Our curriculum acknowledges the dynamic relationship between theory and practice. Coursework is cumulative; information you learn in each class correlates with other other Program courses to create a conversation and a wholistic view of the subject. In fact, the course design depends upon this accumulation of knowledge and skills, placing courses later in study that crucially depend upon your mastery of material from earlier courses.
Our process creates independent thinkers that can function in arts ecosystems as they exist today, yet have the flexibility to challenge current systems and imagine new paradigms to continuously bring together the best art, with the best public, in the best possible circumstances.
This course will answer this question by looking at the complex relations between these two ostensibly antithetical elements: arts and management, as well as by drawing upon arts management theory and practice. Two central issues we will tackle are: what exactly do we manage when we manage the arts and to what end? The course is based on the premise that in order to work in the field of arts and culture, students need to have a good working knowledge of divergent cultural, political, socioeconomic and legal forces that affect the arts and the modes of arts management. Specifically, we will examine how the interactions between artists, various groups of audiences, arts managers, funders, governments and businesses create different kinds of arts management. To this end, we will investigate a series of issues, such as the historical origins of art, definitions of creativity, culture, and artistic labor, the relationship of art with commerce, issues of gender inequality, diversity, white supremacy and colonialism, the social function of art and culture, and the historical relations between management and capitalism as well as their contemporary transformations.
Arts management today requires a good understanding of laterally connected areas of study (such as, sociology, critical theory, feminist studies, critical race studies, economics, legal studies, etc.) in order to navigate the complex environment in which arts and culture emerge. It no longer suffices to simply list what needs to be done to ‘manage’ the arts. Rather one needs to develop a capacity to identify the problems and understand the context in order to find solutions for sustainable arts environments today and in the future. This is a participatory, discussion-centered course, which examines a variety of international examples and controversial issues in the arts and contrasts them with theoretical questions in order to search for creative solutions.
The course introduces the subject of cultural policy as a form of public policy and surveys theoretical concepts and approaches to the policy dimensions of art and culture. It is organized around two questions. What is the role of a public (national, local, federal or city) government and supranational political bodies (for example UNESCO, WTO, European Union) in the regulation of arts and culture? What agencies, laws, and public policies have been put in place to regulate the arts and to what ends?
The aim of the course is threefold. It offers an understanding of how the machinery of cultural policy works: who are cultural policy makers, what does the policy making process look like, where and with what kind of instruments does cultural-policy making takes places, who holds the decision-making power. It engages with theories about culture, state, governmentality, ideology and creativity to explore how they affect the practice of and debates about cultural policy. Finally, the course surveys different historical and contemporary forms of cultural policy, such as urban, national, and international cultural policy, their aims and intended or unintended consequences.
The course requires a development of a critical understanding of the relationships between government, public policy and culture in order to successfully negotiate its objectives. Over the course of the semester, students will consider theoretical ideas and how they affect attitudes toward culture and cultural policy, explore and investigate case studies to develop the ability of policy analysis, and devise a policy brief for a concrete existing issue in the field of arts and culture to test their capacities for formulating policy solutions.
The central aim of the course is to demonstrate how research informs arts manager’s daily practice, and to train students to recognize, apply and utilize appropriate research methods that inform arts management daily practice and are used in solving complex arts management issues. The seminar prepares students for conducting research, and utilization of available data in the field of arts management by discussing various methodologies, e.g. quantitative vs. qualitative, distinct types of research, e.g. basic and applied research, and various disciplinary theories and approaches that are used in arts management research. Class discussion and workshops introduce students to the importance of a good research question, critical evaluation and necessary tools to conduct research (annotated bibliography, text analysis, summarizing, use of citation). Through diverse set of writing and research exercises, workshops, oral presentations, and analysis of actual examples of arts management studies, students explore central steps of research design with an emphasis on the ways in which divergent methods and approaches inform arts management practice. Considering the controversial effects of big data for predictive analytics, user behavior analytics for the extraction of value in the era of social media and platform economy, the course familiarizes students with ethical aspects of research, issues of privacy and surveillance, but it also trains students in basic principles of market research, audience development and digital content management.
This course is designed to provide students with the opportunity to learn about the professional environment and to bring together the theory and practice of arts management. It is intended to prepare students for their future careers as arts managers. Students will be teamed with a professional arts, cultural, or advocacy organization on a specific project. These projects are designed in consultation between the Program, the course instructor and the participating organization. The projects selected will have clearly defined objectives and goals.
This course prepares students for practice in arts business. Students will investigate accounting principles for arts environments; leverage this knowledge to analyze and assess financial reports intended for internal and external audiences; identify revenue and expenses to build budgets; organize and analyze financial strategies based on short and long term goals; and identify and leverage factors that influence financial forecasting. At the conclusion of the course, students will have built the necessary conceptual skills for making business decisions and plans; and have enhanced their organizational behavior and personal interaction skills as needed for a business environment.
