M.A.A.A. Curriculum

Goucher College Master of Arts in Arts Administration

The Master of Arts in Arts Administration curriculum requires a total of forty-three credits for graduation. Of these, thirty-one credits are earned through required courses, six credits through elective courses, and an additional six credits through the internship and major paper.

Required Courses

AAD 601. Principles of Arts Administration
Baker            3 credits/fall

This course introduces students to the history and practice of arts administration. It examines the distinctions and challenges common to all areas of the arts and considers the differences in mission and administration among organizations in theatre, dance, music, visual arts, media arts, arts councils and arts service organizations, arts education, and multidisciplinary organizations. The course examines regulations and distinction related to nonprofit status and various new hybrids. It reviews community involvement in the arts at the local, state, regional and national levels. It examines the cultural and economic contributions of the arts. All new M.A.A.A. students begin with this course during their first residency.  

AAD 605. Writing and Research Methods for the Arts Administrator
Lucas  3 credits/fall and spring

This course will strengthen students’ writing and research skills in preparation for a career in arts administration. The course will prepare students not only for the professional writing needed in the field, but also for the academic writing that is expected in the M.A.A.A. program. Students will build on their current skills, emphasizing the use of style and tone to reach an audience, the mechanics of good writing, and editing skills.  Using analysis and problem-solving methods, students will consider approaches that may be useful in a variety of situations that arts administrators may face.  The research section of the course will review the steps required for academic research, synthesis of research findings, organization of a paper, and proper citation.  Required for the first year.

 AAD 610. Leadership and Strategic Thinking
Coleman-Cook         3 credits/fall and spring

This course examines the characteristics of effective  leadership in a nonprofit arts organization. It considers the ways in which skills and abilities can inspire the most productive interactions with and amongst artists, arts administrators, staff, boards, volunteers, audiences, etc. The course examines the best approaches to governance and structure for different types of arts organizations, and examines ethical considerations. The course looks at the changing needs of leadership as well as strategic planning related to organizational and community changes. Required in first year.

AAD 611. Financial Management for the Arts
Lucas         3 credits/fall and spring

This course introduces students to financial and accounting principles for the nonprofit executive. The vocabulary of finance, the tools for analysis of financial statememnts, the review of internal controls, and the basics of budgeting will help the student understand the role of the nonprofit manager in leading the organization to sound financial decisions. Required for the first year.

AAD 612. Public Relations and Marketing the Arts
Kearns          3 credits/fall and spring

This course examines the development of internal and external public relations and marketing plans. It considers various approaches to maximize impact for different types, styles, and sizes of arts organizations. It examines the most productive uses of all forms of media. The course focuses on audience development and demographics, market segmentation, relationship products, promotional tools and tactics, e-marketing and uses of social media, research, customer service, and media relations. Required in the first year.

AAD 613. Fundraising and Financial Development 
James          3 credits/fall and spring

This course prepares students to take a leadership role in the planning and management of a comprehensive development program for a non-profit arts organization. It focuses on annual giving by individual, corporate, and foundation donors and examines the value of face-to-face solicitation, donor benefits, events, mass mailings, telefunding, social media, and online giving to secure contributed income. Participants will learn to identify, cultivate, solicit and steward donors at all levels and to develop fundraising skills and instincts among an arts organization's board, staff, and volunteers. An introduction to capital, planned giving, and endowment campaigns rounds out this core offering.

AAD 614. Law and the Arts
Browne         3 credits/fall and spring

This course examines the legal rights and responsibilities of artists and artistic institutions. Topics include the law of intellectual property (copyright and trademark), moral rights, personality rights (defamation, publicity, and privacy), and freedom of expression. The course also provides an introduction to basic contract law and to the structure and language of contracts, including commissioning, performance rights, and music licensing agreements. Other legal issues that arise in the management of arts organization may also be discussed.

AAD 617. Public Policy for the Arts
Reese         3 credits/fall

This course examines governmental policy on the arts at the national, state and local levels including the history of public arts policy in this country and current politics.  Understanding and changing public policy, identifying decision-makers and developing a vocabulary for successful advocacy are major components of the course. This course is taken during each student's second summer residency.

