RESEARCH ARTICLE

Executive Directors of Local Arts Agencies: Who Are They?
LAWRENCE D. MANKIN, RONALD W. PERRY, PHIL JONES, AND N. JOSEPH CAYER

W

ith approximately 4,000 local arts agencies (LAAs) in the United States, it is surprising that so little has appeared about them in scholarly publications. This is even more unusual when one considers the level of fmancial support provided to LAAs. For 2005, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) received an appropriation of $121 million, and for the same year, the state arts agencies in the aggregate received an appropriation of $294 million and the local arts agencies in the aggregate received an appropriation estimated at $711 million (Americans for the Arts 2005). For some time now, the LAAs have received considerably more funding than the NEA and the

Lawrence D. Mankin is professor emeritus of public affairs at Arizona State University (ASU). He has written articles on arts policy, public administration, public personnel management, organizational theory, higher education, and public service. He served as special assistant to the president of ASU, an assistant to the dean of the graduate college, and director of the MPA program. Ronald W. Perry is professor of public affairs at ASU. His principal interests are research methods and human resources management (HRM), especially the role of HRM in planning and responding to terrorism. Phil Jones is the executive director ofthe Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture. A professional arts administrator since 1978, he has also been the director of the City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs, associate director of the Nebraska Arts Council, and president of the United States Urban Arts Federation. N. Joseph Cayer is professor of public affairs at ASU. He is author of Public Personnel Administration and coauthor o/Public Administration: Soeial Change and Adaptive Management and American Public Policy: An Introduction. He is also author/coauthor of other books and numerous articles in academic journals. Copyright © 2006 Heldref Publications 86 Vol. 36, No. 2

Executive Directors of Local Arts Agencies state arts agencies combined. Even in the funding heyday of the NEA—when it received an appropriation of $176 million for 1992—the combined appropriations of the state arts agencies and the NEA amounted to $448.4 million, whereas the estimated aggregate appropriation of the LAAs was $600 million (Americans for the Arts 2004). The economic downturn in recent years has had a dramatic effect on the aggregate support provided by state and local govemments to arts agencies. The closing of the City of Philadelphia's Office of Cultural Affairs in 2004 is the most recent reminder of the vulnerable situation an agency is placed in during poor economic times when it lacks sufftcient political support. Recently, the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs sponsored an auction on eBay, hoping to compensate for a decline in financial support from the national, state, and local govemments (Arizona Republic 2004). The overall context is that many agencies of state and local government have suffered budgetary cuts, and even though the economy is recovering, the budgets of many agencies have considerable catching up to do to reach their previous levels of financial support. Americans for the Arts, the umbrella professional service organization for LAAs, as well as a few scholarly works, have provided useful historical background, data, analysis, and commentary about LAAs. Although LAAs existed before the establishment ofthe NEA, (with three current ones—Winston-Salem, North Carolina; Quincy, Illinois; and Canon City, Colorado—created in 1949), most were formed after the federal agency began. Financial incentives from the state arts agencies (Mulcahy 2002) and community interest provided the impetus for their development. The NEA, under Frank Hodsoil's chairmanship, created an Office of Public Partnership, which had a program for the states and a Local Arts Agencies test program. The last mentioned matching program provided direct assistance to both the states and localities for local model projects (Mankin 1984). It was the Hodsoll administration's intention to encourage growth in municipal and county involvement in the arts (Mankin 1984), and even today, the NEA has a grant program to support projects through LAAs. LAAs fall into three categories: municipal or county agencies, private nonprofit organizations that officially represent a govemmental jurisdiction, and private nonprofits without such an arrangement. The largest of the LAAs are public agencies (Mulcahy 2000) and indeed, in our largest cities, the LAAs tend to be public agencies. Houston is the largest city represented by a private nonprofit organization. Services provided by these agencies vary, but the more common ones are grants to individual artists and arts organizations, management of cultural facilities, arts education programs, public art programs, arts advocacy, arts calendars, technical assistance to arts organizations, workshops and seminars for individual artists, presentation of arts programs, newsletters and publications, participation in community-development and tourism programs, and publicity and promotion of the arts (Davidson 2001; Dorn 1995; Summer 2006 87

