EXCEL invites exceptional students to add arts management and venture training to their academic portfolio. The Performing Arts Management and Entrepreneurship Minor and the Graduate Certificate in Arts Entrepreneurship and Leadership are available.
For undergraduate students more interested in a broader base of entrepreneurship courses, the Innovate Blue cross-campus Minor in Entrepreneurship is an option.
EXCEL mini-courses, for undergraduate and graduate students, meet one evening a week in only the first two months of a term – check each description for precise meeting dates. They allow you to learn new skills and strategies that will amplify your artistry, taught by a variety of experts from the U-M community!
Arts Entrepreneurship Forum
ARTSADMN 410/510, Section 001
Choose 10 EXCEL workshops per term + 6:40-7:30PM meetings on 9/11 and 12/11 in Moore 2044
Instructor: Jonathan Kuuskoskidescription
Learning entrepreneurship is in part learning from the examples of those who are blazing the trail in the arts industry. EXCEL provides an extraordinary wealth of visitors throughout each semester to offer workshops and talks. Topics vary, but range from copyright, personal management, finding your artistic identity, and principles of leadership to career skills such as networking, interview basics, how to apply for grants, and representing yourself in a CV and cover letter. Students receive 1 credit for attending a minimum of 10 qualifying EXCEL workshops and completing post-workshop reflective exercises, attending an introductory and a final discussion session, and submitting a final essay.
Writing about Your Art: Bios, Blogs, & Websitesdescription
Artists today not only have to perform compelling work at the highest levels of quality, but must be advocates for their creative voice and inspire others to support your work by attending performances, donating to your cause, or approving grant funding to advance your artistic mission. In this course, you will explore how artists today are giving voice to their creative activities through traditional vehicles such as professional bios and grant proposals as well as new technology-enabled conduits such as tweets, blogs, websites, and crow funding appeals. Writing is an old technology but remains a vital skill for the twenty-first century artist who must serve as his or her own agent, publicist, development director, and program note annotator. In this mini course, you will develop a suite of small projects and exercises geared toward identifying your own artistic vision and sharing that vision with strategic audiences. Students will complete the course with a personalized advocacy plan targeting their own professional goals.
Grant Writing and Fundraising Basics
Wednesdays, 6:40–8:30, Moore 2044
Instructor: Carrie Throm, Deputy Director of Development and External Relations at UMMAdescription
Fundraising is critical in the arts today and, fortunately, individual artists have an unprecedented set of tools at hand to raise money to make their artistic visions come true. A broad range of government agencies and private foundations offer grant programs, and enterprising artists who have the skills can secure these grants to fund their ideas. In this course, you will learn to argue for the importance of your work, to create budgets, and to customize your proposals to fit the criteria of the granting agency. Additionally, you will learn about when and how to effectively use crowd funding tools to solicit financial support and to create a fan base. Through a look at current events, students will also learn what skills are required to succeed as an arts development professional. Students will complete the course with a fundraising plan to put a project into motion.
Tuesdays, 6:40-8:30PM, Moore 2044
Instructor: Ken Fischer, President at University Musical Societydescription
This course explores the theory and practice of leadership in both the non-profit and for-profit arts sector. Students will learn about the history and structure of non-profit organizations, especially the principles of board leadership and fiduciary oversight. They will explore fundamental principles of executive leadership, including strategic planning, communication, decision making and budgeting, fundraising, mentoring and coachings, crisis management, hiring and firing, assessment and evaluation, and organizational renewal. Course participants will learn about leadership in today's professional settings through ongoing engagement with leaders in the field.
