Arts Entrepreneurship and Cultural Policy Innovation in Beijing


  • Shoshanah B. D. Goldberg-Miller The Ohio State University
  • Yan Xiao The Ohio State University


This article analyzes three cultural entities in Beijing, China: National Centre for the Performing Arts, 798 Arts District, and Today Art Museum using two lenses: Kingdon's Multiple Streams Framework (MS) and concepts of arts entrepreneurship, in order to examine these entities' development and current condition. The performing arts center has become a source of national pride, the arts district now is one of the world's largest, and the museum paved the way for a new kind of “private” institution in China.

Concepts including policy streams, policy windows, and policy entrepreneurs ground the analysis. In order to enrich the perspective, we explore theories in the growing field of arts entrepreneurship and their applicability to the changing economic environment of China. We point to the realities of policy formation as well as the innovative economic growth fostered through arts entrepreneurship in China, grounding the analysis in a positivist perspective due to the opacity of the process in that country.

While Multiple Streams Framework is a powerful tool with which to understand and interpret policy formation, change, and adaptation, it is the arts entrepreneurship principles that provide important ways to look at creative commerce, both from the perepective of the individual and the organization. We find that, while each arts entity was formed under very different circumstances, they all now incorporate facets of arts entrepreneurship including brand building, market development, and audience growth.

Frameworks and theories must be flexible and resilient in order to be adapted to more diverse contexts. By reframing cultural policy and arts entrepreneurship theory to incorporate culturally relevant data, they each can provide valuable tools for scholars, policymakers, and municipal leaders. This allows the understanding of key theoretical components to expand, reflecting political and social realities while ensuring the relevance and viability of these analytical tools in multi-cultural contexts.

Author Biographies

Shoshanah B. D. Goldberg-Miller, The Ohio State University

Shoshanah B. D. Goldberg-Miller, PhD is Assistant Professor specializing in arts administration and policy in the Department of Arts Administration, Education and Policy at The Ohio State University. She also holds a courtesy appointment with the City and Regional Planning Section of the Knowlton School of Architecture at OSU. Dr. Goldberg-Miller’s research focuses on: arts & cultural entrepreneurship; creative economic development; national and global cultural policy; leadership in the philanthropic and nonprofit sectors; management and administration of nonprofit organizations; fund development in nonprofit organizations; and media management. Her book, Planning for a City of Culture: Creative Urbanism in Toronto and New York (Routledge, March 2017) explores how the two cities used arts and culture to build their brand, enhance public good, and create economic prosperity in the decade of the 2000s. The book is based upon Dr. Goldberg-Miller’s doctoral dissertation, The Role of Arts and Culture in Modern Cities: Making Art Work in Toronto and New York, which was supported by a generous grant from The Rockefeller Foundation. 

Over the past decade, Goldberg-Miller has taught graduate and undergraduate-level courses in cultural policy, creative economic development, media management, arts administration, fundraising, grant writing, and management for urban planners at The New School, Hunter College, and Columbia University. Dr. Goldberg-Miller is a fund raising, arts management and marketing professional with more than twenty years of experience in nonprofit administration, major gifts and corporate sponsorship. She has been on the executive team at many prominent nonprofit organizations, including The Paley Center for Media, American Cancer Society, Greenwich House Pottery, March of Dimes, American Museum of Natural History, and Museum of Holography. 

Dr. Goldberg-Miller is a featured speaker at academic conferences, seminars and workshops for organizations including the Association for Collegiate Schools of Planning, the Society for American City and Regional Planning History, Fundraising Day in New York, the National Arts Leadership Institute, and the AIGA Design Conference. As a management consultant, she has served clients such as Parsons School of Design, Aspen Institute, Socrates Sculpture Park, Smack Mellon Gallery, MoMA, New York State Psychological Association, National Geographic, Sesame Workshop, and Polaroid, as well as numerous individuals and community-based organizations. Goldberg-Miller holds a BFA in ceramics (University of Michigan) an MBA in arts management (SUNY Binghamton) and PhD in public and urban policy (The New School).

Yan Xiao, The Ohio State University

Yan Xiao is a student in the Arts Administration, Education and Policy PhD program.  She was a Barnett Fellow from 2014 to 2016, and now she is an instructor for the course Managing Arts Organizations: Balancing Stability & Change.  She came to Ohio State with a Master’s degree in Public Policy from Renmin University of China.  Yan worked for the National Centre for the Performing Arts of China after her graduation and gained rich practical experience in the operation of arts organizations.  She is also interested in cultural exchange.

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How to Cite

Goldberg-Miller, S., & Xiao, Y. (2018). Arts Entrepreneurship and Cultural Policy Innovation in Beijing. Artivate: A Journal of Entrepreneurship in the Arts, 7(1), 23–47. Retrieved from