The Journal of Arts Management, Law, and Society Galligan and Cherbo 2004; Mulcahy 2000). Among other significant but less frequently offered services are the following: provision of studio space to artists, maintenance of artist registries, managing percentage for art programs (more common among the larger cities), cultural planning, and recruiting volunteers (Davidson 2001). Like state and jurisdictional arts agencies, LAAs have been in existence for a number of years, and yet we know little about the educational and career backgrounds of those who lead them. These leaders reside in a complex professional world calling on capabilities not only to manage the above activities, but also to weave the intricate and delicate relationships that make them possible. Given the significance of the LAAs and recognizing the policy and administrative leadership roles of their executive directors, gaining insights into their backgrounds can assist us in understanding the education, training, and experience needed to fill these pivotal positions. Two studies published in the 1980s examined the backgrounds and career paths of executive directors of arts agencies. The first one, published by the Association of College, University, and Community Arts Administrators (Jahn 1985), provides useful information, but is of limited use for our study. The asssociation conducted studies on the salaries, benefits, and job characteristics of arts administrators, but the 1985 study was the first one to include members of the National Association of Local Arts Agencies (which later merged into Americans for the Arts). The focus of the study was on salary and benefits by characteristics such as age, sex, educational background, years of experience, and so on, but the information was largely aggregated, and therefore limited information could be gleaned about each subgroup in the study. For example, the study found that those with master's degrees in arts administration constituted 14 percent of the sample, but one cannot tell how many of that percentage were executive directors of LAAs. Furthermore, the knowledge and skills needed to lead local arts agencies differ from those needed to run museums or performing arts organizations. Nonetheless, the association's study generated some useful general information that has some applicability to the current study. The other study, published in 1987, provides a comprehensive view of executive directors of arts organizations, including LAAs, which were then called community arts agencies. Paul DiMaggio's excellent study conducted for the National Endowment for the Arts not only provides information about the education and career backgrounds of the executive directors, but also taps into their attitudes. His survey results were combined with data from a 1980 survey conducted by the National Association of Community Arts Agencies, which later became the National Association of Local Arts Agencies. However, this study presents limitations for comparative purposes with the results of the study reported here. Although it provides breakdown information for executive directors by each type of arts organization (that is, theaters, 88 Vol. 36, No. 2

Executive Directors of Local Arts Agencies art museums, orchestras, and community arts agencies) included in the study, it does not differentiate between governmental agencies, organizations officially designated as nonprofit by local governments, and those nonprofits without an arrangement with local governments. Furthermore, most of the community arts agencies (to be consistent with today's terminology, we will refer to these agencies as LAAs) in DiMaggio's study were private nonprofits, whereas our study focuses on the members ofthe United States Urban Arts Federation (USUAF), which is composed of the largest 48 cities in the country and whose membership mostly comprises public agencies. Despite these limitations, the DiMaggio study nonetheless provides the best comparative data for our study, but one should keep in mind the limitations this poses for comparative purposes. It is hoped that other researchers will follow up on our study and produce comparative data for the same population we have studied. Our study focused on the executive directors of the largest local arts agencies and constituted the membership of the USUAF. Originally, this organization was composed of fifty members, but with the demise of the City of Philadelphia Office of Cultural Affairs and the United Arts of Omaha, the membership was reduced to forty-eight. Out of this membership, nineteen are private nonprofit organizations that have been designated to represent the city or region by a governmental entity. We mailed our survey instrument in the spring of 2004 and sent two follow up letters to encourage participation in the study. By the fall of 2004, we received thirty responses, and out of these, sixteen were submitted by private nonprofit organizations. Education and Experience Table 1 shows data on the highest level of educational attainment for the 2004 executive directors. Executive directors of LAAs reflect a high level of educational achievement, with more than 70 percent having some graduate

TABLE 1. Formal Education of Local Arts Agencies Executive Directors Education level Some college Bachelor's degree Graduate school Master's degree Postgraduate Total No. of directors 2 5 4 14 5 30 Percentage 6.7 16.7 13.2 46.7 16.7 100.0

