Encouraging the Arts through Higher Education Institutions: Arts Policy Implementation in Virginia
Keeney, Katherine Preston
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This dissertation investigates the role of public higher education institutions in state-level arts policy in the state of Virginia. The strength of public support for the arts historically has been measured by per capita arts spending, as determined by appropriations to state arts agencies. However, this is a very thin measure that misses an increasingly important contributor to the arts policy landscape - higher education institutions. As direct sources of funding for the arts decline, universities increasingly are contributing to the state arts landscape with the construction and operation of performing arts centers. Framed by resource dependency theory and rational choice institutionalism, this research sheds light on the motivations of actors contributing to the arts policy field in a resource-scarce environment. Evidence suggests that public higher education institutions invest in the co-curricular arts to capitalize on and acquire resources, including image and prestige, and to fulfill their public service missions. Although higher education institution performing arts centers are contributing to the state's arts landscape, they are only informally participating in arts policy formulation and implementation. These findings have financial and decision-making implications for arts policymakers, university administrators, and arts agencies as the inclusion of public higher education institutions in the arts policy field affords new opportunities and challenges for the state encouragement of the arts.
- Doctoral Dissertations