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Program in Arts Administration
Teachers College, Columbia University
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Program in Arts Administration

In the Department of Arts & Humanities

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About Us > Overview

Overview

The program in Arts Administration focuses on the missions and activities of art and cultural agencies and institutions, and promotes the educational role of the arts and artists.


The program reflects the conviction that the management of cultural institutions and enterprises is a profession that requires both creativity and commitment and that, at its best, the profession has a positive impact on the quality of artistic life. Arts Administration is organized in conjunction with the programs in Arts and Humanities, further reflecting the importance of educational diversity, mission, and activities of the arts in both profit and nonprofit sectors.

In order to respond to the challenges and responsibilities facing the arts in the twenty-first century, the arts manager must have an amalgam of managerial and financial skills, an investment in ethical and policy issues, a broad knowledge about artistic disciplines, an awareness of community dynamics, a commitment to education in its broadest sense, and a sensitivity to the artist and the artistic process. The essence of the program lies in its effort to provide a carefully constructed core curriculum while making available the extraordinary range of intellectual and cultural resources throughout Teachers College, Columbia University, and within New York City.

The objectives of the program are:

  • train new leaders to manage and administer arts and cultural venues;
  • raise the standards of arts administration to a new level of social responsibility;
  • strengthen advocacy roles for artists;
  • broaden the horizons of arts administrators, facilitating their interactions with the arts community;
  • give arts advocates new management and administrative tools; and,
  • provide theoretical and practical preparation for students whose professional objective is a career in arts administration, arts education, or a combination of the two.


Program History

The history of this program differentiates it from others of its kind in the country. Since its inception, the Program has been able to draw on the resources of Columbia University. The Program is uniquely positioned to offer its students access to ideas and coursework which are vital to what is currently happening in the arts field. At the same time, its legacy and leadership assure that students are learning about the arts’ most compelling and timeless issues, not just short-term trends.

In 1975, the first course was created at Columbia University in the School of the Arts. An interdisciplinary offering, it was team taught by arts and business professors in Columbia Business School. In 1980, the Program in Arts Administration was created at Columbia’s School of the Arts and established the interdisciplinary mix of business and law that continues to be integral to the core curriculum. In 1991, the Program was expanded at Teachers College to include education and arts education. In more than a quarter of a century, the Program has produced leaders and managers around the world and in every artistic discipline.


Image: Butler Library - the main library of the Columbia University campus