Open Forum

Subject: Arts Administration Unit

1.  Arts Administration Unit

Posted 11 days ago
Anyone have anything interesting for a unit on Arts Admin?  Students have already researched different jobs and present on them.  Our "standard" for the class specifically states, "Select and demonstrate tasks associated with areas of Arts Administration."  I like the idea of them maybe reaching out to art admin professionals in the community, but not sure of the specifics of that yet.  Just looking for thoughts and ideas while I figure this out.

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Jessica Shaw
Speech and Drama Teacher
Alexandria VA
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2.  RE: Arts Administration Unit

Posted 11 days ago
​I do a project that I stole from my college Theatre Management class where they have to research regional theatre and then design and "pitch" a new regional theatre for our area. They have to articulate the mission, values, name/logo (and significance), and select and justify an inaugural season. I'm happy to share more details if that sounds interesting.

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Cassy Maxton-Whitacre
Theatre Department Coordinator
Fishersville VA
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3.  RE: Arts Administration Unit

Posted 11 days ago
I, too, am interested in this discussion thread and would love to see your research project, Cassie.

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Tisha Donnelly
Director, troupe #5591
Vanden High School
Fairfield, CA
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4.  RE: Arts Administration Unit

Posted 10 days ago
Hey Cassy,
I would love to see this unit.  Can you send what you have to my school email: jjshaw@fcps.edu
Thank you!
Jess

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Jessica Shaw
Speech and Drama Teacher
Alexandria VA
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5.  RE: Arts Administration Unit

Posted 10 days ago
I would love to see this, if you don't mind sharing!

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Maria Palassis
Drama Club & Thespian Society Director
Cincinnati OH
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6.  RE: Arts Administration Unit

Posted 11 days ago
You might think about a group project; where the team founds a theatre. They need to come up with a name, a mission statement and a season that reflects that statement. Write job descriptions. Create a marketing plan to promote the opening of the theatre.

There should also have an artifact of some kind. Let them play to their strengths. Maybe someone is an artist and creates a poster for one of the plays. Or like to build models, so build a replica of their theatre. Or they are strong in math and want to put together a annual budget for the theatre and for one of the plays.

After the team comes up with the name, vision statement and season, each team member takes on a different aspect of the project, e.g. organizational structure, job descriptions, marketing plan, artifact, technical aspects. Then in front of the class they give their report.

There is a team grade for the first three items, but then the individual contributions can be assessed separately from the group.

Just some ideas.



--
"All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players." - Shakespeare





7.  RE: Arts Administration Unit

Posted 11 days ago
Our school has an end-of-semester talent show. For my arts administration class, I had them produce a short play for the talent show. They were responsible for selecting the script, interviewing and hiring the creative team, creating a rehearsal schedule, calculating a budget, soliciting donations (because that money needs to come from somewhere), and marketing the show to their peers (although, admittedly, the talent show has a built-in audience). It was a small low-stakes way for them to try producing.

Admittedly, I was working with middle school students. If I'd been working with high school students, I probably would have just let them produce one of my mainstage shows.

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Victoria Chatfield
Executive Director
National Theatre for Student Artists
www.nationalstudenttheatre.org
vchatfield@nationalstudenttheatre.org
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8.  RE: Arts Administration Unit

Posted 11 days ago
Edited by Rosemary Bucher 11 days ago
  |   view attached
I love this idea, and I wish more theatre educators would include arts administration in their curriculum!

It might sound silly, but I recommend looking at the topics discussed in arts administration graduate programs (like my alma mater, Boston University). These programs emphasize current issues and required skills in the industry, and could be a really great resource when structuring your unit.

Here's a great resource for season-planning projects that explains why compensating artists is so important.


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Rosemary Bucher
Licensing Representative, Educational Theatre
Samuel French
New York NY
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Attachment(s)

pdf
owning-their-words.pdf   111K 1 version


9.  RE: Arts Administration Unit

Posted 11 days ago
What was mentioned above -- having students research the various jobs and then present on them -- would go a long way towards addressing some of the issues I see discussed all the time in this forum.

For instance, what does a stage manager in a regional or professional theatre really do, and what type of background and training do they have? It's so easy to say, oh, they call the show, but what's their real function? What kind of person wants to be a stage manager?

