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Performing Arts Management

Graduate study

The new Performing Arts Management Program is designed to train the future leadership of our nation’s performing arts organizations. Given the advanced practical training in production at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, and the ever-growing need for well-trained executive leadership in the arts, such a program is a natural fit, helping to fill what many in the profession consider a void in the arts industry. In creating this program, UNCSA is looking beyond the well-being of the individual artist toward the health of performing arts organizations in general, by training responsible individuals to lead them.

The Performing Arts Management Program emphasizes a responsible approach to careers in areas such as marketing, development, public relations, financial management, general management, educational outreach and artistic management. The successful graduate of this program will be qualified to pursue a career in either a nonprofit or commercial organization in the theatre, dance or music arenas.

The program requires two academic years in residence at UNCSA, with a third-year internship of flexible length depending on each student’s needs and level of experience. The curriculum combines a full range of coursework with appropriate practical experience. As UNCSA emphasizes a hands-on approach to its training, and the responsibilities of an arts management program center around administrative duties, the hands-on tasks of these students will directly serve the administration of the School’s multitude of productions.

The first-year curriculum is intended to give all students the basic tools they need for a career in arts management. This will also enable them to begin functioning immediately as de facto members of the UNCSA staff through their rotating assignments in the “Production” course. In the second year, coursework focuses on larger issues of planning, leadership, and institutional management. Students’ work in “Production” will enable them to work on a more focused, year-long basis in an area of UNCSA’s operations that closely parallels their interests and abilities. (The program director and the appropriate senior managers within UNCSA, in close consultation with the students, will determine second-year assignments.)

Additionally, at the conclusion of their two academic years in residence and the completion of their coursework, students will be placed as interns with an outside organization that closely matches their particular area of interest, for both the practical knowledge this internship will provide and with an eye to job placement. This internship is expected to serve as the culmination of their training, and as a transition into the profession. Internship placements will be made by the program director in close consultation with the students. As with other students in Design and Production, all students graduating from the Performing Arts Management Program will compile a thesis portfolio of work created over their three years (marketing plans, development plans) to serve as an entrée to the profession.

Current Design and Production graduate and undergraduate curricula are available in PDF format in the Design and Production section of the UNCSA Bulletin.