October 4, 2005

Teaching Arts Administration

For the past couple of years I’ve wanted to teach arts management at the college level. But how do you get those seemingly rare jobs? Word of Mouth! Sara Kellner, Executive Director at http://www.diverseworks.org/ (see 9/30/05 post) has been teaching the Arts Administration class for University of Houston Downtown http://www.uhd.edu/ for the past two years. She asked if I would be interested in taking it on now that her schedule is too busy. YES!

The coursework, which is an undergraduate Arts Administration Minor in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Department of Arts & Humanities in Drama, has so much potential and key support for the higher-ups. I met with the University yesterday and we discussed our target market (want-to-be and emerging arts managers of small and midsize organizations and junior staff at larger arts institutions) and ways to market to them. We all agree that our long term goal is to make it a major.

The student body is an amazing mix of cultures. I spent some time sitting in the campus food court checking out the students and was very impressed. This doesn’t feel like a continuation of high school. Many students had laptops, were studying, talking about academics, clearly serious about their studies. The ages were mostly 20s but there were some older students as well.
Since the class is scheduled for Fall 2006 we have some time to get the word out. Our strategy is to offer a preview workshop at the end of March during their Arts & Humanities Fair.