Through lectures, guest speakers, case studies, and experiential projects, students will explore the vast world of marketing and branding. Students will investigate arts marketing strategies, classify and categorize marketing mix fundamentals, analyze and conceive of marketing mixes for various entities and products, assess branding strategies and competitive sets, and organize and assess communication plans. Furthermore, they will design and execute market research strategies that successfully merge internal (primary research) efforts and insights available externally to build future-focused narratives and strategies.
This course introduces students to arts and entertainment-related legal issues and trains them to recognize where legal problems might arise. The course will provide an overview of statutes and laws that govern nonprofit institutions in the U.S. and the unique relationships that develop between boards, donors, and organizations, including effective governance, conflicts of interest, and charitable giving. In addition, the course will focus on applicable issues in contract law, restricted gifts, and labor and employment for U.S. arts organizations.
This course will position students as mediators between art and audiences and designers of sustainable arts environments. In experiential arts management situations, students will apply research methods, critical analysis, and acquire arts management skills.
More advanced management and law courses are available for students with business and management backgrounds through our partnerships with the UB School of Management and Law School.
Electives can be chosen from graduate courses across the University, giving you an opportunity to specialize your degree. The Program advises students and crafts a unique course of study for each student to position you to achieve your future goals. We offer the following core electives:
While fundraising has always been an essential part of nonprofit arts management in the U.S., more recent upheavals in the global economy have made fundraising a priority for many arts managers around the globe. This course introduces students to the historical origins of modern philanthropy, current fundraising and development trends, and the practice of fundraising and development in the arts. The aim of the course is to train students in practical aspects of fundraising by examining types of donors and their motivations, the design of fund-raising plans and targets, the tools of fundraising, and methods of solicitation. Through readings, case analysis, guest speakers, role-playing, solicitation dialogues and presentations, students will analyze the components of effective fundraising and development, and devise and implement practical fundraising tools and techniques.
While art in the West is predominantly considered as non-labor, this course central aims are to discuss art as a form of labor, artists/creatives as workers, and to seek contemporary solutions and strategies against social and economic exploitation of labor in the arts. The course will investigate the invisible connections between art, economy, and labor through a selected survey of theories and history of economics and economic thought, labor studies and sociology of work in order to introduce a labor-centered discourse and methodology in the field of art production. The viewpoints of economic thought and labor studies will serve as the entry point for an exploration of art workers labor rights and fair payment models in the arts. The course will examine a variety of international examples and cases related to remuneration, art workers, labor rights and unionizing efforts in various artistic fields and cultural organizations. Over the course of the semester, students will consider a wide array of theories and attitudes towards the value of artistic work/labor, its economic and legal underpinnings, and working conditions in the arts in order to develop and formulate sustainable models of fair payment, methods and ways to implement them, and finally to gain skills in contract negotiation for fair payment.
In this course, students will explore issues of social justice through a variety of lenses, including that of the artist, curator, arts leader, and funder. An examination of arts organizational models and arts-based resistance movements will facilitate multiple opportunities to engage with peers about finding creative solutions to real-world challenges around social justice, equity, anti-racism, and inclusion. Discourse will be grounded in principles of cultural competency and assignments will require students to transition social justice ideals from theory into practice.
This seminar course will focus upon issues in the area of music management with which students should be familiar. Particular emphasis is placed upon the ability to design a fiscally responsible program which incorporates the various elements of program design such as contract, marketing, artistic management, venue management and audience development.
Students will attain a working knowledge of the fundamentals of music management and education through lecture/seminars, case studies, group and individual research. The elective management topic is designed for students who are interested in elements specific to the area of Music Management.
This course investigates the nature and functions of museums. It is based on a broad understanding of the museum as a not-for-profit, participatory and inclusive phenomenon, which commonly evolves around, stewards and engages a collection of artifacts. It critically assesses the museum as culturally and socially determined institution that established itself firmly in Western societies during the 19th century and discusses the different functions and mechanisms of museums today. Museum professionals generate culture and memory in their dealings with different publics, and are crucial in shaping and re-shaping popular, artistic, and scholarly perceptions of the present and the past.
The goal of this course is to familiarize students with some fundamental strategies, mechanisms and approaches in museums and to give them a sense of the forces that produce and impact them. Students acquire an understanding of the workings and dynamics of museum management and learn to assess and apply their knowledge effectively and creatively within individual cultural, political, legal, and socio-economic contexts.
The sessions of this course include introductions to the topic by the professor; guest speakers who are specialists for a particular topic; group-work; student presentations; and in-class discussions.
