Course Detail

Arts Leadership: Exemplary is Not Enough (42126, 50 Unit Course)

Course Description by Faculty

  • Ittelson, Mary
  • Content
    From museums to concert halls to theaters, successful strategies of the past are no longer sufficient. Arts leaders are grappling with how to succeed amidst seismic external shifts (demographic, economic, technological) and changes in the very nature of art-making, art sharing, and art appreciation. At the same time many institutions are burdened by unsustainable financial structures, outmoded managerial practices and the responsibility to serve larger, more demanding, and diverse audiences. As the essential link between artist and audience, organizations must adapt rapidly and emphatically if they are to thrive. The class begins by examining best current practices in the not-for profit arts sector. The class concludes by exploring the kinds of radical approaches that might be necessary for the future.

    Taking the perspective of the CEO, Chairman of the Board, and Artistic Director, students will learn about advancing artistic excellence and creative innovation while expanding audiences and achieving financial goals. We will survey settings in the not-for-profit performing and visual arts. Among the topics explored will be governance and management, serving multiple stakeholders, managing fiscal and creative tradeoffs, standing out in real and virtual spaces, achieving growth amidst rising costs and diminishing revenues, and adapting to rapidly evolving cultural ecosystems. Students will emerge with their own perspectives on the ways in which commerce, culture and creativity can align or collide in the leadership of arts organizations.

  • Prerequisites
    No College/Dougan Scholars. Non-Booth Masters and PhD allowed with instructor consent. 1st class attendance is mandatory.
  • Grades
    Classes will include discussions, group and individual exercises, and guest speakers. Homework will consist of readings, case studies, one short essay and one final paper. Grades will be based on class participation and written assignments. As this is a five week condensed course, attendance at each class session is mandatory. There will be advance homework for the first class session. Auditors require instructor permission.
  • Syllabus
  • Autumn 2019Section: 42126-01TH 1:30PM-4:30PMHarper CenterC102nd Half : Week 5 - Week 9
    50 Unit Course
    New Course
Description and/or course criteria last updated: August 27 2019