My topic for presentation here at the National Arts Marketing Conference is Developing the Next Generation of Arts Leaders. I’ve done a formal presentation with facilitated discussion and a roundtable on the topic and gotten some wonderful ideas.
The basic question we asked conference attendees is this: what should we be teaching arts management students to ensure that they are prepared for the field? Here are some of the recurring thoughts:
- It matters less what specific skills students learn and more that they have excellent writing, oral communication, interpersonal communication and analytical skills.
- It matters less that students are practitioners of a specific art form and more that they are passionate consumers of the arts.
- It matters less that students know how to do specific things but that they are curious. A person who wonders “why didn’t people come to this program?” is ultimately more valuable than someone who knows how to write a perfect press release.
- It matters less that students have a specific skill set and more that they are flexible and able to learn new things, since the world is evolving so rapidly.
So my question after hearing these things: are these things that can be taught?