Over a distinguished career in cultural leadership, management and journalism spanning almost 30 years, John Tusa has amassed a unique experience of the arts world, the political controversies it faces and the battles it continues to fight. His new book is a fearless and passionate defence of the performing and visual arts at a time of increasing 'Pain in the Arts.' Tusa explains how the arts are run and why they are worth speaking up for. He addresses the controversies in the arts that must be resolved today: should they be useful before they are excellent? Can they ever turn their backs on the past if they are to be creative in the present? He offers guidance on how the arts can survive in a downturn and why they should always make the case that they deserve special treatment. He also draws on his five years to date as Chair of the Clore Leadership Programme to discuss the increasingly complex questions- practical, personal, professional- that today's and tomorrow's cultural leaders must face, including the qualities of character needed to succeed and what a revolution in arts leadership might achieve. He also reveals the pitfalls of managerialist language.
The backdrop throughout is John Tusa's personal story of discovery and love of the culture he strives to defend in hard times.