Students studying arts administration will learn the importance of leadership roles that arts executives play in the nonprofit arts fields of music, dance, theater, and visual arts. Combining artistic sensibility with business acumen, students will examine the foundations of nonprofit arts organizations including mission development, board governance, marketing and new media, fundraising and philanthropy, nonprofit organizational structure, and other areas essential to the operation of a nonprofit arts organization. Other types of arts organizations may also be studied including commercial enterprises and Broadway.
Arthur Zankel Executive Director of Arts Administration: David Howson
Associate Director of Arts Administration: Elizabeth Dubben
Senior Teaching Professors: David Howson, Scott Mulligan
Lecturers: Elizabeth Dubben; Entrepreneurial Artist Coordinator, 1Hillarie Logan-Dechene, 1David Snider
Arts Administration Minor
The minor in arts administration combines artistic sensibilities with business acumen and requires the successful completion of the following three components:
- Core Courses
- Knowledge of the Artistic Process
- Structured Field Experience
At least one course must be completed at the 300 level.
|AA 201||Foundations of Arts Administration||3|
|AA 205||Introduction to Financial Management for the Arts||3-4|
|or MB 234||Foundations of Financial Accounting|
|AA 221||Philanthropy and the Arts: Relationships and Revenue||3|
|AA 312||Engaging and Developing Audiences for the Arts||3|
|or MB 214||Foundations of Marketing|
|Complete a minimum of three focused elective credits at the 200 or 300 level approved by the Director of Arts Administration from the following select disciplines: Art, Art History, Arts Administration, Dance, Management and Business, Media & Film Studies, Music, or Theatre. 2||3|
|Knowledge of the Artistic Process 3|
|Select one of the following to fulfill this requirement:||0-9|
1) declaring a companion major or minor in art, art history, dance, media & film studies, music or theater
2) completing three additional courses beyond the requirements above that will provide depth of knowledge of the artistic process 4
|Structured Field Experience 5|
|Select one of the following:||3|
|Professional Internship in Arts Administration|
|Mentoring, Collaboration and Leadership Experience|
|Structured Field Experience|
|Independent Study in Arts Administration|
|Professional Internship in Arts Administration|
The elective should be considered as the opportunity to tailor the student’s interest within the field. Students are encouraged to explore other courses within Arts Administration or related disciplines outside of their major that advance those interests. In rare instances and with the explicit approval of the Director of Arts Administration, a student may select a course from a discipline not listed above.
Inherent in the name of the field itself, arts administration requires an explicit and supplemental knowledge of the artistic process.
In order to satisfy the requirement, supplemental courses must be approved in advance of registration by the Director of Arts Administration and, if necessary, the arts administration advisory group. Courses which fulfill the “Artistic Inquiry through Practice” (AAIP) of the General Education requirements will automatically be applied to fulfill this requirement and need no pre-approval. In some cases, cocurricular experience may substitute for one of these three courses.
Determined in concert with the director of arts administration, the structured field experience will afford the student the opportunity to apply classroom knowledge to practice in a professional setting or explore a particular topic of great interest to the student through an in-depth independent study.
Multiple Counting of Courses
Standard college rules apply for the multiple counting of courses as stated in the effective Catalog. Specifically, there can be no more than a two-course overlap in total for a major/minor program or for two minor fields. The student is responsible for being familiar with and following the appropriate guidelines.
Entrepreneurship Minor - AA Path
The Minor in Entrepreneurship is administered by the Department of Management and Business and the Arts Administration Program.
A minor in entrepreneurship with two distinct areas of focus, one in business and the other in arts entrepreneurship, offers students a versatile and innovative platform to explore the multifaceted enterprises of entrepreneurial endeavors. In the business area, students develop a deep understanding of traditional entrepreneurship, honing skills related to market analysis, business planning, financial management, and the startup ecosystem. Meanwhile, the arts entrepreneurship area caters to the unique needs of creative individuals, equipping students with the tools and knowledge to transform their artistic passions into sustainable careers. Skidmore’s dual-focus entrepreneurship minor encourages students to harness their creative and analytical talents, empowering them to innovate and thrive in the everchanging worlds of both business and the arts, providing a dynamic foundation for future success in these diverse and exciting spaces.
While the same requirements of the entrepreneurship minor apply to all students, the structure of the minor includes flexibility for each student to tailor their course of study to their interests.
Recommended course of study for students interested in Arts Entrepreneurship (18 credits):
Foundations (3 credits)
AA 201 Foundations of Arts Administration
Financial Management (3 credits)
AA 205 Introduction to Financial Management for the Arts
Entrepreneurship (3 credits)
AA 318 The Entrepreneurial Artist
Focused Electives (6 credits)
Electives from across the College curriculum may be chosen in consultation with the AA Director/Chair.
Structured Field Experience (min 3 credits. Must choose one of the following)
AA 341 Structured Field Experience
AA 371 Independent Study in Arts Administration
AA 399 Professional Internship in Arts Administration
NOTE: A student may not minor in both Arts Administration and Entrepreneurship. Students are encouraged to speak with the program director about aligning their interests with the appropriate course of study.
