Arts management degree to be added to curriculum

Jamie Grady, director of the Institute for Arts and Culture, is working hard to give students the opportunity to declare a new degree at Mercyhurst University.

He is in the process of creating an arts management undergraduate degree that will include some core business classes and arts management classes.

Students would take courses such as fundraising, introduction to arts management, leadership and special topics in arts management. This will give students the training to become arts producers, project managers and special events coordinators for any field.

“It makes sense with a school with so many arts programs – if you have performers on campus, you should have producers on campus,” Grady said.

Students are not just limited to become producers and project managers with an arts management degree.

After graduating from Mercyhurst, students will have a wide range of job opportunities in dance, music and theater companies or any kind of performing arts, museums and galleries.

In addition to the required classes for the major, students will be required to complete service hours through the Performing Arts Center (PAC) to give them hands-on experience.

The students will help produce various events and learn what it takes to make a performance run smoothly.

One of the main areas Grady would like the students to focus on is audience development. He wants to get more college students in the PAC seats.

“College life is rich with activities and art,” he said. “Students should take the opportunities now to attend as many performances as possible.”

This will help improve Mercyhurst overall.

Arts management majors will provide assistance to events in several ways, while students will be encouraged more to attend operas, musicals and plays.

Currently, the major is not available for students, but Grady is working with faculty to get it approved.

If all goes as expected, the plans will take place before the end of May, and the arts management major will be listed as an undergraduate degree program in the fall.