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The Journal of Arts Management, Law, and Society training and more than 60 percent having graduate degrees. The educational profiles of executive directors of governmental agencies and private nonprofit organizations are similar. DiMaggio's study does not provide as precise a breakdown of educational attainment, but reveals that most of the executive directors in all the fields he considered had bachelor's degrees and more than half of them had some graduate training (1987, 12); this high level of education attainment was also seen in the Association of College, University and Community Arts Administrators study noted earlier (Jahn 1985). More specifically, DiMaggio found the educational level of the executive directors of the LAAs was increasing as newer executive directors assumed their positions. Among the senior executive directors of LAAs, more than 25 percent did not have bachelor's degrees, whereas this was true for fewer than 10 percent of the newer directors (DiMaggio, 15). Clearly, the trend noted by DiMaggio is reflected in the results of our study, and like executive directors of state arts agencies (Mankin et al. 2003), graduate degrees are increasingly becoming a characteristic of LAA directors. DiMaggio found that 39 percent of LAA executive directors majored in the arts in their undergraduate studies (DiMaggio 1987, 15). His study does not provide a breakdown of other fields of undergraduate study for these directors, but aggregate data are provided for all of the directors included in the study. More than a quarter of them did not have a degree in the humanities and "relatively few managers in any field majored in education, management, or arts administration as undergraduates" (DiMaggio, 12). We are able to provide more specific information about areas of study by major for the 2004 LAA executive directors (see table 2). For these executive directors, 48 percent majored in the fine and performing arts. If we consider arts education a related field that provides both knowledge and sensitivity about the fine or performing arts, then the percentage of executive directors with majors in arts disciplines and related fields increases to 66 percent. If we also consider the majors in the humanities and foreign languages as related fields, then the cumulative percentage of LAA directors with an arts or arts-related undergraduate major increases to 74 percent. No matter which set of statistics we use, the percentage of LAA directors with a formal educational background in the arts or related fields is greater than was the case in the 1987 study. Taking a closer look at the undergraduate majors of the 2004 executive directors reveals that thirteen out of the fourteen executive directors from the nonprofit organizations majored in an arts discipline or related field, whereas eight of the thirteen executive directors from governmental agencies had such majors. Interestingly, five of the executive directors from the nonprofit organizations had degrees in arts education, whereas none of the executive direc90 Vol. 36, No. 2

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TABLE 2. Local Arts Agencies Executive Directors, Area of Training by Undergraduate Major Undergraduate major Arts education Fine arts Business Social science Art history Journalism Performing arts Humanities Foreign language Education Psychology Total No. of directors 5
11 ;I

Percentage 18.6 40.7 7.4
3.7 3.7 3.7

;I

7.4
3.7 3.7 3.7 3.7

2'?

100.0

tors from governmental agencies had that major. This raises the question of whether those who majored in an arts discipline or a related field are more attracted to or are more successful working in a nonprofit organization as opposed to a governmental agency. Although DiMaggio found that over half of the executive directors of organizations from all the fields considered in his study pursued graduate education, we do not have a breakdown by type of organization or level of attainment at the graduate level. He also found that a "small minority did pursue advanced degrees in management or arts administration" (DiMaggio 1987, 12). We have more specific information for the 2004 executive directors of the LAAs. Table 3 provides the master's degree study area for those who obtained it. Out of the eighteen executive directors who received master's degrees, 17 percent have them in arts management, 33 percent in the fine or performing arts, and if we consider arts education, art history, and Hispanic literature as related to the art disciplines, then 50 percent have their master's in the fine or performing arts and related fields. A higher concentration of executive directors (five out of eight) from nonprofit organizations had graduate majors in the arts disciplines and their related fields than did those from governmental agencies (four out of eleven). Of the three executive directors who had graduate majors in arts management, two came from private nonprofit organizations and one from a governmental agency. Four of the executive directors have a second master's degree. Table 4 provides a list of their majors. Each of them selected different areas of Summer 2006 91

