Insights > 7 Case studies on Arts Management in South Asia | New publication launched
26 Sep 2016

7 Case studies on Arts Management in South Asia | New publication launched

What are the challenges faced by arts organisations in South Asia? How do they address financial sustainability, negotiate stakeholders expectations and ultimately succeed in creating new project and ideas in the arts? These are some of the topics addressed by this new ASEF culture360 commissioned research.



ASEF culture360 is proud to launch a new research titled "Arts Management: challenges and learning from 7 cultural organisations in Bangladesh, India and Pakistan"Commissioned by ASEF culture360, this publication was researched by ARThinkSouthAsia, a management, policy and research programme in the arts and cultural sector, dedicated to founding and supporting arts managers in South Asia.

The 7 case studies from Bangladesh, India and Pakistan are key organisations that are representative of the diverse cultural and socio-political context within which they operate. They also reflect the challenges and difficulties in which arts organisations operate in the arts and culture sector within the South Asian region. The publication is structured by case study with a general description followed by 2 key challenges as well as the main learning experience and a look into the future activities.

Here are the 7 case studies:


  • Aasakta Kalamanch -  Regional-language arts institution in Maharashtra, India
    This case study explores the challenges faced by this experimental theatre group working with regional languages in addressing audience building and sustainable work.

  • Bistaar: Chittagong Arts Complex - A self-sustained arts centre in Chittagong, Bangladesh
    The case of Bistaar looks at how the institution can sustain itself financially in the long term and how it can play a catalytic role in changing the cultural context of a second-tier city like Chittagong.

  • Gati Dance Forum - A contemporary dance organisation in New Delhi, India
    This case looks at the growth of the organisation from 2007 onwards and focuses specifically on the strategic and financial challenges faced so far.

  • Goa-Cap and Altab Photography Residency - An organisation and photography residency in Goa, India
    Set-up by the artist and photographer P. Madhavan, this case highlights the financial challenges faced by this space dedicated to alternative photography art.

  • Hamdasti-Chitpur Local - An arts organisation working with local communities using art, design and historical revival in Kolkata, India
    This case focuses on a community based project, Chitput Local, run by the arts organisation Hamdasti. In particular, it looks at the challenges of engaging with the community and identifying key stakeholders that are able to lead such projects.

  • PeaceNiche - A Karachi-based organisation promoting democratic discourse through cultural engagement in Pakistan
    This case underlines the unique challenges of running an independent arts institution within a difficult political environment.

  • UnBox Festival - A multidisciplinary arts festival in New Delhi, India
    This case focuses on how to ensure long-term financial sustainability of the festival while managing the expectations of the various stakeholders involved.


Through this compilation of case studies ARThinkSouthAsia hopes to develop a growing number of resources available for training and practice in arts management in the region. The research was conducted by Rashmi Dhanwani, an independent arts consultant, curator, creative producer and recipient of the ARThink South Asia Fellowship.

Download the 7 case studies here:

Arts Management: challenges and learning from 7 cultural organisations in Bangladesh, India and Pakistan