BW Arts Management

Starting with the Fall 2015 Semester, BW’s Arts Management program is morphing into the first arts management & entrepreneurship major in the U.S.

BW Launches Country’s First Arts Management & Entrepreneurship Major

July 7, 2015

Baldwin Wallace University’s arts management program, a trailblazer in the field when it was established 30 years ago, is morphing into the first arts management & entrepreneurship major in the U.S.

The newly evolved program integrates the artistic, business and entrepreneurship education that best prepares students for career success.

“Based on research, professional feedback and our own experience, the new major will marry two great strengths at BW, our leadership in both the arts and in entrepreneurship,” said BW Conservatory of Music Dean Susan Van Vorst. “At the intersection of these two specialties lies a distinctive advantage for our graduates as they prepare to lead arts organizations and businesses.”

Powerful Partnerships Fuel Expanded Experiential Learning

Powerful partnerships with Northeast Ohio’s arts organizations, including Cleveland’s renowned Playhouse Square, will contribute to the increased experiential learning requirements for the new degree. As the program’s primary partner, Playhouse Square, the country’s largest performing arts complex outside New York City, will provide BW students with a living arts management laboratory where they will experience, first-hand, from the inside, a unique and successful arts operating model.

Playhouse Square Executive Producer Gina Vernaci is enthusiastic about the expanded partnership calling it a “win-win” that brings the fresh perspective of emerging young arts professionals to Playhouse Square, while providing BW students with experience at a premier arts organization prior to graduation.

Degree Requirements Allow Flexibility for Customization

BW has named longtime program director, Bryan Bowser ’97, MBA ’08, as director of the major, which already is enrolling students for a Fall 2015 rollout. “The new major will have significantly increased arts management-specific classes and internship requirements, while allowing students flexibility to customize their experience,” said Bowser who holds an undergraduate music degree and an MBA in Entrepreneurship from BW.

Students in the major, which is housed in BW’s highly respected Conservatory of Music, will choose electives, at least three internship placements (up from two in the previous program) and a required minor or double major in visual art, creative writing, dance, film, music or theatre. The expanded curriculum will feature 21 credits in arts-management coursework, covering topics from financial management to marketing and everything in between.

Alumni and Student Networking is Added Benefit for Career Building

Students and graduates of the program also will benefit from the robust, existing organizations that provide networking and support: The BW Arts Management Association (AMA), a student organization, and the BW Arts Management Alumni Network (AMAN).

BW Arts Management graduates work all over the country in marketing, public relations, development, operations, curatorial, front-of-house, and education positions at nonprofit and for-profit arts organizations and businesses. The strong alumni network means current students get a leg up as they work to become the next generation of arts leaders.

“BW is already producing successful graduates,” said Bowser. “This evolution of our program will build on that success and take the program to a new, unparalleled level.”

Posted February 2015