The Journal of Arts Management, Law, and Society

TABLE 3. Local Arts Agencies Executive Directors, Master's Degree Area of Study Study area Arts education Arts management Fine arts Business Social science Communication Art history Journalism Performing arts Administration Hispanic literature Total No. of directors 1 3 5 1 1 2 1 1 1 1 1 18 Percentage 5.6 16.7 27.8 5.6 5.6 11.1 5.6 5.5 5.5 5.5 5.5 100.0

TABLE 4. Local Arts Agencies Executive Directors with Two Master's Degrees, Areas of Study First master's degree, area of study Second master's degree, area of study Business Art history Arts management Creative writing Total Performing arts 0 0 1 0 1 Arts management 1 0 0 0 1 Fine arts 0 1 0 0 1 Hispanic literature 0 0 0 1 1

study. Two of the executive directors each received a degree in an arts discipline or related field: creative writing and art history. The other two received their degrees in administration: arts management and business administration. A closer examination provided by table 4 shows the majors for those receiving two master's degrees. The director with an arts management degree received further training in business, whereas the director with a master's degree in the performing arts added one in arts management. The 92 Vol. 36, No. 2

Executive Directors of Local Arts Agencies director with a master's degree in Hispanic literature acquired one in creative writing, and the director with a master's degree in the fme arts added one in art history. Thus, two of the four have an academic background in arts management and the other two, like most of the executive directors, have no formal academic training in that field. Taking into consideration the second master's degree, there are two executive directors from governmental agencies with an arts management degree and two from nonprofit organizations. Continuing this closer examination of the academic background of the executive directors, table 5 provides information on those who have master's degrees and their majors at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Interestingly, only three out of seventeen (approximately 18 percent) who reported this information have a combined formal academic background in the fme or performing arts and arts management. Given that those who serve as executive directors are responsible for budgets and fmancial management, human resources, planning, and other significant management issues, one might have expected a larger proportion of the executive directors to have this academic training. It is possible, however, to acquire some background in these areas in workshops and seminars as well as individual course offerings at colleges and universities. There are also three executive directors who have master's degrees but do not have a formal academic background in either an arts discipline or related field and arts management. Two observations can be made about the educational data. The first is related to a concern that was addressed in DiMaggio's study regarding the knowledge of the arts possessed by those who run arts organizations. In reviewing the data collected, he stated the following: These facts tend to refute assertions that arts organizations have been taken over by artistically unsophisticated professional managers, at least insofar as we define professional in terms of academic credentials. (1987, 12) Our study, which focused solely on LAAs, reinforces his finding. Most of the executive directors have an educational background in either an arts discipline or a related field. This should enhance their credibility in working with practicing artists and directors of arts organizations. The second observation is that the first arts management program was established approximately forty years ago, and yet having an undergraduate or graduate degree in this field is not a defining characteristic for executive directors of LAAs. Professional Experience Half of the 2004 executive directors in our study of LAAs have served six or more years in their current positions, and one-third have served ten years Summer 2006 93

The Journal of Arts Management, Law, and Society

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Executive Directors of Local Arts Agencies or more. Table 6 provides a breakdown of years of experience in the executive directors' current positions. On the whole, these organizations have had stable leadership. One-third of the executive directors have served for a decade or longer. For most of the years the econotnic conditions under which these agencies have operated have been good, but with economic turbulence in recent years and the accompanying stresses and strains, one wonders whether the tenure of executive directors will be reduced in the near future. Budgetary distress requires a different set of skills than those needed in more economically robust years, and job stress can lead to burnout. On the other hand, the experience and maturity of the current executive directors of the LAAs may provide them with the wherewithal to succeed even in difficult times. When considering the 2004 executive directors by years in their current position by level of education, table 7 reveals that those with master's degrees and higher have had the longest tenures in office. The directors with one master's degree served an average of nearly eight years in their positions, nearly three years longer than those with some college or a bachelor's degree. The fourteen directors with master's degrees also make up nearly half of the thirty directors. The five directors who report "postgraduate study" include the four directors with a second master's degree and one director who listed

