Much of the work that makes an artistic event a success takes place behind the scenes. It’s up to the arts administrators to make sure artists keep creating and the public keeps appreciating art of every kind. They also provide the leadership to guide a range of arts programs, from after school events to digital media; from ballet to local dance studios; from musicals in the bright lights of Broadway to traveling companies taking theater productions across the country; and from poetry slams to opera.
Elon’s arts administration major is built on a multidisciplinary approach, combining a strong core rooted in arts administration approaches to management, legal issues and marketing with a management/business component, and a concentration in the student’s chosen art form (i.e. art, art history, music or performing arts). Students graduating with this major are well prepared through the coursework and their internship experiences to enter the professional artistic field and employ their expertise to bring artistic events to the public. Similarly, they may also choose to enter a graduate program in arts administration to hone their skills and seek more specialized positions with the arts administration profession.
I learned about the economic, educational and lifestyle benefits of the arts, which are direct results of the work of arts administrators. Arts administration is an exciting and challenging field, but I feel completely prepared because of my education and training at Elon University.
Combining artistry and management skills seamlessly
Elon’s arts administration major aims to provide the best undergraduate experience possible for students interested in pursuing this field of study by building on strong interdisciplinary connections, requiring an internship and preparing global citizens. Coursework required to complete the arts administration degree include 20 hours of core classes, participation in any major or minor offered in the departments of art and art history, music or performing arts, and 16 hours of management classes or a business minor.
The combination of interdisciplinary coursework and two internship experiences results in a major that is very attractive as a double-major to complement another disciplinary field (e.g., art and art history, music, performing arts).
Students pursuing an arts administration major will complete a strong curricula where their learning develops in a structured progression through 100-level arts administration (AAD) courses that introduce the basic principles of the field, followed by 200 and 300-level courses that focus on the theoretical groundings of the field, and ultimately lead to internships (one on campus with an artistic venue, such as gallery, theater or musical performance, and another in an off campus professional setting). The curriculum concludes with a capstone senior seminar experience dedicated to career development and a major project that is either practical or theoretical, based on the student’s major interests and career goals. After completing their degree, students in this major posses a wide array of experiences where they have applied their learning through hands-on experience and solid theoretical coursework, and they are well prepared to market their skills and experience to potential employers and graduate schools.
Rather than being exposed to the expertise, talents and generosity of spirit of one department’s faculty, this major allows students to glean from the faculty within a wide range of departments across campus:
- Actors, directors, choreographers, and designers with national and international credits
- Award-winning sculptors, painters, photographers and digital artists
- Published and respected authorities in art history and fine arts
- Recording artists and world-renowned concert musicians and conductors
- World-class business leaders and arts administration professionals
The arts administration major will prepare students for a broad range of careers in the arts. The program combines coursework in the arts disciplines, business and law to prepare students to pursue careers in management and marketing of the arts through theater, museum and gallery settings. Recent Elon graduates have worked at Bernard Telsey Casting and Serino Coyne Marketing LLC in New York City, Center Stage Theatre in Maryland, Heritage Festival Theatre in Virginia, and Triad Stage and Burning Coal Theatre in North Carolina; as well as the Music Center at Strathmore Hall in Maryland and the Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro (N.C.)
Students are also very well prepared to move forward to a graduate program in arts administration at schools such as the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. A complete list of graduate programs in arts administration can be found at http://artsadministration.org/grad.