Creating Capacity: Strategic Approaches to Managing Arts, Culture, and Entertainment Districts
Arts, culture, and entertainment districts (ACE) are becoming more popular and moving into mainstream economic and community development policy. Emerging in the 1960s as a response to city center decline, ACE districts have diversified in inter-community location, policy scope, geographic home, pro- grammatic profile, and implementation (Ashley 2014).
Today, many universities; developers; and state, county, and municipal policymakers are unleashing more resources toward ACE structure and development whether in large metropolitan cities, growing suburban communities, or in rural settings (Johnson 2011; Sagalyn and Ashley 2014). Yet, despite their increased prevalence, ACE districts largely remain an experiment—although one that is championed by a dedicated group of arts advocates, civic leaders, and community entrepreneurs. Demand is high for more information about district viability and capacity as different ACE groups seeks to share their experiences and learn from others.
This report focuses on the central topic of district management and answers the call for more knowledge about how ACE districts are run, governed, and organized. The report highlights three topical areas for discussion. First, it explains the relationship between management structure and capacity building. Second, it identifies different management models and offers examples of such structures. Third, it offers a list of recommendations or lessons learned on how to create, coordinate, and adapt a district management approach. With this information in hand, audiences will be able to make more informed decisions and choices about district management. [Introduction]
Americans for the Arts has commissioned five essays spanning the intricacies of arts, entertainment, and cultural districts specifically for policymakers, arts leaders, planning professionals, community development practitioners, and others who are interested in developing new districts or adapting existing ones.
- Creating Capacity: Strategic Approaches to Managing Arts, Culture, and Entertainment Districts
- Cultural Districts: Bottom-Up and Top-Down Drivers
- Cultural Tourism: Attracting Visitors and Their Spending
- Art and Culture Districts: Financing, Funding, and Sustaining Them
- State Cultural Districts: Metrics, Policies, and Evaluation
These essays and reports are part of our National Cultural Districts Exchange, where you can find more information on cultural district legislation, case studies, a national district survey, and a collection of webinars. www.AmericansForTheArts.org/CulturalDistricts