TABLE 6. Local Arts Agencies Executive Directors, Years of Service in Current Position Years of service 1 2 3 4 6 7 8 9 10 12 13 16 17 19 20 Total No. of directors 3 5 3 4 1 2 1 1 2 2 2 1 1 1 1 30 Percentage 10.0 16.7 10.0 13.4 3.3 6.7 3.3 3.3 6.7 6.7 6.7 3.3 3.3 3.3 3.3 100.0

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TABLE 7. Local Arts Agencies Executive Directors, Number of Years in Current Position by Level of Education No. of directors 2 5 4 14 5 30 Minimum years 3 1 1 2 2 1 Maximum years 7 16 4 17 20 20

Educational level Some college Bachelor's of arts Graduate school Master's of arts Postgraduate Total

Mean 5.00 5.20 2.75 7.79 12.20 7.23

SD

2.828 6.380 1.258 4.964 7.430 5.740

post-master's study. These directors show the longest tenures, averaging more than twelve years in their positions. Work experience has complimented education on the path to executive directorships of LAAs. DiMaggio found that over 80 percent of the executive directors' first jobs in LAAs were that ofthe executive director. As he noted, they did not have any experience in the agency before assuming its lead position, nor was there a common career path to the directorship. Positions prior to assuming a directorship were diverse (DiMaggio 1987). We must remember, though, that most executive directors were serving in agencies of fairly recent origin at the time of the study. When we examine the career backgrounds of the 2004 executive directors, we find a different situation. Table 8 provides information on the positions that these directors had immediately prior to assuming their current positions and the number of years they served in those positions. Clearly, the most common route to a directorship from a previous position is from a LAA senior administrative position (that is, LAA director, LAA assistant/associate/deputy director). Unlike those in DiMaggio's study, these executive directors are working in a more established field, one in which bureaucratic structure has evolved. Interestingly, however, those who spent the least amount of time in a position immediately prior to assuming their directorships did not come from an LAA (see table 9). When we go back two positions in job history, we see experience within an LAA is the most common route to an executive directorship. Experience within the same state and especially in the same city is beneficial to career advancement to an executive directorship within that city, as revealed by tables 10 and 11. It should be noted, however, that whereas approximately 27 percent of the executive directors came from out of state prior to assuming their current positions, approximately 44 percent of the executive directors 96 Vol. 36, No. 2

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TABLE 8. Locat Arts Agencies Executive Directors, Prior Position and Number of Years in That Position before Assuming Directorship Job title before becoming local director Theater manager Lobbyist Fundraiser Private manager Arts education Local arts agency director* Local arts agency, associate/assistant/ deputy director Museum position Community development director Total

No. of directors 1 1 1 4 1 6 12 2

Minimum years 10 6 11 1 30 2 2 2

Maximum years 10 6 11 3 30 11 10 2 17 30

Mean years 10.00 6.00 11.00 2.50 30.00 4.50 5.50 2.00 10.00 6.20

SD 0 0 0 1.000 0 2.909 2.611 0 9.899 5.774

2 30

3 1

Note: *This category was created based on the responsibilities of the incumbent for directing the function of an art agency. Some of these arts agencies are housed n larger departments; others are freestanding units, and the titles of those who lead these agencies vary and may include executive director, director. director of cultural affairs, etc.

from nonprofit organizations came from out of state, and 7 percent of the executive directors of governmental agencies came from out of state. In table 11, six out of the nine of the executive directors that came from out of state were in nonprofit organizations. The nonprofits appear to be more receptive to recruitment from out of state than governmental agencies are. Overall, tables 8 through 11 reflect the maturation of the field since DiMaggio's study and the fleshing out of agency development and career paths to an executive directorship. When DiMaggio examined the experiences of the LAA executive directors in his study, he found a wide variety of employment backgrounds. Prior experience included teaching (in primary and secondary schools as well as in schools for the arts), university arts management, arts service organization and secretarial/clerical employment, theater or orchestra management, performing, employment in a commercial venture, experience as a visual artist, work in an arts center, or work in a non-arts business. (1987, 22) Summer 2006 97

