Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Public Affairs

First Advisor's Name

Sukumar Ganapati

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee chair

Second Advisor's Name

Shaoming Cheng

Second Advisor's Committee Title

Committee member

Third Advisor's Name

Milena Neshkova

Third Advisor's Committee Title

Committee member

Fourth Advisor's Name

Carol Damian

Fourth Advisor's Committee Title

Committee member


music, theatre, theater, performing arts center, performing art centers

Date of Defense



This dissertation is an analysis of the governance structures and functioning of performing arts centers (PACs) in the United States. PACs provide important public services to local communities by exposing the public to arts and culture. There are two research objectives in the analysis. The first objective is to delineate the forms of PAC governance structures. The second objective is to assess how these governance structures affect PACs’ functioning. The dissertation contributes to understanding of management of PACs. Overall, the study identified 187 PACs in the country, with at least one PAC in every state.

With respect to the first objective, an inductive typological analysis revealed three types of PAC governance structures: local government, nonprofit, and public–private partnerships. They have distinctive profiles of developmental history, activities, funding, and facilities. Such difference is revealed in the three exemplary cases of the governance structures, respectively: Santa Barbara Center for the Performing Arts, Arts Center Task Force (Mid-Columbia Performing & Visual Arts), and Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami.

The second research objective was achieved through a regression analysis of the relationship between governance structure and PACs’ functioning. Other organizational (internal to PACs) and community (external to PACs) factors were used as control variables. The focus was on PACs’ performance in terms of their revenue generation and audience size (i.e., attendance per performance), in order to capture their sustenance and community participation. The findings reveal that PAC governance structure was not significant for the PACs’ functioning for both total program revenue and audience size. However, organizational (e.g., facilities) and community (e.g., college education) factors were significant for the PACs’ functioning. Overall, the study shows that the governance structures are culturally contextual and the PACs’ functioning depends on other organizational and community factors.






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