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The Arts Dividend: Why Investment in Culture Pays Paperback – 30 Jun 2016

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Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Elliott & Thompson (30 Jun. 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1783962771
  • ISBN-13: 978-1783962778
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.5 x 19 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 151,704 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Review

"A thoroughly enjoyable work that is of value both to the newcomer to classical music as well as the more seasoned aficionado." New York Journal of Books.com on "Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Classical Music""

About the Author

Darren Henley is chief executive of Arts Council England. His two independent government reviews into music and cultural education resulted in England's first National Plan for Music Education, new networks of Music Education Hubs and Heritage Schools, the Museums and Schools programme, the BFI Film Academy and the National Youth Dance Company. Before joining the Arts Council, he led Classic FM for fifteen years, first as managing editor and then managing director.

The author of thirty books, he studied politics at the University of Hull and holds honorary academic awards from Birmingham City University, Buckinghamshire New University, Canterbury Christ Church University, Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Liverpool Institute for the Performing Arts, Liverpool John Moores University, Royal College of Music, Royal Northern College of Music, Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, the University for the Creative Arts and the University of Hull. A companion of the Chartered Management Institute and a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, London College of Music and the Radio Academy, he is a recipient of the Sir Charles Groves Prize, the British Academy President's Medal and an OBE for services to music


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Darren Henley wrote this after his first year of being Chief Executive of Arts Council England, and he has a lot to say about how much fun he has had in the past year in the job, all the travelling around the country he has done, all the projects he has seen, and all the delicious home-cooked food he has eaten as apparently creative people are, without exception, great cooks as well. The entire book is dripping with joy and enthusiasm.

What he is trying to do is convince naysayers on why arts should be funded. He lists a number of "dividends", and writes a whirlwind chapter about each one. He does cite various reports and studies if anyone wants to go and check out the research in a more sober and detailed fashion, but this book is more of an introduction to the benefits of the arts, rather than an in-depth study on the subject. And though he doesn't explicitly say so, I get the impression that he is very disappointed with the local authorities in England who have been cutting or even eliminating all support for the arts in recent years - there is one page where he makes noises about them letting the side down, and the whole last chapter, "Reputation", is given over to boasting about the local authorities who have been supporting the arts in a big way, and how wonderful they are for doing so.

I'm not quite sure who this book is aimed at, other than naughty local authorities. It's too lightweight for academic purposes, it makes no reference to how business and corporate sponsorship can get involved, it makes only the briefest mention of individual philanthropists of high net worth, it says nothing about how the general public can be financially supportive, and it doesn't really detail a lot about what Arts Council England does.

But, though it was very much preaching to the converted, I greatly enjoyed the read.
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