AD 619.   Cultural Ecosystem: The Arts in Community
Ewell/Vega                 3 credits/fall and spring

This course examines the manner in which artists and arts organizations build community, and function within and support their communities. Topics include: the historical context of arts in our communities, changing demographics and their impact on artists and audiences, the integration of multiple cultures into arts policy, and programs, understanding cultural democracy, using the arts in the development of community indentity, the arts and economic development, and community cultural planning.

AAD 625. Grantsmanship from A to Z
Burdett        1 credit/fall

This course will cover the process of researching, preparing, and managing corporate, foundation, and government grants for nonprofit arts organizations. Topics to be covered will include research, cultivation, understanding guidelines, program development, outcomes-based evaluation, letters of intent, preparation of proposals, and reporting process. Students will become familiar with their own local funding environment, and will prepare complete grant proposals.

AAD 627. International Arts Policy
Chiu           3 credit/fall

This course examines international arts policy, including those policies of Asia (Far East and Middle East), Europe, North America, South America, Africa, and Australia. The primary goal of the course is to better prepare graduates to operate in a global context with an awareness of international artistic and cultural diversity. It is taken during the third summer residency, and it includes student interaction with faculty and guest lectures representing major cultures covering various continents/regions. Students will develop an awareness of the ways in which cultural policies influence cultural development, cultural exchange, international economics, and programming within that culture. Students will examine current and historical factors that influence cultural policies and political agendas around the around the world. 

AAD 651. Major Paper
The Faculty            3 credits

The major paper is a research paper of thesis quality. Students receive guidance regarding their major paper work from the M.A.A.A. Program Director, the Major Paper Director, and two faculty members throughout their process.


AAD 630. Managing Performing Arts Organizations
Wildman            3 credits/fall

This course examines the particular challenges related to theatre, music, and dance organizations as well as those involved in presenting performances and in management of performing arts venues. Course topics include contractual agreements, cooperative ventures between organizations, and managing organizations in transition. Organizational needs are considered from various points of view  (staff, artists, board, patrons, funders, etc.). Issues are examined through a case study approach.

AAD 631. Managing Visual Arts Organizations
Rynd         3 credits/fall

This course dissects and examines the myriad challenges facing the director of an art museum, nonprofit art gallery or alternative space. Topics will include ethical issues, board governance, the pros and cons of facility expansion, provenance issues, fundraising strategies and their "Catch-22" components, audience development, media communication, managing controversy and change, the organization’s role as educator, collaborative ventures, the critical investment in exhibitions, collecting and deaccessioning, and working with contemporary artists.

AAD 634. Planning and Managing New Ventures in the Arts
McFarland           3 credits/Spring

This course is designed to provide the student with insights into setting up a new artistic venture or re-designing an existing program. Students will explore creating a concept, vision and mission; the life cycles of a non-profit, leadership issues; building support in the larger community; developing financial viability on many levels; public relations, marketing, outreach and audience development.

AAD 636. Arts in Education
Chiu      3 credits/spring

This course will study the various arts education methodologies practiced in the classroom, explore models of best practices in different settings in urban and rural schools, discuss the role of the arts in academic learning, and examine public support for arts in education and advocacy for such support.  Students will survey their own communities and professional backgrounds to build a context for their understanding of the coursework, discuss assigned readings and issues in arts education, and practice resolution of real-life situations in arts instruction, seeking public support, and developing advocacy strategies to ensure the permanence of arts in the core curriculum of all schools. 

 AAD 637. Directed Reading in the Chosen Art Field
Faculty             3 credits

Directed Reading can be designed by a student on an individual basis to broaden the student's knowledge in a particular area of arts administration.  Students interested in taking this course must have the prior approval of the director, an outlined bibliography, and a faculty member who has agreed to advise their work. 

AAD 650. Independent Study/ Internship
The Faculty            3 credits

The purpose of the M.A.A.A. Independent Study/ Internship is to offer professional experiences that allow students to work either independently or as part of a group or organization. Students choose faculty advisors to guide their process. Depending on focus of their study, students may also choose field advisors as well. The goal of the course is for each student to learn through individualized participation, research, guidance and/or observation.