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Engaged with the Arts: Writings from the Frontline

Engaged with the Arts: Writings from the Frontline
John Tusa

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John Tusa has been Managing Director of London's Barbican Centre for more than a decade. In that time, he has been a notable controversialist, speaking up for the need for the arts, defending their achievements and arguing for more funding. This selection of John Tusa's passionately argued, candid and challenging essays on the arts in Britain today is informed by a lifetime's experience of the arts and a current position at the centre of the British arts scene. Tusa seeks out the ways in which the arts can be made to blossom in this cultural and political climate, with cuts in arts funding ever threatened. His subjects include the art of living without objectives, and whether leadership in the arts is a mystery or good sense. He tells the true story of arts philanthropy and offers more personal pieces, for example on the great power of music. He also presents a light hearted 'ABC of the ARTS' and imagines what Ten Commandments for the Arts might look like. His own philosophy, which informs his successful management of the Barbican, is refreshing and instructive and he of course looks to the future with prescience.

Most of all his is a call for us urgently to think about why art matters so crucially for us all.

Author Info

Managing Director of the Corporation of London's Barbican Centre. His distinguished and varied career as broadcaster and journalist has included a long association with BBC's flagship 'Newsnight' as well as broadcasting with Radio 4's 'The World Tonight'. He is well-known to the British public as presenter in the 90s of BBC TV's 'One O'Clock News'. As Managing Direcor of the BBC External Services, he set up BBC World Service Television. He is also a writer whose books include'Art Matters: Reflections on Culture' and 'On Creativity'.


Important and provocative...brings several welcome and heretical challenges to cultural orthodoxies...Tusa should be thanked for having the courage to take on the cry of elitism, a word that seems to strike fear into arts institutions.
- David Lister, The Sunday Telegraph

Tusa's passion is intellectual rather than gushing, although he can also be solidly down to earth... His zeal for innovation is convincing because he is no mere barker for the latest wheeze, but a man who writes eloquently of his personal tastes, antique or modern.
- George Walden, Contemporary Magazine

Bibliographic Info

Imprint: I.B.Tauris
Publisher: I.B.Tauris & Co. Ltd.

ISBN: 9781845114244
Publication Date: 23 Feb 2007
Number of Pages: 232
Height: 234
Width: 156

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