Bridging the gap between policy and administration of cultural institutions in Nigeria: The role of arts/education collaboration
This paper is structured to give a detailed analysis of the art practice in Akwa-Ibom state, South East Nigeria, with the emphasis on matters relating to policy and administration and their effect on educational projects and community development. The focus of this paper is on the dance practice of the state as seen in the state’s council for arts and culture which is an institution functioning under the Ministry for culture and tourism, and houses the state’s dance troupe. This institution is charged with the responsibility of preserving, protecting and promoting the state’s arts and cultural heritage that are deemed as valuable, and also (re)presenting these artistic expressions as identity markers to the local communities, the Nigerian nation and the international audiences. The research findings are gotten from a nine week internship/fieldwork, which was done for the completion of a Master degree, in the council for arts and culture between June and August 2014. This research problematizes the gap between policy, administration and execution of these policies as seen in the actual daily practice of some cultural institutions. It also highlights the impact of education, both formal and informal, on the development of artistic expressions and how this can positively affect the community. Finally, it identifies the importance of collaborations between the arts industry and educational sector, as both can work together to develop a better understanding of the arts and increase the level of arts appreciation and community engagement in Nigeria and the world at large. Research methodologies for data gathering include observation, participation, interviews and past experience in the field.