What do the College of Fine Arts and the Eller College of Management have in common? You might think that the arts world and the business world have little to nothing in common, but the two could not be more related.
Enter the Arts Administration minor: a collaboration between CFA and Eller to teach students the business side of the arts that was born just two years ago.
Michelle Grove Herzog, an instructor and program lead in the Arts Administration program, says the Arts Administration minor allows students to gain a base knowledge of what goes on “behind the curtain” in the arts.
“There are numerous careers in the arts that go beyond performing or a studio artist,” Grove Herzog said. “These careers range from curator to community engagement specialist to fundraising officer to marketing director, and many, many more are, all of which essential for arts and culture to be produced, performed, displayed, and shared with audiences.”
Grove Herzog began her career as a musician before she realized that she had strong organizational and contracting skills. It wasn’t long before “the wheels started turning and her eyes were opened up to the world of arts administration.”
After going back to schAfter going back to school and earning her MA in Arts Management at American University, Grove Herzog worked as a grant maker with several agencies and as a university presenter. She now primarily focuses her work as an independent consultant on grantmaking and programs in service of the field at the local, regional, and national levels, in addition to work at the University in the arts administration program.
CFA, Eller collaborate on Arts Administration minor
What is unique about the Arts Administration minor is that it allows students to find and focus on a specific area of their interest.
“The minor provides classes in fundraising, marketing, financial management, programming, audience development, community engagement, and more,” Grove Herzog said. “The internship or practicum course within the minor allows you to apply everything you have learned into a real-life scenario.”
An arts internship provides professional networking and experiential learning opportunities within professional arts settings, including theaters, galleries, museums, music and dance performance halls, arts festivals, and new media festivals.
Senior Music BA Integrated Studies major, Meggie Keung, has been able to further enrich her Arts Administration minor experience through her internship with Tucson youth-driven arts nonprofit, Groundworks.
“Working with Groundworks has been the best encounter I could have ever had, and I am so grateful for the opportunity I have been given,” Keung said. “I’ve been able to create three art showcases with Groundworks within nine months. We are currently working on our fourth event and grand opening at our new location.”
Beyond the internship, the minor has opened Keung’s eyes to life in the arts off the stage.
“When I entered college, I only knew about performance. I wanted to only play the flute and meet other performers, but fine arts are so much more than just performing,” Keung said. “The Arts Administration minor goes beyond the stage. I know how to connect with others beyond surface level and create engagement among strangers through the power of the arts.”
Artists and audiences alike might not know just how much business goes into running an arts organization. That is where the world-renowned Eller College of Management steps in to help further bolster the program.
Alongside their classes in Audience Development, Community Engagement, and Arts Management, students can take Eller classes is in Economics, Nonprofit Management, Marketing, and more.
“The program currently partners with Eller to offer students some of the courses for their elective options. Moving forward, we will have additional course options for these electives through partnership with Eller and several of the other colleges,” Grove Herzog said. We are incredibly grateful for this option and collaboration.”
One would say that top-notch internships and a strong collaboration with the Eller College of Management sounds like the picture-perfect minor. Excitingly enough, that is not all the Arts Administration program has to offer.
“The program highly values interaction with professionals who actually work in the arts. To this end, all the core courses utilize guest speakers for various topics,” Grove Herzog said. “This allows students not only to learn about these individuals and their career paths, but also to start forming connections in the industry.”
Ask anyone what you need to succeed in the professional world, and they will say “connections.” Arts Administration students are sure to have their phone filled with professional industry contacts when they complete the minor.
“We got to meet lots of talented professionals and experts in fundraising, marketing, nonprofit work, and more as guest speakers in almost all the class meetings,” Keung said. Each class encouraged lots of discussion with the professionals and support among classmates.”
While many students, like Keung, come into school hoping to be performers through and through, it is important that all artists have a sense of what goes on behind the scenes.
“I am of the belief that every college of fine arts student should have some background in arts administration as it is important to understand the behind the scenes of these organizations, even if you are working with them as a studio artist or performer,” Herzog said. “Further, there are skills learned through these classes that apply directly to working as an individual artist as well, including marketing and fundraising.”
In the digital age, self-marketing has never been more prevalent. Skills such as social media management, website design, promotion, and fundraising are all assets that individual performers need to be competitive and successful in their respective fields.
Keung believes that the experience and connections that she has gained in the Arts Administration minor will serve as a catalyst in her career.
“I can combine my major and minor to create concerts, art shows, theatre shows, fundraising events, audience engagement events, and so much more,” Keung said. “I know what art and music organizations are looking for, and I can cater my skills to any department or task needed.”
Both Grove Herzog and Keung say that there is more to music or art than just concerts and art exhibits. They echo that it is important to understand the amount of hard work that goes on behind the scenes.
“There is a lot of work going on behind the scenes to make art happen, and this minor presents those job opportunities for you,” Keung said. “The faculty and staff are here to help you find your place in the fine arts industry, and the Arts Administration minor covers everything you need for your career success.”
SPRING 2022 COURSES
FA 300 Introduction to Arts Administration
Tuesdays 5p-7:30p (Full Semester)
FA 301 Audience Development in the Arts
Mondays 5p-7:30p (Seven Wk 2 March 14 – May 4)
FA 302 Education and Outreach in Arts Organizations
Mondays 5p-7:30p (Seven Wk 1 January 12 – March 4)
There are no prerequisites for any of these courses. Take just one, or all!
For more information about taking one of these courses or about the Arts Administration minor, contact Michelle Grove Herzog at firstname.lastname@example.org