 

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Contents

Introduction
1
And do the arts still matter?
7
is it a mystery or plain common sense?
15
Transforming an institution
25
Living without objectives
37
Living with politicians
49
The arts of giving
61
A tale of two millions
71
Ten commandments four anxious moments and
113
East is east and west is west and a good thing too
129
Making the arts possible
149
The arts are good for your health but they wont make
165
Should the past have a future?
179
a new compact for the arts
195
On being a musical nationalist
205
The new ABC of the arts
215

How to recognise an audience
79
whose side are we on?
97

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About the author (2007)

John Tusa is Managing Director of the Corporation of London's Barbican Centre.  His distinguished and varied career as broadcaster and journalist has included a long association with BBC's flagship 'Newsnight' as well as broadcasting with Radio 4's 'The World Tonight'.  He is well-known to the British public as presenter in the 90s of BBC TV's 'One O'Clock News'.  As Managing Direcor of the BBC External Services, he set up BBC World Service Television.  He is also a writer whose books include 'Art Matters: Reflections on Culture' and 'On Creativity'.
 

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