Arts administration minor added to Suffolk’s roster

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Suffolk University’s College of Arts and Sciences recently added a minor in arts administration to its their roster of interdisciplinary programs of study.

Courses offered for the minor include grant writing, principles of marketing, arts administration, and a slew of interdisciplinary electives, according to the posting on the website.

“The College saw an opportunity to provide students who are passionate about the arts with an additional career pathway,” said Associate Dean Lisa Celovsky in the posting when talking about the implementation of the new minor.

The purpose of offering the program is to allow students who are not art majors to become involved differently.

Courtesy of Suffolk University

With no program director, there are program advisors who work for individual departments to come together as a committee. This committee includes members representing the CAS dean’s office, NESAD, Sawyer Business School, the theatre department, and world languages and cultural studies.

Associate Professor Jane Secci serves as program advisor and committee member for the communication and journalism department.

“The biggest advantage is that there are a lot of people who are interested in the arts, who are not practicing artists … but they want to be in that environment,” Secci said.

The committee performed research on what is offered at other institutions across the country in the realm of arts administration, Secci said. Suffolk had all of the pieces, but they needed to be put together to offer an interdisciplinary program.

“This started as an idea, it was truly an ad hoc decision, it was based on our perception and individual departments that there was a need for this, and we knew we had pieces of it, but no one area in the school that had it all,” Secci said.

According to Education Portal, studying arts administration leads to career paths in arts education, like public relations, marketing, fundraising, and volunteer or venue coordination.

The minor will be offered this spring semester. According to a fact sheet of the program provided by Secci, students need to complete a change of major form if they want to minor in arts administration, and need to register for Arts Administration I. 

“We feel very good that our suspicions that there was a demand for this is actually there, and the students are showing it,” Secci said.

Two additional core courses are required along with the introductory arts administration class, those are principles of marketing, and grant and proposal writing. Students must also choose two elective courses from art, design, cultural studies, business, communication, and theatre, according to the program’s fact sheet.

This survey course introduces students to the basics of running an arts organization, allows students to explore career areas, and provides them with opportunities to speak with professionals and Suffolk alumni.

Suffolk Law School has indicated interest in offering courses in subjects like contracts and copyrights for the minor, Secci said.

“We did a survey of our alumni who are working in arts administration,” asking questions like what courses helped them most that prepared them for their current career, and what they would have liked, she said.

“We didn’t need to offer one new course to our offerings, we already had it, so it was a question of how to bring it together,” Secci said.

If the minor succeeds by fall 2015, steps will be taken to offer this program as a major, according to Secci.

News Editor Thalia Yunen contributed to this report.

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