Arts Management Courses

Arts Management Courses

Focused on the needs of arts managers working in the field, MCLA’s arts management program provides students with a broad based education in multiple fine arts disciplines including the visual arts, music and theatre and then lays the foundation for work in arts administration with specific coursework in the basics including arts finance, grant writing, writing in the arts, arts research, legal issues in the arts, marketing the arts, and arts leadership.  The arts management program is hands-on.  Students apply classroom concepts in in real-life projects extending their learning into the community by providing financial analysis, research, strategic planning, marketing, community engagement projects, and youth development activities to organizations across the area. 

Student presenting in front of her class

AMGT 130 - Introduction to Arts Management

AMGT 130 is an introduction to the discipline of arts management with an emphasis on understanding the overall arts/culture ecosystem and the regional component of that ecosystem. Topics to include strategic planning, marketing, financial accounting, budgeting, fund raising, human resources management, organizational structure, and community engagement.  Students enrolled in this course will apply class topics in the development of individual strategic plans, online portfolios, formal presentations and reports.

AMGT 235 – Fundamentals of Arts & Culture Organizations

AMGT 235 Explores and examines the functional elements of arts organizations with an emphasis on strategic planning and organizations’ fit in the arts and cultural ecosystem.  Designed as the in depth introduction for arts management majors, topics include arts management issues including planning, organizational identity, environmental analysis, strategy development, integrated marketing, human resources, financial planning, fundraising and control systems with a focus on the strategic management process and organizational innovation in the context of the contemporary arts and culture environment.

AMGT 245 – Arts & Culture Marketing

An examination of the fundamentals of marketing theory and its application in arts management. Topics include marketing mix; situational analysis; segmentation, branding; the 4 Ps; publicity; Internet, social media, and database marketing; and marketing plan implementation and control. This course will examine theory and then directly apply concepts in the development of personal branding tools and in the generation of a comprehensive marketing plan for a local arts organization.

AMGT 255 – Financial Management in Arts & Culture

Explores and examines the major elements of financial accounting in a typical arts organization. With a focus on non-profit finance, students will learn to perform basic accounting tasks, prepare and analyze financial statements, implement an effective financial control system, use financial information as part of organizational decision making, develop a mission-driven budget, and understand professional accounting standards.

AMGT 305 –Writing in Arts & Culture

Prepares students for writing in the arts for a variety of contexts and audiences. The class will be run in a studio format where students experience engage in writing, analyzing, and drafting processes exploring a range of methods of communicating effectively and disseminating information about the arts and about their role in the arts. Students will develop a portfolio of writing ( philosophy statement, bio, resume, press release, blog entries, reviews, interviews, etc).

AMGT 330 – Grants and Fundraising

This course introduces techniques in grant research and technical and contextual writing skills for grants for the arts. Examines government and private sources of art funding and fund raising techniques for arts organizations and artists. Students will write their own grant based on a project of their interest, create an annual appeal, membership letter, and a sponsorship request.

AMGT 335 – Museum Studies

This course explores the purpose and function of museums in American culture, and the practicalities of museum work including staff roles and responsibilities, the range of museum types (science, art, history, cultural), and the various programmatic areas of museums such as exhibitions, education, events/performances, collection management, and research. Philosophical discussions balance the course as students consider collecting and fund raising ethics, museum controversies, and the influence/power of interpretation. Students investigate museums from a variety of perspectives through group work, field trips to area museums, readings, written work, and discussion.

AMGT 340 – Performing Arts Management

This course will examine issues particular to the programming, producing and presenting of performing arts: dance, theater, music and more, including curatorial practices and reasoning, organizational structures, how the arts connect with community, fundraising and development, and marketing.   Students will examine all aspects of programming, producing and presenting performing arts, exploring these issues by learning what it takes to put together a production from all ends of the equation-the artist, the audience, the funders and the presenter.   We will address larger issues such as mission vs. profit, why we program and audience development, as well as practical issues such as contracts, production and working with vendors.  We will learn first hand from artists/managers how they negotiate a living while creating art that makes a difference.

AMGT 345 – Community Arts & Education 

Explores the work of artist educators in and out-of-school contexts, develop skills to identify learning objectives for their work, document educational work, and increase the potency of the marketing and descriptive material.  

AMGT 355 –Artist Entrepreneurship

An introduction to the skills and techniques specific to individual fine arts businesses with an emphasis on applied work, peer critique and the development and/or refinement of a comprehensive portfolio of fine arts business tools. Topics to include strategic planning, marketing, financial record keeping, budgeting, taxes, time management, grant writing, legal issues, business structure and integrated technology use. Students enrolled in this class will apply class topics in the creation of multiple fine arts business tools including strategic plans, marketing analyses, networking plans, press releases, grant applications, artist statements, biographies, resumes/CVs, digital documentation, websites, customer databases, e-mail marketing, and formal presentations.