The Recording Industry: Selling Your Music to the Worlddescription
"How do I sell my music on iTunes? Do I need a commercial recording label? Can I release an album on my own? What rules and laws do I need to think about? How hard is it to get an album on Spotify?" Musicians of all stripes face these questions when considering how to release and promote the music they've created in audio or video format. This class will answer these questions (and more), focusing on the real-world application of entrepreneurial, legal, business, and artistic considerations required to promote and sell music digitally today. You'll learn basic music industry standards and the necessary legal considerations that come into play when releasing music online. We'll delve into the process of preparing recordings for the release in digital formats, how to decide which service providers are most effective for your goals, and ultimately release your recordings online! You'll also learn about promoting your work and how to track your business efforts. Finally, we'll explore current trends and future directions in the music business. Note that this class uses GradeCraft -- a course system that lets students chose their own path to success via a series of badges and projects in order to gain enough points for the grade they'd like to get. Examples include attending and evaluating live performances, performing in front of class, and more.
Fundraising and the Arts
ARTSADMN 426/526, Theatre & Drama 426 (undergrad only)
Mon/Wed 4:40–5:30 PM, 2443 WDC
Instructor: Professor Greg Poggidescription
A review and analysis of philanthropy and development in America's cultural life, and the role of both the public and private sectors in supporting the arts.
Creative Entrepreneurship: Developing the mindset and skillsets to build sustainable creative enterprisedescription
Creative Entrepreneurship is a comprehensive journey that begins with developing one's mindset of conceiving, vetting and formulating an idea and then implementing them into successful, sustainable creative ventures. Students will have the opportunity to explore entrepreneurship through the prism of their own arts of life focus and specialization. Required texts, coupled with class lectures, collaborative projects and engaged discussions are designed to help develop the core skillsets necessary to awaken and develop young creative entrepreneurs. As a practicing arts and social entrepreneur having founded several successful, ongoing creative initiatives and organizations, Dean Dworkin introduces a unique and practical course informed by his own life experiences, including building a thriving non-profit with a 5 million dollar annual budget and a 20-year track record. As an overall philosophy, this course demystifies entrepreneurship and illustrates how an authentic passion and commitment to creativity and learning serve as key pillars for a successful, fulfilling life. The final Capstone Project will tie together the material covered in all modules, showcasing each student's ability to formulate and make the case for a creative venture.
Arts Leadership Forumdescription
This course is designed to provide access to the greatest leaders from the field of performing arts, arts administration, arts leadership and philanthropy. Students will have the opportunity for multi-faceted in-depth engagement and reflection. The premise of the class is to ignite learning through inspiration from and role modeling by successful leaders and direct mentorship. Students will meet with the visitor for a facilitated interactive experience and conversation, engage each speaker in a facilitated Q and A and process the materials in an interactive group discussion. Students will also write response pieces to each speaker, providing their own perspectives and takeaways form the absorbed material. Finally, as the final project, students will present a mini-lecture, engage in a peer Q and A and provide critical feedback. The response papers will be submitted after each visit and will serve to jump start the first hour of discussion the following week. Each visitor may also assign a reading for the preparatory discussion, and possibly, for the visit itself.
Creating Social Value through the Arts
Tue/Thu 2:40–4:00 PM, Burton Memorial Tower 506
Instructor: Tiffany Ngdescription
Social entrepreneurship draws upon business principles and skills to develop and implement effective solutions to social needs and problems. Beyond measuring performance in terms of profit and return, social entrepreneurs take into account a positive return to society. This pursuit calls for multi-disciplinary, innovative thinking, and teamwork -- values that form the core of our course. This course begins with a survey of the arts as a social good in global society as well as site visits to local arts organizations. You will work in teams to identify and research a target audience, develop and execute an arts experience, and measure the impact of your event. We will explore the social role of the arts in contemporary society and how local and nationals arts organizations create social value by serving their community through partnership. Topics of focus will include the impact of technology on the arts, and how the arts can respond to and benefit from social diversity. Participants will refine skills in idea generation, public speaking, organization and project management, feasibility testing, grant seeking, and collecting and interpreting data on audiences and communities to determine local needs and impact.
Supervised internship in cooperation with a professional arts organization; by permission of the instructor only. Typically offered for 1-2 credits proportional to 35-70 hours of work, plus a final report. Specifics of evaluation to be worked out by supervising instructor in cooperation with the host institution
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