The same can be said for other jobs: design (what does a set, costume, or lighting designer do, and what education do they generally have?), what do the technical director and master carpenter really do, and so forth. How do the unions fit in (important in regional theatre as well as professional). What's work life like for some of these folks?

There's so much more to theatre than acting and directing, but so often it seems that that's where all the attention goes.  :-)

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George F. Ledo
Set designer
www.setdesignandtech.wordpress.com
www.georgefledo.net
http://astore.amazon.com/sdtbookstore-20
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10.  RE: Arts Administration Unit

Posted 10 days ago
I realize I'm not a teacher, but this post made me very excited as an Arts Administration graduate!

My experience on the subject was a little different since I was a grad student and didn't have to condense a multitude of topics and ideas into a single unit, semester, or year like you, but we did do a lot of different things that may translate well to your students.

In performing arts center management, we had to select, negotiate, and book a show for a community with an actual booking company. It might be a fun idea to have your students research specific venues in different cities to understand the demographics, theatre specs, and ticket pricing structure that needs to be considered when bringing a show to an area. There was certainly much more to it than I had ever imagined!

We also created a new development campaign for an actual organization based on their needs and giving history, and we did similar activities for marketing. Some of the other courses were in museum studies (which you could have your students consider, particularly in relation to living history and historical sites), local arts policy and cultural development, tourism, audience development, legal issues in the arts (specifically copyright and trademark issues which students might find interesting), and the role of arts in the private and public sector.

Just remind them that there's so much out there for them! Some of the people I went to school with now work at places like the Kennedy Center, major art museums, universities, dance organizations, or like me, at the Educational Theatre Association! :)

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Samantha Simendinger
Support Services Manager
Educational Theatre Association
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11.  RE: Arts Administration Unit

Posted 10 days ago

May I recommend your students contact Full Sail University in Florida. They have full bachelors and masters degrees in Entertainment Business (both brick-and-mortar and online). Here's the link: https://www.fullsail.edu/area-of-study/business. They may be happy to answer questions.

As I teach a course for Drama teachers on High School Theatre Management and have also written a book on the subject (of course, my area of Arts Administration specializes in high school theatres, but running a theatre in the schools should be little different than running a theatre in the 'real world' except the element of vocational education is added) I would also be more than happy to field a few questions from students too (if the student's could keep their questions to one or two each and make them specific, that would be great – or the class could come up with a few collective questions perhaps).

It's really awesome that you are teaching a unit on Arts Administration, as it's a great way for vocational theatre students to obtain employment in the theatre world. High school theatre management is also a growing field, as more and more high school theatres serve as "roadhouses" for school events, district events and outside events. Even if your theatre just accommodates school events, it's still essentially a roadhouse and it still needs to be managed. All theatres, even high school theatres, need to have policies and procedures in place, such as: safety policies and protocols, staffing models, forms and documentations, event success procedures, finances and budgeting, marketing and outreach, and other operational functions. And, as many of you know, sometimes the Drama teacher has to wear the hat of Theatre Manager too (sigh…), so it benefits your vocational students who think they might go into education to have the background in Arts Administration/Management as well. Plus, another benefit of the unit is to help your own school administration learn that there's more to theatre than "playing around". Did you know Americans spend more per year on entertainment than sports? And for every TV show, movie, political rally, concert, lecture, sports half-time show, radio program, or any performance or event, there are a lot more people behind the scenes making it happen than just the performers the public sees. Great idea for a unit!



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Beth Rand, EBMS
High School Theatre Operations Coach

Next HS Theatre Management Training for Drama Teachers online course: Winter Session starts Jan. 15 (limited to 8 students).

Author of "High School Theatre Operations" and "The High School Theatre Safety Manual" and several more books on Amazon and also at http://www.presett.org/helpful-books-for-you.html.

www.PRESETT.org
Westminster, CO
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12.  RE: Arts Administration Unit

Posted 9 days ago

In my teaching theatre methods class i always recommended Interactive Educational Videos. Two of them would be particularly helpful for these areas.

Business and House Management, which addresses the nuts and bolts of
1. Advocacy
2. House Management Responsibilities
3. Budgeting
4. Programs
5. Marketing
6. Ticketing.

