What is Arts Administration?

Training and knowledge for managers, artists, performers and arts enthusiasts who wish to pursue professional activities or careers related to managing, producing or advancing the cultural arts.

Where is arts administration needed?

Performance and institutional arts organizations, including museums and art galleries, symphonies and musical groups, theatres, and dance companies; in community or regional centers for the arts; in government, corporate, and foundation agencies that are concerned with the development of the arts.

Is it just nonprofits?

Arts administrators most often work in the nonprofit sector and the program we offer reflects this model. The U.S. nonprofit arts industry employs more than 5 million full-time persons and there are more than 30,000 nonprofit arts organizations in U.S. However, there are many aspects in the field that can be helpful to those wishing to pursue work in the for-profit sector, such as working in artist management, in the music industry, commercial theatre, dance schools, and commercial art galleries. The coursework in arts administration can be helpful to artists and performers to learn skills that can help them better manage their own artistic careers.

Why should I study Arts Administration?

The demands of the arts manager has grown more sophisticated (beyond connoisseurship), thereby demanding formalized training. The best preparation for a career in arts administration is an academic background enhanced by practical, professional experience. However, most arts administrators learned "on the job" and only 20% of working professionals ever completed coursework in arts administration at the undergraduate college level. Goucher is among only a handful of schools in the U.S. who offer a packaged program of courses for undergraduates.

What does Goucher offer?

Goucher currently offers a Concentration in Arts Administration (which is a designation a few credits less than a MINOR). The concentration is seven courses/21 credits total: three core courses in Arts Administration (BUS 170, 270, 375); three courses in Business Management (BUS 110, 120, 229); and one course in Economics (EC 100). Goucher also offers a Master of Arts in Arts Administration, a graduate program designed for working professionals who have had a few years of hands-on experience.

What will I learn?

All three core courses feature several guest speakers of working arts administrators, which helps to reinforce learning from text and lectures and connects them to working professionals. A hallmark of the program is that the learning is often based on real-life samples and from case studies of existing organizations. The assignments are real-life applications of work that arts administrators do, such as writing or creating mission statements, fundraising letters, budgets, business plan/grant proposals, and organizational assessment or evaluations.

Who can study Arts Administration?

Any undergraduate student enrolled at Goucher may take one, two, or all three core courses in Arts Administration (BUS 170, 270, 375); these are done in a sequence. However, in order to complete the program as a designated concentration, you must major in an art form. The courses in the arts (Art, Dance, Music, or Theatre) provide a solid foundation in an art form. Students must complete their artistic major that covers both historical/theoretical and studio work.

What if I want to study Business Management too?

That's fine and is an excellent way to build more comprehensive management and business skills. Some students complete their major in an art form, add the concentration and also pursue either a minor or a major in Business Management as well. Only those completing a major in the Arts, however, are eligible for the official designation of Concentration in Arts Administration.

What about internships?

Internships are a terrific way to explore the field and define your own career goals. Students have extensive opportunities for rewarding internships. Goucher is strategically located, with access to numerous arts organizations in the Baltimore-Washington area as well as in New York and other cities. Many students complete arts-related internships for college credit; most are done on a volunteer basis but some opportunities may pay wages or offer a stipend. Some complete their internship during a semester while in Baltimore, in summers in Baltimore, "at home," or elsewhere.

Where have past students been employed, completed internships, or have gone to graduate school?

Our students have been employed or completed internships with organizations such as the Baltimore Museum of Art, Pennsylvania Ballet, Peabody Conservatory of Music, Wide Angle Youth Media, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Joy of Motion Dance Center, New York City Ballet, Young Audiences of Maryland, Center Stage, Kennedy Center, Studio Theatre, Baltimore Clayworks, National Gallery of Art, Museum of Contemporary Art/Denver, National Music Festival, and dozens more. Several students have started their own nonprofits or have attended graduate school, including programs at Goucher, Columbia University, the Pratt Institute, Roehampton University and Sotheby's in London.

What about international opportunities in Arts Administration?

The program we offer focuses on the American model, however we are also working to internationalize our offerings whenever possible. We have had Arts Administration students complete internships in Australia, Brazil, and Greece; others have studied abroad in semester-long programs in such countries as Italy, the United Kingdom, Denmark, and Australia or have participated in one of Goucher's 3-week Intensive Courses Abroad, including performing arts programs in Scotland and France. In May/June 2015, Goucher will offer The Arts of Amsterdam: Arts Administration and Behind-the-Scenes of the Visual and Performing Arts in Holland. Click here for more information.

How many credits will I need?

