Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation


Fine Arts


Arts Administration

First Advisor

Dr. Jaleesa Wells


This dissertation explores the complex landscape of public funding policies for popular music across three cities: Atlanta, Glasgow, and Toronto. Through comparative case studies and qualitative research methods, this work explores the varying approaches each city takes towards funding popular music, including the social, economic, and political environments in which these funding policies have developed.

Through document reviews and interviews with key stakeholders, the dissertation highlights the differences in how public funding for popular music is approached in Glasgow, Atlanta, and Toronto and the broader context of how these policies were created. Using Multiple Streams Approach, the Five Streams Confluence Model, and Advocacy Coalition Framework to analyze the policy development in each city, this research reveals the challenges and unique circumstances across locations that have given rise to vastly different approaches to supporting popular music.

The results of this study suggest that public funding for popular music is available in Glasgow and Toronto, while Atlanta does not offer such funding. Each case study city was heavily influenced by their national contexts and the approach of each country to arts funding in general. The availability of public funding for popular music seemingly has less to do with budgetary considerations and instead is influenced by the social construction of popular music in each case study and the focus of funding agencies on equity, diversity, and inclusion.

This dissertation contributes to the field by providing a foundational examination of the mechanisms of policy development related to public funding for popular music, an area of research with significant gaps. This study creates a launchpad for new research directions for arts administration and the role of popular music in bridging diversity gaps in arts and culture. It also provides knowledge to assist policy makers in shaping their efforts to support popular music in their communities.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)