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This book examines recent trends in the performing arts and discusses how the arts are likely to evolve in the future. It is the first book to provide a comprehensive overview of the performing arts, including analysis of opera, theater, dance, and music, in both their live and recorded forms. The authors focus on trends affecting four aspects of the performing arts — audiences, performers, arts organizations, and financing — and offer a vision for the future. The book discusses the implications of current and likely future developments and considers public policy issues such as public funding for the arts.

"The reader interested in the performing arts could not ask for a more approachable comprehensive examination of the industry or set of recommendations. McCarthy et al., have done a fine job of examining the available information. They have drawn from it a reasonable view of what is happening in the industry, a vision of what they expect the future to bring, and present a fine set of recommendations that are useful for both researchers and policy makers. This is a book that should be recommended to anyone interested in understanding the performing arts industry and in what more should be done to ensure its health well into the 21st century."

- Journal of Cultural Economics

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