USF St. Petersburg campus Honors Program Theses (Undergraduate)

First Advisor

Dan Marlin, Ph.D. Associate Professor, College of Business

Second Advisor

James Fellows, Ph.D., CPA Professor, College of Business


University of South Florida St. Petersburg

Document Type


Date Available

May 2012

Publication Date


Date Issued

May 2012


The purpose of this thesis is to contribute to the discussion of and the argument for performing arts organization sustainability. Included are definitions, defenses, and issues on the importance of and the current techniques of running a performing arts business, specifically addressing financial, management, and marketing aspects. The thesis is focused on four case studies, which cover business strategies, difficulties, and structures of performing arts organizations. The majority of the information gathered for these studies was collected through telephone interviews with upper management of each organization studied. Three sustainability factors were identified and two inherent features were identified. The sustainability factors are artistic leadership, financial management, and relevancy of artistic work. One of the inherent features is the necessity of business support and artistic work operating together. The other is the frustrating aspect of running a performing arts business.


A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the University Honors Program, University of South Florida St. Petersburg.

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