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Research Methods Abstract.
My initial Idea.
My initial idea came from my interest in business and Theatre. I have always encouraged myself to find out more about how Theatres and Arts Organisations are funded through general interest. I was lucky enough to complete an extended essay on Mary Allen as an Arts manager, which was as follows;
“Lives of the great arts managers”- Discuss the artistic philosophy of a leading arts manager of your choice, placing it in its contemporary cultural context and showing how it is expressed n terms of artistic programmes and policy.”
Within the essay I was able to explore, in depth, Allen's career path, her management policies and then her eventually resignation. To me it open up the world of Arts Council England that I had never heard of before and I began to become more and more interested in the ACE. It began answering my own questions on how established and new arts project are financially viable. Within the module Critical planning in the Arts and Culture we were able to learn about The political dimension of arts and culture which I found interesting as I aspire to become a Theatre manger and to understand the political dimensions of art and culture is, I feel, crucial. In addition, learning about Arts in the community, within the module, encouraged me to take this module in my Performing Arts field. Having thoroughly enjoyed researching and writing this essay I began to construct my dissertation title around the Arts Council England. Therefore, this module was hugely influential on my dissertation and I am incredibly glad I was able to take it or else I would not have known anything about the Arts Council England today.
Defining and sharpening the focus of work.
This, I feel, has been the hardest stage so far. I knew what topic I would like cover in my dissertation but deciding on an appropriate title was incredibly hard. My preliminary title was as follows;
The funding policies of the Arts Council England have had a profound effect on the development of theatre, in this country, in the last 20 years. (1989-2009)
My preliminary title, I felt, was too specialised as it only concentrates on Theatre. I felt that the literature would be limited and with that find no argument or conflict within the essay. Also 20 years is too far a timeline for 10,000 words, it felt unrealistic. So then I move my title on and change the timescale to 15 years and began formulating an argument through a rough guideline;
Funding from the Arts council England has had a profound effect on Arts organisations, in this country, in the last 15 years.
- Growth of funding and theatre
- Arts within the Community
- Local Authorities
- Who qualifies (under whose judgement)
- Giving an economic value of Art and justifying it.
- The recession
This title still didn't portray what I wanted to find out and the subheading seemed not to be covering the subject that truly interested me. Also I didn't want to use the word “profound” as it was vague and didn't give any detail to my title. So I re worked my title one final time to produce;
Has funding from the Arts Council England had a positive effect on Arts Organisations, in England, in the past 15 years?
- Background of the ACE
- ACE chief executive timeline
- National Lottery and its effects on Arts organisations
- Other types of funding
- Pegasus Case study.
So, I felt, it was more appropriate to word my title as a question because it opens the essay up to a discussion/ argument. I feel the subheadings are more appropriate, also, as I will be exploring and interpreting other text and formulate my own opinion, which hopefully will be embodied within the case study. I understand this is a working title and I am prepared to change and adapt the title as the process continues. All working and notes can be found in my journal, in the appendix.
The Context (Landscape and literature) of the Work
My literature landscape will mainly consist of parliamentary reports such as; The operation of the national Lottery. Vol 1. House of commons. (2001) and The National Lottery (memorandum). First Report 1994-1995. I have also already looked at older text such as; The History of the 50 years of the Arts council of Great Britian. Andrew Sinclair, and The Arts Counil of Great Britan. E.W.White, to research the background and Enabling the creators. J. Laycock has been a great help.
Within my literature review I want to bring up points made by authors and compare them to others whilst at the same time analysing the validity of the sources. This, I hope, will be done during the Christmas break. I have also read books on research projects to guide me throughout the essay, which has been a huge help as it constructs a guide that I am able to follow.
Well Initially I didn't really understand what research methodology I was going to use until I read this quote form Strauss & Corbin (1990)
“Qualitative research broadly defined means; any kind of research that produces findings not arrived at by means of statistical procedures or other means of quantification”
This Quote is applicable to my research so I have based my research on Qualitative research. The Type of Qualitative research I will use is
o Historical- I will analyze different texts form the past 15 years and compare the modern day practice with that of 15 years ago. This I feel will help me to see if funding has had positive or negative effects on the orgainisations.
o Case study-, which will be done on Pegasus- this, I'm hoping will exemplify the positive/negative effects which I have found.
o Interview- within the Case study I will be interviewing the manager at Pegasus and getting to grips with how the Arts Council England has helped their organization.
I will be using interpretive studies, as I will “Ask Questions and anticipate plausible outcomes” and I will be observing not pioneering. I have already read different opinions on the funding from the ACE and will explore this difference in opinions in my Literature review. Within this section I want to analyze these judgments and investigate the motivations of the sources.