The Concentration is 21 credits (7, three-credit courses) in addition to the arts major requirements, which is typically an additional minimum of 27 credits. Please note that each department's requirements vary, however some offer reduced credits within the arts major to accommodate the additional Arts Administration courses. Please refer to the academic catalogue within your major for more details.

When can I start and how long will it take?

The Introductory class, BUS 170, is offered every Spring; the second course BUS 270, is offered every Fall; and the capstone seminar, BUS 375, is offered every Spring. These courses must be done in a sequence. There are seven courses total; most students are able to take two courses relating to the concentration per semester. It is recommended to take BUS 170 either as a freshman or a sophomore and begin the Economics and Accounting courses no earlier than your sophomore year. At minimum, you would need to start by spring of your junior year in order to complete the 3 core courses (170 in spring of junior year; 270 in fall of senior year, and 375 in spring of senior year).

What are the courses I need?

In order to complete the 21-credit CONCENTRATION:

Three core courses:

  • BUSINESS MANAGEMENT 170: Introduction to Arts Administration
  • BUSINESS MANAGEMENT 270: Case Studies in Arts Administration
  • BUSINESS MANAGEMENT 375: Strategic Leadership for the Arts Administrator

PLUS

  • ECONOMICS 100 (Introduction to Economics) OR ECONOMICS 101 (Micro Economics)
  • BUSINESS MANAGEMENT 110 (Principles of Accounting I)
  • BUSINESS MANAGEMENT 120 (Principles of Accounting 2)
  • BUSINESS MANAGEMENT 229 (Marketing Management)
Any other courses I should take?

This, of course, depends on your interests, professional ambitions, and strengths. Other courses recommended include BUS 105 (Quantitative Reasoning for Business), BUS 245 (Organizational Behavior), BUS 247 (Introduction to Human Resource Management), CBL 115 (Gateway to Service), and THE 105 (Effective Public Speaking) Other frequently recommended courses include Advertising and Public Relations; Community Development courses in Peace Studies and/or Service-based Learning, or additional Business courses such as Financial Management or Investments.

Who can I talk to if I want to learn more?

Contact Alison Cahen Lohr, Instructor and Program Advisor, Arts Administration Concentration at alohr@goucher.edu.

Course Descriptions for Required Courses in the Arts Administration Concentration

BUS 170 Introduction to Arts Administration (SPRING)
An overview of the burgeoning field of arts administration for those considering the profession and to help artists and performers understand the administrative aspects of a nonprofit arts organization. Topics include organizational purpose and management structure, leadership, board governance and issues, fundraising, financial management, program and artistic development, marketing and promotion. Practical projects and guest speakers from professional performance companies and arts institutions.

BUS 270 Case Studies in Arts Administration (FALL)
What are the qualifications of a good arts administrator? This course centers on case studies of real arts organizations to present issues and solve management problems. Topics include: artistic content; leadership; fundraising and developing financial resources; community development, diversity and educational outreach; audience development, marketing, and crisis communications; technology and cultural facilities. Guest speakers from area organizations are featured. Prerequisite: BUS 170

BUS 375 Strategic Leadership for the Arts Administrator (SPRING)
What are the most pressing challenges for an arts administrator today? The course considers the responsibilities of management and examines capacity building and fiscal stabilization of arts organizations. Topics include long-range strategic planning, staffing, board, and human resource development, and legal matters and their implications. Students discuss current issues shaping the nonprofit arts field. Practical projects and guests speakers. Prerequisite: BUS 270

EC 100. Introduction to Economics (FALL AND SPRING ) GEN. ED. #10) (LER - SSC)
A general introduction to the subject matter and analytical tools of economics. Intended for non-majors who would like to learn about the ways economics can be used to explain behavior and form policy. This course does not count toward the major or minor in economics. Students who have taken EC 101 and/or EC 102 may not take this course for credit.

BUS 110 Principles of Accounting I (FALL AND SPRING)
Fundamental principles and concepts of accounting and their application to sole proprietorships. Emphasis on cash flow considerations and control aspects of accounting rather than a purely bookkeeping approach.

BUS 120. Principles of Accounting II (FALL AND SPRING)
A continuation of fundamental accounting principles and concepts. Emphasis is on corporations, the nature of stock, debt, and working capital; interpretation of financial statements; and managerial departmental accounting concepts. Prerequisite: BUS 110.

BUS 229 Marketing Management (FALL AND SPRING) (GEN. ED. #9) (LER-SSC)
A review of the basic concepts and practice in modern marketing. Course demonstrates marketing principles through and projects related to current events in the manufacturing and service sectors; in profit and nonprofit organizations; and domestic, international, and multinational companies. Students are responsible for conducting market research and presenting analysis of real-world marketing problems and situations.