The Business of Art
- FJ Gayor
A new minor in Arts Management and Entrepreneurship supports students in the creative arts disciplines.
Music. Art. Poetry. Theater. Dance. These creative expressions speak to the human experience and feed the soul. But, students and their parents often worry, can they also pay the rent and put food on the table.
A new minor in Arts Management and Entrepreneurship, which launched this fall, puts those worries to rest. The interdisciplinary program introduces students to a host of career possibilities in the arts industry and provides the core skills they will need to succeed. The minor also connects students to internship opportunities in arts management and helps them develop a clearer understanding of potential career paths.
“There are so many jobs in the arts that students don’t know about; it’s a huge industry,” says Laura Eckelman, Associate Professor and Interim Chair of the Department of Theatre and Dance who is directing the arts management program with the assistance of Benjamin Tilghman, Assistant Professor of Art History. “We want to help those students understand that there are very real ways to make a living in the arts, either as independent artists who are well-equipped with business skills or as professionals working at an arts organization in arts advocacy, fundraising, or the commercial arts industry.”
Targeting students who are already majoring or minoring in the arts or in business management, the program is easily adaptable to the student’s artistic interests, says Eckelman, a theatrical lighting designer with a background in marketing, fundraising, and theater management. In addition to required coursework in financial accounting and marketing, students might choose classes in arts administration, literary editing and publishing, museum studies, creative and information economies, organizational behavior, or entrepreneurship.
“As future artists, producers, presenters, curators, editors, marketers, fundraising, managers, and entrepreneurs,” she says, “graduates from this program will be empowered to employ themselves both practically and creatively, with a humanistic perspective on what it means to contribute to society as a professional in the arts industry.”