The Journal of Arts Management, Law, and Society

TABLE 9. Local Arts Agencies Executive 1)irectors, Position Held Two Slots Back from Current Job as Local Director, by Mean Number of Years Held Job title two jobs prior to becoming local director Performance group manager Fundraiser Private manager Arts education Local arts agency director* Local arts agency, associate/assistant/ deputy** Museum position State arts agency Govemment, not arts Total

No. of directors

Minimum years

Maximum years

Mean years

SD

1 1 6 2 4 10 1 2 1 28

4 6 1 3 5 2 4 2 2 5.68

4 6 7 12 14 18 4 10 2 3.93

4.00 6.00 3.33 7.50 8.00 6.48 4.00 6.00 2.00 1

0.0 0.0 2.34 6.36 3.53 3.34 0.0 5.66 0.0 18

Note: *This category was created based on the responsibilities of the incumbent for directing the function of an art agency. Some of these arts agencies are housed in larger departments, while others are freestanding units. **This category was created based on the responsibilities ofthe incumbent executing functions equivalent to an associate, assistant, or deputy director in a local arts agency.

TABLE 10. Local Arts Agencies Executive Directors, Place of Position Immediately before Becoming Director Place of position No. of directors 18 8 4 30 Percentage 60.0 26.7 13.3 100.0

Same state and city as present position Different state from present position Same state, different city from present position Total

The 2004 LAA executive directors also had a variety of employment experiences. More than half of the executive directors working in public agencies had full-time management experience in the private sector, whereas 98 Vol. 36, No. 2

Executive Directors of Local Arts Agencies

TABLE 11. Local Arts Agencies Executive Directors, Place of Second Previous Position Place of position Same city as first previous job Different state from first previous position Same state, different city from first previous position

No. of directors
15 9 4 28

Percentage 53.5 32.2 14.3 100.0

Total

less than 20 percent of the directors from nonprofit organizations had such experience. When examining their backgrounds for full-time experience in nonprofit organizations other than those in the arts, only about a third of the LAA executive directors from nonprofit arts organizations had such experience, whereas a little less than 15 percent of the public sector executive directors had this in their backgrounds. As for full-time experience in nonprofit arts agencies, surprisingly only one out of the sixteen executive directors of nonprofit arts agencies in our study had this experience prior to assuming their current positions, and only two of the executive directors from governmental agencies had such experience. We note the very limited experience in working in the nonprofit sector of the executive directors, particularly those currently leading nonprofit organizations. On the other hand, 75 percent of the executive directors of the nonprofits had previous full-time experience working in a governmental arts agency, whereas 93 percent of the public sector executive directors had previous experience in governmental arts agencies. The nonprofit executive directors have the benefit of an insider's view of the operations and organizational behavior of public sector and nonprofit arts agencies, a fact that may provide them with advantages in navigating relations between the two sectors. Understanding the artistic life comes from learning rather than experience, as the 2004 LAA executive directors had little experience working full-time within the arts. Only one out of the thirty had worked full-time as a writer, performer, critic, or artist, and three out of the thirty had full-time experience either as a manager of a performance group or gallery. One-third had full-time experience in arts education, which is a priority for all LAAs. One of the major functions of LAAs is awarding grants to artists and arts organizations, so it was interesting to leam that nearly 37 percent of the executive directors had worked full-time in grants or fundraising administration. As might be expected, more of the executive directors of the private nonprofits (44 Summer 2006 99

