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Arts Entrepreneurship Degree

Existing master’s degrees in arts administration programs require anywhere from 36 to 60 credits, with the average at around 45. At a cost of approximately $1000 per credit, and often little scholarship or fellowship support available, these programs are expensive. One must recognize that the cost of a program exceeds most starting salaries in the arts sector.

Jumping into a quasi-new field, Entrepreneurship in the Arts, presents a challenge. As I see it, for a young entrepreneur needing capital as it is, too many credits can cause insurmountable debt.

And, perhaps even more important, you run the risk of encumbering young entrepreneurs with too much administrative effluvia. Finding this balance between cost and needed skills and understanding is my current challenge. I’m trying to contain this new degree program in 36 credits.

Since I’ve already concluded that continued study in the arts is “in,” and study and practice in the art of entrepreneurship is “in,” the area that comes into question is what I call here general administration. In the degree program I am designing I have included 2 distinct classes in general administration, Management in the Arts and Leadership in the Arts. These classes address business, legal, HR, communications, and organizational design areas, as well as matters pertaining to leadership: personal style recognition and management of same, development of metacognitive abilities, organizing to get the job done/for success, etc.

However, for example, these classes will cover UBIT and the Form 990, but they will not ‘teach’ students how to fill out the 990 (they will be well advised of the potential perils of UBIT).

One expert in the field that I talked to about this said (and I very much paraphrase), you don’t want to turn a cellist into an accountant, you want to help her grow into an entrepreneur. Clearly finding this balance between encumbrance and freedom of thought and the creative process is the challenge.


  1. Dominick Balletta says:

    A vital need for these entrepeneurs is the ability to assess exactly what they want to do and what are the elements of success for them and their particular project. Too often people get caught up in structures that are simply unrealistic for their situation and location, and what works in Chicago may not work in Anchorage. A littlle rigorous thought will go a long way

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