The Kendall College of Arts and Sciences has been working to transform arts management into the new arts, culture and entertainment (ACE) management program for the coming fall semester. The primary reasons for this change are to reimagine the areas of emphasis to better reflect the field, focus the core curriculum and remove barriers to entry for students who discover the major later in their college career. Samuel Krall, applied assistant professor in arts management, says we all know the impact that art makes in our lives. “Ensuring the arts continue to thrive so that they can make an impact and that artists, performers and creators have space and resources to make their work is why we need great arts managers.”
The broad study of arts management is ideal for students interested in advocating for the performing and visual arts. Arts management uses business administration, fundraising, marketing and operational processes in various cultural institutions to determine day-to-day operations and long-term goals of the organization. The field of arts management offers a wide range of career opportunities in arts companies and arts-related businesses. Students are required to complete practicums and internships for practical application of the concepts and techniques that they learn in the classroom, culminating in a senior project. Students graduate with foundational knowledge in best practices and methods for managing arts organizations and foundations.
Emphasizing essential elements
Previously, arts management was an interdisciplinary program that combined arts management, business, performing arts and an area of artistic specialization in art, film, music or theatre. This new focus addresses common career and graduate school paths and carefully considers sectors that live within the broad scope of arts management. The new areas will be visual arts, performing arts, entertainment and commercial arts, and cultural and public administration.
Each area is individualized enough to warrant a unique set of courses but share enough similarities to fall under the same program. Krall explains that these areas allow students to engage in music, theatre, film and art – the four original areas – while expanding into the for–profit music industry, entertainment industry and the cultural and non-profit sector, both here in Tulsa and beyond.
Coordinating the core curriculum
Reimagined program objectives include explaining the business functions and impacts of arts organizations such as finance, marketing, economic and social development, entrepreneurship, social justice and technology in at least one area of the arts, culture or entertainment industries. Krall says that the program’s entire core curriculum is now housed solely within ACE management. “This allows us to effectively tailor, adapt and coordinate our courses in a way that creates a more cohesive student experience. The revised curriculum includes new upper level courses like Marketing and Programming in the Arts and Fundraising and Grant Writing, an experiential learning course that allows students to experience a variety of ACE organizations in action first-hand.
The ACE management program is also hosting monthly meetings with guest speakers, which often turn into internship opportunities for students. This adds to the already robust semester internships arranged through the program locally, regionally, nationally and internationally.
Above all, the goal of any program revision is to ensure it better serves TU students. These changes maintain the interdisciplinary nature of the program while specifically catering to individual interests and circumstances. Reducing some original degree requirements and credit hours also allows for more students to participate or double major. Krall describes the ACE management as a discovery major. “It’s a degree that students often learn about after coming to college so it’s important to maintain flexibility in the programming so that students are able to explore and succeed.”