The Journal of Arts Management, Law, and Society percent) had this previous experience than those who worked in the public sector (29 percent). The LAA executive directors' experience in fundraising and grants administration compares favorably with results found in a study of executive directors of state arts agencies, as none of them had full-time experience in these activities (Mankin et al. 2003). Lobbying is a persuasive skill that is often employed to convince or pressure legislators or higher officials within an administration to support the agenda of an agency. DiMaggio found that 37 percent of the executive directors of LAAs felt that they had good preparation in government relations prior to their first top administrative position, and 25 percent of them felt poorly prepared (1987). We see this reflected in the 2004 executive directors, as only three had full-time experience in this field in their backgrounds. Given this, experience in this field is acquired on the job as executive director or by overseeing staff that have this responsibility. Lobbying activities are constrained for executive directors of public agencies because they are municipal employees. For the most part, they will present information and the recommendations of their commissions to city council members. The city manager or mayor's office may act on the behalf of an LAA or provide supplemental support for it. LAA commission members may serve as an informal lobbying instrument for the agency, and community arts advocacy groups can lobby on behalf of the agency as well. Executive directors of private nonprofits are not as constrained in lobbying activities as those who lead public agencies and can use the full repertoire of such activities legally permitted for nonprofits. Effective lobbying skills, whether within a public agency or a nonprofit organization, are attributes that can serve an organization well. LAA Director's Advice for Preparation for Leadership The preceding discussion focuses on the quantitative accumulation of the education and experience of executive directors of LAAs. To tap the qualitative component, we asked them an open-ended question for advice or suggestions that they would give to those preparing to assume the leadership of an LAA. Dimaggio's study had a different but related question to ours. He asked his respondents "to rate criteria for selecting a chief administrator for an organization like their own as 'unimportant,' 'somewhat important,' or 'very important'" (1987, 63). Among the top rated as very important by executive directors of LAAs were management experience (92.23 percent), ability to prepare a budget (81.06 percent), tact refinement, and style (75.76 percent), commitment to outreach (58.78 percent), and grantsmanship ability (56.06 percent) (1987). Only 18.9 percent of the respondents rated formal training in administration as very important. The advice of the 2004 executive directors for preparation leadership of an LAA is shown in table 12. 700 Vol. 36, No. 2

Executive Directors of Local Arts Agencies Table 13 reflects a second piece of advice from six of the seventeen who responded to the question. Only two of the respondents suggested the formal study of administration or management as reflected in the public administration listing, and yet, if we

TABLE 12. Local Arts Agencies Executive Directors, First Comment: Advice for Preparation for Leadership Abbreviated comment Need passion for arts Be an artist first Civic involvement important Leam diplomacy Communication skills Cultivate planning/budgeting/ grant-management and -seeking skills Leam to delegate Board experience Develop leadership skills Study public administration Volunteer on boards Total comments No comment offered Total No. of directors 4 2 1 1 1 2 1 1 1 2 1 17 13 30 Percentage 23.5 11.8 5.9 5.9 5.9 11.8 5.9 5.9 5.9 11.8 5.9 100.0

TABLE 13. Local Arts Agencies Executive Directors, Second Comment: Advice for Preparation for Leadership Second comment offered Persistence/patience Communication skills Cultivate planning^udget/grantmanagement and-seeking skills Develop leadership skills Pursue internships Total with second comment No comment offered Total No. of directors 1 2 I 1 1 6 24 30 Percentage 16.7 33.3 16.7 16.7 16.7 100.0

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The Journal of Arts Management, Law, and Society group over half of the suggestions together (that is, "leam diplomacy," "communication skills," "cultivate planning/budgeting/grant skills," "leam to delegate," "develop leadership skills," "study public administration," and "intemships"), the basis for the start of these can be found in formal university administration programs such as arts administration or pubic administration. Failure to recommend such programs may reflect the respondents' own backgrounds and success in the field without such training. This also may be the reason that such programs were not considered as a very important criterion in the selection of leaders of arts agencies in DiMaggio's study. It also could reflect the failure of universities to market their programs, the perception of the relevance of such programs to those managing arts agencies, the orientation of arts administration programs to nongovemmental arts agencies or nonprofit performing and visual arts organizations, or a combination of these factors. Summary and Suggestions for Further Research Our research to obtain a better understanding of the backgrounds of executive directors of LAAs updates some ofthe infomiation contained in DiMaggio's 1987 study and Jahn's 1985 study. We focused on the forty-eight largest cities in the country, which contain both govemmental and nonprofit organizations representing govemmental entities. The executive directors of these agencies are highly educated, with educational backgrounds primarily in the arts disciplines and related fields. Few of them have a formal university background in arts management or an administrative field. Since Jahn's and DiMaggio's studies, we see a more predictable career path evolving, one leading to an executive directorship of an arts agency, and this reflects the growth and maturation of the stmctures of arts agencies. We also observed a stability of leadership in these organizations but questioned whether recent economic downtums will change this situation. In the significant areas of fundraising, grants administration, and lobbying, most executive directors do not have previous full-time experience, and yet these areas are important ones for arts agencies. Our study focused on a narrow but significant population of executive directors of LAAs. We hope that others in the future will use our study as a benchmark in the same way we used Jahn's and DiMaggio's studies to track the education and career paths of the executive directors. The impact of the economic turmoil of recent years may change what appears to be an emerging career path of those interested in leading local arts agencies as well as the stability of leadership of these agencies. More significant differences may emerge over the years between those who lead govemment arts agencies and those who lead nonprofit organizations that represent govemmental entities; those differences would be interesting to track. Recent discussions about the changing nature of arts agencies may impact the preparation needed to lead 102 Vol. 36, No. 2

