School of Historical and Philosophical Studies - Theses

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    Regional Victorian arts festivals: from community arts to an industry based model
    Ross, Jane Elizabeth ( 1999-06)
    This thesis will investigate the way in which the growth and direction of festivals have been influenced by the introduction of state and Commonwealth festival policies in 1973 until the present. Although a large number of policy documents examined in this thesis are relevant to the arts festivals sector as a while, it will primarily be concerned with the development of regional festivals in Victoria which have a specific arts focus or a strong arts component. State and Commonwealth government festival policies have undergone considerable change since 1973 which in turn caused significant developments in the evolution of festivals. From 1973 to 1983 festival policy was concerned with fostering community participation in and access to the arts, spawning a marked increase in arts festivals, statewide. During the 1980s the policies continued to encourage festival growth but with an additional interest in promoting the tourism potential of these events. The new commercial dimension acknowledged that arts festivals had significant economic potential and paved the way for the introduction of the industry based model in the 1990s. This model reflected the growing concern with efficiency, sustainability and viability across all state and Commonwealth government sectors. The resulting emphasis on good business practice and accountability came at a time when other significant influences, like local government reform and increased audience expectations were also affecting the development of festivals. (For complete abstract open document)