An introduction to the foundations of arts administration combining artistic sensibility with business acumen. By following current news and trends in the arts, students apply classroom learning to real-time experience. This course offers students insight into a variety of arts organizations as well as experimental, presenting, and non-traditional forms of organizations. Topics include organizational structure and board dynamics, marketing and audience development, philanthropy and fundraising, labor relations, and legal issues. The focus is primarily on nonprofit arts organizations, but Broadway will also be discussed.
Exploration of financial management as a key ingredient to fulfilling the mission of any arts manager and arts organization. Students will learn how to read the story of an organization, program, or campaign embedded in financial reports. Using case studies and real world challenges, students will examine how financial strategy, budgeting, and reporting can enhance an organization's capacity, clarity, and long-term health. By the end of the course, students will understand many of the intricacies of financial management as well as how financial management affects all other aspects of arts management.
An examination of the unique role of philanthropy in the history and development of nonprofit arts organizations in the United States. The course will offer perspectives on the complexities of fundraising campaigns, including annual, capital and endowment campaigns, as well as motivators for giving from individuals, corporations, foundations, and government agencies. Featuring guest speakers from the field, the course will engage students in discussions about developing and maintaining meaningful relationships with donors that support the artistic mission of the organization. The importance of board leadership, volunteer and in-kind giving will also be discussed.
Discussion-driven exploration of the museum as a sustainable (and successful) business operation, including the importance of money to mission for museums. Students will gain insight into different types of museums and business models. Topics include trends in the field, membership, earned revenue and fundraising, basic museum finances and operations, and the dramatic effects on museums of changing recreational and engagement patterns by millennials. Designed for students interested in a career in museum work.
Topically organized courses focused on selected special interest areas within arts administration at the intermediate level. Topics could include Arts Marketing, Philanthropy, Museum Administration, Governance, Law and the Arts, or Nonprofit Arts Organizations.
Internship at an intermediate level for students in the field of arts administration. With faculty sponsorship, students may extend their educational experience into such areas as marketing, fundraising, operations, exhibition support, education, legal and licensing, contracts and artist management.
An examination of how to engage communities through the arts while raising the profile of artistic work. Students will explore the history of marketing the arts as well as current methods and tools used to communicate and activate the arts for audiences. The course will teach students how to authentically entangle the artistic work of individual artists and organizations into the life of a community while also increasing funding and earned income for the arts.
An introduction to the strategies and skills visual art students need to take their art and hand-made products from studio to the creative marketplace. Students will explore topics such as photographing product, pricing, promoting, and selling. This course is part of the Entrepreneurial Artist Initiative.
An introduction of the basic principles needed for visual artists to combine their creative abilities with strong business practices. Through active participation and an interactive classroom format, students will merge practical business knowledge with insight from local experts in the field to fuel students' entrepreneurial spirit. Students will explore topics including business planning, legal requirements, budgeting, marketing, branding, and networking.
A leadership experience in which students serve as mentors to groups of students working on the AA 201 Foundations of Arts Administration final project. As team leaders, mentors will learn to build transferable skills, including: active listening, conflict resolution, program planning, team/meeting management, and creating effective and inclusive environments that nurture and promote collaboration.
Professional experience working six to ten hours per week in an arts organization. Student(s) will receive professional supervision from organization leadership as well as attend a weekly, hourlong faculty-led seminar. Field placements are limited, and students will be selected through a competitive application process. Contact the instructor for term-specific information and application procedures.
Topically organized course focused on a selected special interest area within arts administration at the advanced level. Topics could include Arts Marketing, Philanthropy, Museum Administration, Governance, Law and the Arts, or Nonprofit Arts Organizations.
Independent study outside of the regular program offerings of Arts Administration.
Internship at an advanced level for students in the field of arts administration. With faculty sponsorship, students may extend their educational experience into such areas as marketing, fundraising, operations, exhibition support, education, legal and licensing, contracts and artist management.
An interdisciplinary study of the connections and conflicts between the business, artistic, and legal or ethical issues that arise in the arts and entertainment arena (theatre, music, film, television, literary, and visual arts). Students will explore, from both financial and creative perspectives, the complex and often fractious relationships among stakeholders in these industries while developing a practical understanding of the particular considerations that emerge with each kind of collaboration. Topics may include: the impact of new technologies and distribution methods, social media and marketing, copyright and piracy, privacy, free speech, defamation, and celebrity publicity rights and endorsements. This course covers the following dimensions for studying management and business in context: I, II, III, IV, VI.
The study of how filmmakers and documentarians, authors and artists, musicians, makers, marketers and storytellers protect their ideas, expressive works, and creative endeavors from being copied or stolen by others, especially in the digital age. Students will consider the legal and ethical issues these individuals confront as they produce their creative projects, particularly creations which incorporate other media content. Employing interdisciplinary methods and approaches, students will explore the legal, ethical, and practical issues involved in varying media production forms (video/film, photography, music/audio, documentary, web and exhibit-based narratives, etc.) for fiction and non-fiction storytelling. Students will develop approaches which synthesize underlying policies and best practices in order to challenge assumptions at the intersection of storytelling, business, art, law and creative expression.