Executive Directors of Local Arts Agencies these agencies and findings of that nature would be of assistance to those who wish to enter leadership positions in these arts agencies. Finally, there is the question of why university administration programs, particularly arts administration programs, have not played a prominent role in the career paths of executive directors of LAAs. Do workshops, seminars, or particular course offerings at colleges and universities provide as much added value as full curriculums in arts administration? Does the lack of awareness of the value of these programs suggest a need to improve marketing of them? Do the arts administration programs need to restructure themselves so they are seen as relevant in preparation for leadership of an arts agency? Do they need to pass some credibility test so that executive directors will feel comfortable in advising others to pursue such degrees? These are vexing questions waiting to be answered.
NOTE The authors wish to thank Anne L'Ecuyer of Americans for the Arts for her support and assistance during the development of this article. We also gratefully acknowledge the information provided by Professor Paul DiMaggio regarding his 1987 study. REFERENCES Americans for the Arts. 2004. Government support for the arts: Federal, state and local t992 to 2004. Washington, DC: Americans for the Arts. . 2005. Government support for the arts: Federal, state and local 1994—2005. Washington, DC: Americans for the Arts. Arizona Republic. 2004. Chicago stuff for sale on eBay to raise funds for the arts. November 26. B-12. Davidson, Benjamin. 2001. Local art agency facts: Fiscal year 2000: Monograph: August 2001. Washington, DC: Americans for the Arts. http://pubs.artusa.orgrtibrary/ARTS087/html/l.html (accessed July 14, 2004). DiMaggio, Paul. 1987. Managers ofthe arts. Cabin John, MD: Seven Locks Press. Dom, Charles M. 1995. Privatization of the arts and the public interest. Journal of Arts Management, Law, and Society 25 (3): 182-91. Galligan, Ann M., and Joni M. Cherbo. 2004. Investing in creativity: A study of the fmancial support structure for U.S. artists. Journal of Arts Management, Law, and Society 34 (1):

23-40.
Jahn, Deborah. 1985. A survey of salaries, benefits and job characteristics of ACUCAA and NALAA members during 1985. Madison, Wl: Association of College, University and Community Arts Administrators. Mankin, Lawrence D. 1984. The changing leadership of the national endowment for the arts. Paper presented at the conference on Social Theory, Politics and the Arts, College Park, Maryland, October, 19-20. Mankin, Lawrence, Shelley Cohn, Ronald W. Perry, and N. Joseph Cayer. 2003. Executive directors of state arts agencies: Who are they? Occasional paper #33. Ohio State University's Arts Policy and Administration Program. http://arted.osu.edu/publications/pdf_files/paper33.pdf (accessed May 31,2005). Mulcahy, Kevin. 2000. The govemment and cultural patronage: A comparative analysis of cultural patronage in the United States, France, Norway and Canada. In The public life ofthe arts in America, ed. Joni M. Cherbo and Margaret J. Wyszomirski, 138-68. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press. . 2002. The state arts agency: An overview of cultural federalism in the United States. Journal of Arts Management, Law, and Society 32 (1): 67-80.

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