AMGT 365 – Research in Arts & Culture

This course investigates the role of research in advancing the arts.  Students will learn how to read and make sense of research studies in the arts. We will follow the line of research activities from designing a research question and conducting a literature review, to designing instruments to collect data. In addition, we will explore strategies for analyzing data and consider implications for promising practices in the field.  Students will participate in research on a community-based project. We will also track the progress of MCLA’s research grant funded by the National Endowment for the Arts looking at promising practices in leveraging arts education in rural areas. 

AMGT 375 – Arts & Culture Leadership

An active study of the theories of human motivation and leadership and adaptation of these theories to programs in arts organizations. Students will probe concepts of authority and delegation and analyze leadership styles. Students will also explore concepts of and develop skills in managing effective work teams, time management, hiring and supervision, and board relations. 

AMGT 385 – Legal Issues in Arts & Culture

Introduces back legal issues in the areas.  Students will learn basic concepts of intellectual property, contracts, and the business/legalities of art law.  Course will explore the current legal issues that are arising in the world today and especially how the digital age has changed the playing field.  This class will help you identify legal issues and categories that may be present in a career in the arts.

AMGT 430 – Topics in Arts Management

Studies in depth a specific aspect of arts management designed to provide advanced work in arts management analysis, communication, legal issues and marketing.  Primarily for Arts Management students in the junior and senior year.  Content identified by subtitle.  

AMGT 435 –Advanced Museum Studies

Explores visual arts museum curation with a particular focus on a thematic-driven curatorial approach.  Field trips to area museums and real-world group experience with the research and mounting of a high quality exhibition highlight the study.  

AMGT 440 –Advanced Performing Arts Management

Focuses on practical and applied experience in performing arts management.  Students will examine presenting from all angles including curatorial methods and current trends in performance arts.  Course uses practical and real life examples of organizing an actual festival including marketing, budgeting, production, curating and audience development.

AMGT 445 – Community Engagement

This seminar explores intersections between creative process, social activism and collaborative work in community contexts. Students will consider how artists and arts managers work to catalyze communities through engagement in the arts. Students will investigate examples of communities that have successfully designed solutions for complex social and civic problems (stereotyping, hunger, homelessness, etc.) by sparking successful community dialogue and artistic explorations. These examples will provide diverse models for how the arts can serve broader social purposes. Students will conduct field research investigating community-based organizations committed to community engagement through site visits and interaction with organizational leaders. Issues of context, diversity, inclusion and access will be explored. 

AMGT 450 –Career & Portfolio Workshop

Provides senior students majoring in arts management an opportunity and framework to reflect on their past work in the major and the wider liberal arts as well as look forward to opportunities and challenges after graduation. Completion of personal strategic plan will be an essential component.  Students will work with the instructor, career service professionals and alumni to understand graduate school possibilities and prepare strategies and tools for success.

AMGT 500 – Supervised Independent Study

Open to juniors and seniors who wish to read in a specific area or pursue a project or a topic in depth under the direction of a faculty member.  Frequent conferences with the advisor are required.

AMGT 540 – Internship in Arts & Culture

Provides opportunities in a variety of arts and culture organizations to gain practical experience and develop skills in applying arts & culture theories in management, marketing, finance, development, community engagement, education and program administration.  Includes accompanying classroom session to integrate field and classroom learning.  Enrollment requires individual application and permission of the department. 

CCAP 300-02 – The Creative Economy of the Berkshires

The Creative Economy of the Berkshires is an active research seminar focusing on the development of a rural creative economy through an exploration of the history, economic development theory, city planning, government granting, and creative placemaking and the direct application of those efforts in North Adams, MA.  Using the design thinking model, students will investigate the economic, political and cultural history of North Adams to generate a historical narrative of the progression from manufacturing center, to rustbelt community to an artist-belt center of activity.  Students will conduct extensive research in the community exploring the history and current state of North Adams’ creative placemaking efforts and use their new understanding to develop, prototype and test ideas generated to further the community’s creative economic development.

TRVL 300 – Travel Course to:

Travel courses offer students opportunities to take learning beyond the classroom.  These courses involve on-campus instruction and meetings combined with travel to another country/region. Each course is designed to acquaint students with the history, geography, culture and society of other countries/regions.  The specific travel course will identify the country/region under study with a syllabus outlining the travel and course requirements.  MCLA offers many travel courses annually. Arts Management offers an arts and culture focused travel course in the spring semesters of even years.  The spring break 2018 trip is to Paris.