Museums have long ceased to understand themselves and to be perceived as solitary temples for the muses. Today, most museums and Kunsthalles find themselves constantly negotiating their institutional identity as educator, community platform, and site of entertainment and consumption. Discussing their place in society today therefore requires addressing their interconnections with societal, cultural, and economical questions.
This course addresses the museum as a phenomenon that is embedded into three complexes of inquiry: site, memory, and the public. By investigating different exemplary cases of spatial (site), historical (memory) and social (public) nature, this course raises broader issues that impact museums today. Weekly topics examine the urban and spatial interrelation between museums and the city (Guggenheim Bilbao, the Parthenon Museum in Athens, Beaubourg, Paris, Humboldtforum and the Jewish Museum, Berlin), questions of commemoration, archiving, and cultural identity (the archive in Aby Warburg’s, Gerhard Richter’s, Fred Wilson’s work; exhibitions addressing urban redefinitions; and art retribution), and instances of socio-cultural tension due to censorship and the increasing popularization and commercialization of museums (Culture Wars; the Blockbuster exhibition).
Course sessions consist of the instructor’s introductions to the topic; students’ case-study research; group-work and discussion; student presentations; and occasional film screenings. As future arts managers students are expected to always carefully prepare discussions and to make conscious efforts to engage and participate in topic discussions.
This course introduces and critically contextualizes strategies and scenarios of arts engagement programming. Today’s museums and performing arts institutions often position large parts of their community engagement strategy under the auspices of education programming. These programs have enjoyed growing popularity and relevance, often because they create meaningful relationships across varying audiences. But what assumptions lead to their creation? What are their creators’ conceptual prerogatives and what do these suggest about the “use” of the arts? Do these programs and initiatives keep their promises? Through lectures, guest speakers, group work, discussions and field trips, this course provides foundational knowledge on principles of engagement, interpretation, and education and applies it to important arts management case studies.
This seminar course will focus upon current issues in the arena of international arts management and will take the form of a study abroad summer school program. It will draw from issues such as international models of art funding, public policy making as well as institutional designs in various arts disciplines (performing arts, visual arts, music etc.). The aim of the course is to enhance students’ experience in the international sector of arts management.
It is important for arts management students to be knowledgeable about major international trends in the field. In order for tomorrow’s arts managers to be effective in their work, they should grasp significant aspects of international arts management. Models and approaches differ outside United States, and managers are increasingly called upon to be cognizant of these approaches and to work with artists, venues and management companies versed in very different systems of subventions, legislations, policies and practices. Students of arts management should be able to use their conventional skills and knowledge that they have developed in formal courses and be able to apply them to current topics using a range of analytical and methodological tools. This course intends to provide an active experience and relevant theory critically needed in order to become an effective arts manager.
Previous summer schools have taken place in Vienna, Singapore, Venice, Stockholm, and Gattieres (France).
This course will cover all areas of grantwriting - from research for possible sources of funding, to writing (and rewriting) proposals to fit the interests and requirements of a potential funder, to budgets, and conversations with foundation staff and directors and community organizations. It will cover both writing for individual research projects (with special but not exclusive attention to arts and humanities) and writing for community, program, and institutional grants - large and small. This course will require that enrolled students identify and prepare materials for at least one kind of grant, with the expectation that the proposal be submitted at the end of the semester or soon thereafter. Students may work individually or with community or institutional partners in designing the project for which they seek funding, but the proposal work must be their own.
This course will include presentations by or workshops with successful grant-writing faculty and professional research support services staff, with specialties in identifying funding sources, writing, and budget construction. Appropriate for MA and PhD students.
A Final project consists of a paper on an arts management problem/issue that may be of a practical or theoretical nature and/or an analysis of a case study connected with a relevant arts management issue. In either case the student introduces, analyzes, and contextualizes the practical/theoretical problem or analysis of a case (study) that demonstrates the student's familiarity with the relevant literature of the field. Final project is a form of an essay that relies on existing methodologies and theoretical concepts and is not considered to be an original contribution to the field, but it manifests the student’s analytical skills.
Each student is assigned an individual advisor by the faculty after submitting preliminary research on their topic.
A final thesis is an extended research essay which explores through different methodological forms of analysis a significant question in the field of arts management. Students will develop a research oriented project and will develop a hypothesis as well as methodology, and analytical and theoretical underpinnings to the problem they are studying in a way that it will bring an original contribution to the field.
Each student is assigned an individual advisor by the faculty after submitting preliminary research on their topic.
The Program offers Fieldwork in Arts Management, but we encourage students to find additional internships and practical experiences outside of the Program. Consult with the Program to find an internship placement that is right for you.
For international students, US law stipulates that to engage in internships you must be on CPT or OPT. UB's International Student Services has more information on the process (CPT and OPT). A requirement for CPT is being registered in coursework. For you, we offer additional internship credits through AAP 598: Practicum Support.