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The paper focuses on the Italian funding mechanism for performing arts. The aim is to investigate whether the funding mechanism reform, by DM 1 July 2014, is consistent with a structural reform of the performing arts sector. The analysis is based on an interpretation of the ongoing financial crisis as a structural crisis that requests relevant modifications of the current governance model in a long term perspective. The funding mechanism for the performing arts has strongly changed through a legislative process, that put greater emphasis on a project-related approach. Furthermore, the new mechanism could be considered more transparent and detailed than the previous one. However, it does not encompass opera houses, that represent a large fraction of the overall public funding of the performing arts sector. And even more, the reform of the funding mechanism does not push enough for a global reform of the governance model towards an innovative approach based on networks, co-productions and public-private partnership.