ON A NEW STAGE:
performing arts information management in New South Wales
The Wolanski Foundation
recommended that a performing arts foundation, based on the philanthropic
objectives of the Dennis Wolanski Library and Archives Trust, be established
to develop, in collaboration with relevant organisations, information
services and products relating to the performing arts.
establishment of the foundation does not preclude possible consortium
arrangements that may be created in the future or for jointly funded
projects with all or with particular organisations.
A separate strategic plan has been prepared, with the
following goals and strategies:
improved management of performing arts information through research
Connecting people to performing arts information resources, systems
and networks through a website, educational products and other
performing arts organisations, libraries, archives and museum through
fellowships, grants, and other forms of assistance.
providing a mechanism to address needs, quality management principles and
concepts will be useful not only as a guide for assessing the overall effort
but also in developing collaborative projects. The principles of the
Australian Quality Council, for example, provide pillars on which the future
could be built:
Leadership provides direction and creates a supportive environment
Improvement should be plan-driven, not event driven
Decisions and actions must be based on facts and data
The most important resources are people - their creativity and knowledge
People work within a system
Quality is defined by the customer
All systems and processes exhibit variability
To improve output, improve the process
Continual improvement relies on continuous learning.
Professional groups operate with varying degrees of effectiveness m
Australia. They usually don't pool funds to achieve common goals. Unless
additional funds are made available through government bodies or
philanthropic trusts, group interests, understandably, usually play second
fiddle to the demands of the individual institutions. Projects are usually
completed at snail's pace. The potential for dovetailing professional
thinking and experiences with related groups is not fully realised.
Performing Arts Special Interest Group of Museums Australia (PASIG) is the
principal national body currently serving the interests of organisations
involved in the provision of performing arts information services. Its
national committee includes representatives from Australian arts centres,
museums, libraries, archives, art galleries and educational institutions. It
aims to develop collaborative exhibition, information and collection
management programs. It is currently developing a website that will include
information on member collections, exhibitions, new books in the performing
arts and hot links to member sites. The National Committee includes NSW
representatives from the State Library, Powerhouse Museum, and NIDA.
therefore provides a mechanism for fruitful collaboration in NSW – perhaps
through the creation of a NSW division and the strengthening of state
membership. The roles and relationships of kindred special interest groups
like ARLIS/ANZ and IAML also need to be considered. The effectiveness of
these groups could be strengthened with the support of an organisation able
to commit funds and professional expertise..