Careers program has units on:
1. Theatrical Unions and Professional Organizations (IATSE, AEA, SDC, USA 829, ATPAM, AGMA, AGVA, AFM)
2. Administration from Producers to Concessions Workers
3. Types of Producing Organizations .... Commercial (Broadway League, LORT, Council of Stock Theatres), Not-for-Profit, and Educational
4. Types of Runs (Limited, Stock, Repertory, Open-Ended)
5. Artistic Staff, Performance, Design, and Tech (including Production Houses)
6. Differences in working in NY and Regional Theatres
7. Interviews with 9 working professionals from IATSE, AEA, SDC, USA 829, and ATPAM. They describe
A. the most and least enjoyable aspects of their jobs
B. what kind of classes students should take in high school that will help them in the future
C. tips for getting and staying employed.
D. how their jobs influence their lifestyle

 the programs are available through Yearly Subscription or on DVD/CD-ROM at www.InteractiveEducationalVideo.com

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Lana Hagan retired
Department of Theatre/Dance
Southern Illinois Univ. Edwardsville/retired
Clayton MO
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13.  RE: Arts Administration Unit

Posted 8 days ago
  |   view attached
​Here it is. It's nothing fancy, but maybe it will give you some ideas.

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Cassy Maxton-Whitacre
Theatre Department Coordinator
Fishersville VA
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Attachment(s)



14.  RE: Arts Administration Unit

Posted 5 days ago
  |   view attached
One of my most successful projects for college freshman, which I've also used with high school students, is having them write grant proposals, a two-page answer to questions about what kind of theatre they would create and why, and what they would do with $2000.
It can be either an individual or group assignment Sometimes I have them just do the proposal and other times I've gone further, making the class into a grant panel to review and discuss the grants -- no names attached -- and award funding. The students inevitably ask "where do I look this up" and I say they don't, to use their imagination and to research only what is necessary, i.e. names of plays for a season, the price of a window A/C for an office or a sewing machine, if they have addressed that as their greatest need in their funding application. During the "grant panels" students get very involved in the review, rejecting grants for not following instructions and rewarding those who proofread and tell a compelling story about their imaginary theatre company, just like real life.

Description below and full project information attached. Feel free to copy any of this that is useful to you and let me know how it goes.

GRANT WRITING PROJECT

Apply for a $2,000.00 grant for a theatre or theatre project. You will receive an application with a description of how to apply for the grant. This is based on an actual grant that is available to small theatre companies in New York City. Read this material very carefully. In order to apply for the grant you will need to make up a theatre company, considering what you as an artist want to say to the world. You will turn in your grant proposals without your name on it, with only the name of the theatre.
For our last class we will replicate a grant panel. Each student will be given a copy of another student's proposal, without knowing who wrote it, and will present that proposal to the group. We will discuss each proposal and rank them. When all are presented we will look at the rankings and decide where the line is drawn for who gets funding and who doesn"t. The highest rated applicant will receive (in theory) the full $2,000.00. The lowest ranked proposal above the drop off line will receive $500. We will then allocate amounts for the remaining companies, based on their ranking. After discovering the actual amount in the imaginary fund available for disbursement we will re-access our choices and adjust the dollar amounts accordingly. Your grade will be based on your final ranking, as determined by the panel of fellow students.



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Arlene Hutton
The Barrow Group
New York, NY
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15.  RE: Arts Administration Unit

Posted 2 days ago

I recently came across another great resource for vocational tech theatre students: www.theatreeventacademy.com.

This organization advocates for vocational tech theatre and is chock-a-block with resources to that end. Here's the intro to their mission statement:

"The mission of Theatre Event Academy is to connect and improve the theatre and live event industries by offering quality training, resources and advocacy for theatre professionals looking to cultivate a career in live events. We provide opportunities for theatre educators, students & professionals to broaden skill sets and increase awareness of available career paths in the live event industry."

I'll also post this on the "Why "Arts" Administration?" thread…



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Beth Rand, EBMS
High School Theatre Operations Coach

Next HS Theatre Management Training for Drama Teachers online course: Winter Session starts Jan. 15 (limited to 8 students).

Author of "High School Theatre Operations" and "The High School Theatre Safety Manual" and several more books on Amazon and also at http://www.presett.org/helpful-books-for-you.html.

www.PRESETT.org
Westminster, CO
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