At the turn of the 21st century, a significant boom in the construction of cultural buildings took saw the creation of hundreds of performing arts centers, theaters, and museums. After these buildings were completed, however, many of these cultural organizations struggled to survive, or, alternatively, drifted off mission as the construction project forced monetary or other considerations to be prioritized. Building Better Arts Facilities: Lessons from a U.S.
On April 10, 2003, as the world watched a statue of Saddam Hussein come crashing down in the heart of Baghdad, looters attacked the Iraq National Museum. Despite the presence of an American tank unit, the pillaging went unchecked, and more than 15,000 artifacts – some of the oldest evidence of human culture – disappeared into the shadowy worldwide market in illicit antiquities. Since then the losses of antiquities in Iraq have increased, and include half a million artifacts that had previously been unexcavated.
Long ago, arts organizations sought patrons primarily from among the rich and well educated, but for many decades they have sought to broaden their audiences. Museums, orchestras, dance companies, theaters, and community cultural centers try to involve a variety of people in the arts. They strive to attract a more racially and ethnically diverse group of people, those from a broader range of economic backgrounds, new immigrants, families and youth.
This book contains the first full published account of the disasters that have befallen Iraq's cultural heritage after the removal of Saddam Hussein. It analyzes why the array of laws and international conventions, the advocacy efforts of cultural heritage organizations, and the military planning and implementation of cultural protection operations all failed, and continue to fail, to prevent massive and irreversible loss.
State-level funding for the arts, humanities, heritage, and allied forms of culture is an important source of financial support, dwarfing the aid provided by the National Endowment for the Arts. This investigation, underwritten by the Pew Charitable Trusts, shows that states support culture through policies and programs scattered across state government and through means that go beyond direct funding.