philippe rixhon associates  
  Management - the oldest of the arts and the youngest of the professions.
Management – the oldest of the arts
and the youngest of the professions.
– Derek Bok

Four hundred years ago Shakespeare and Molière had already recognized the vital practice of effectively supporting and managing the creative process. One hundred years ago Johann Strauss II, the waltz king, was as much an artist as a businessman.

As the pace of socio-economic change poses ever more challenging questions for performing arts executives, management continues to provide effective answers. Technological innovation and the revolution in communications it has created, are bringing both opportunity and risk in the arts sector. The routes to market are multiplying and revenue tracks are expanding and becoming more complex.

The performing arts require management in order to secure memorable experiences for audiences, sustainable platforms for artists, and significant returns for investors.

Performing arts managers collaborate with their colleagues – directors, designers, actors, dancers, musicians, singers, composers and playwrights – enabling each individual to realise their own potential through channelling their efforts into one collective creation. Management harnesses the full spectrum of artistic aspirations whilst paying scrupulous attention to the minutiae of budget priorities. By combining visionary concepts with attention to every detail, companies transform plans into successes.

We uncover the critical success factors for high-performance arts enterprises. Our research leads to counsel, lectures and publications.

Performance evaluation in the arts and cultural sector: a story of accounting at its margins
In this article published in the Journal of Arts Management, Law, and Society,  Volume 44, Issue 2, Francesco Chiaravalloti presents a review of financial and management accounting literature on the arts and cultural sector. His objective is to understand to what extent this literature is able to offer a critical perspective on the study of performance evaluation practices in arts and cultural organisations, as it is currently missing in the arts management literature. Adopting a critical perspective means shifting the focus of research from the technicalities of evaluation rules and procedures to their embodiment by the different organisational and societal actors of the arts and cultural sector.

Ethical implications of methodological settings in arts management research – the case of performance evaluation

In this article published in in the Journal of Arts Management, Law and Society, Volume 41, Issue 4, Francesco Chiaravalloti and Martin Piber analyse research on the evaluation of the artistic outcome of arts organisations. Inspired by Wicks and Freeman's new pragmatic approach to organisation studies, they give an ethical question a central role in their analysis: to what extent is current research able to serve the needs of individual arts organisations and their communities? Their results highlight the influence of research traditions on the ethical implications of performance evaluation research. To serve the arts world, further research should aim at in-depth understanding of the specific complexity of different contexts rather than at decontextualized generalisation of simplified universal principles.

11th International Conference on Arts and Cultural Management (AIMAC 2011)
The conference was held in Antwerp on 3-6 July 2011. Francesco Chiaravalloti presented two papers: “Monitoring Artistic Experience: Towards an interdisciplinary theoretical framework” with Kees Vuyck during the Session 1A: Consumer Behaviour and “Ethical and political implications of methodological settings in arts management research: The case of performance evaluation” with Martin Piber during the Session 5C: Strategic Management.

Brussels Lectures on European Cultural Policy
Frédérique Chabaud, Cultural Advisor to the European Parliament, and Philippe Rixhon Associates convene the yearly Brussels Lectures on European Cultural Policy for post-graduate students of Boston University. The first edition took place on 30 June 2010, the second on 6 July 2011, the third on 6 July 2012 and the fourth on 4 July 2014. Recommended readings –

Arts marketing and performance management – closing the gap between mission and indicators
Marketing in the arts sector has evolved during the past decades from a functional tool to a business philosophy. At the same time, a relational view of art as experience has emerged in the contemporary arts philosophy, highlighting the role of arts consumers in the creation and reception of arts. As a consequence, arts consumers ask a central role in the artistic mission of arts organizations embracing a relational view of the arts, challenging the role of arts marketing both as a practice and as an academic discipline. Against this background, financial figures and audience numbers are insufficient indicators of the contribution that arts marketing makes to the functioning of arts organizations. Francesco Chiaravalloti’s article suggests to evaluate the performance of arts marketing based on the contribution made to the achievement of the arts organization’s artistic mission and proposes a model based on Kaplan and Norton’s Balanced Scorecard to guide the artistic-mission-led evaluation of arts marketing performance. By paying attention to the new strategic role of arts marketing within the emerging relational view of the arts, and by integrating recent literature on performance management in non-profit organizations, we make a theoretical contribution to the body of knowledge on arts marketing performance evaluation. Francesco Chiaravalloti and Miranda Boorsma published "Arts Marketing Peformance: An Artistic-Mission-Lead Approach to Evaluation" in the Journal of Arts Management, Law and Society, Volume 40, Issue 4.

Arts administrators face wicked problems
A wicked problem has no definitive formulation and no definitive solution; solutions to wicked problems are only better-or-worse and have unforeseeable consequences; the solving process of a wicked problem is unique; and a wicked problem is the symptom of another problem. In the context of comparative cultural policy and arts administration, Philippe Rixhon facilitated a seminar at Boston University on 3 July 2008. First, the students checked together if national cultural policy and artistic policy (the strategy of a cultural institution) are wicked problems or not. Then, they outlined the consequences of the findings for the arts administrator and the strategic planning of arts organizations.

Performance management for performing arts – a framework for the evaluation of artistic quality in public professional opera houses
On 6 July 2005, at the biennial International Conference on Arts and Cultural Management (AIMAC), Francesco Chiaravalloti presented the development of an opera-specific framework for the managerial evaluation of artistic quality. The proposed framework considers all factors that delineate the current concept of artistic quality in an opera house, thus enabling the main opera stakeholders to agree on its indicators. Through theoretical and practical validations, this innovative framework aims to set standards for performance management for other performing arts.

Research associates

  • Francesco Chiaravalloti, University of Amsterdam
  • Richard Maloney, Boston University


ArtsJournal – online daily digest of arts, culture and ideas
International Journal of Arts Management
International Journal of Cultural Policy
Journal of Cultural Economics
The Journal of Arts Management, Law, and Society

    Terms & Conditions