NAMP Part Two: Developing the Next Arts Leaders

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?


About Ellen Rosewall

I am Professor and Chair of Arts Management and author of Arts Management: Uniting Arts and Audiences in the 21st Century (Oxford University Press, 2013). I believe that arts and culture are undergoing a profound change in the 21st century, and I love talking with people about how we continue to bring arts to our communities and individuals give the brave new world of social media, technology and economic changes. Join the conversation!
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3 Responses to NAMP Part Two: Developing the Next Arts Leaders

  1. michelle says:

    Practice!! Internships!!

  2. lizzweier says:

    YES YES YES…I love that you addressed these ‘things’ as far as education. I consistently think about “what’s it’s gonna be like in the real world” and worry that I won’t remember if you put the expenses or income first on a chart of accounts, or what exactly needs to be included in a media kit. Those are things I have resources to look at and figure out. I realized it’s way more important that I know what I am talking about. That reading and learning what it current and going on now is more crucial than those specifics. I think I have honed my writing skills and that I can accurately convey a message and I think that I have some pretty good interpersonal skills, thanks to the service industry. Are these inherant qualities or can they be learned? I think it is really dependent upon the individual. If the arts is something you really are passionate about then I think that writing and talking and analyzing the things that go into making them happen will come just a little bit easier. I also believe that with the proper guidance and education they are skills that can be learned. I guess what I’m trying to say an individual has to really believe in the arts and want to work in the arts and put in time to acquire the skills that make a good arts manager. It’s part passion, part talent and part education….we are all born with some skills to do one thing or another and you will know if it’s right when it’s right
    That is why I am not a math major!

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