June 3



Registration is required.

Conference Location: Baruch College, 55 Lexington Ave, New York, NY 10010 (Map at bottom of page)

Closing Reception Location: Weeksville Heritage Center, 158 Buffalo Avenue, Brooklyn NY 11213 (Map at bottom of page)

8:00 am - 3:30 pm Registration

Location: Clinver=Field Plaza Entrance (25th street entrance - between Lexington and 3rd Avenue)

8:00 am - 8:30 am First-Time Attendees Welcome and Coffee 

Location: Clinver=Field Plaza Entrance (25th street entrance - between Lexington and 3rd Avenue)

8:30 am - 10:30 am Annual Membership Meeting 

Location: Room 5-150

10:45 am – 11:45 am Concurrent Sessions 1:

Please note - when two sessions are listed under a single stream, they will happen one after the other (in 30-minute presentations).

Student Organizations in Arts Management: Why, Where, and How 

Presenter(s): Jim O’Connell (University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point), Destyni Green (University of Kentucky), Andrew Taylor (American University), Jeff Poulin (Creative Generation)

Description: While there is no national student organization in arts administration/management/ leadership, there are several examples on individual campuses, both graduate and undergraduate. Such organizations exist for several reasons, among which might be:

- to provide co-curricular/pre-professional experience, mentorship opportunities, and cohort engagement

- to continue contact, engagement, and support with recent alumni

- to increase visibility for programs and the field among prospective students, potential employers, institutional colleagues, community members, or other arts administration educators

- to enhance the satisfaction and retention of students.

This session will provide a forum for discussion of student desires and expectations for such organizations, their nature and focus, how they can be initiated and sustained on individual campuses, and how they might be scaled up (through either networking or creation of an umbrella organization) to an international level.

Processes that support student research and artistic practice in arts administration: An Examination of “Chicharrón…” 

Presenter(s): Dr. Christi Camper Moore (Ohio University) and Roberto Di Donato (Ohio University)

Description: This session will begin by framing the educational context and definition of the “artist-administrator” and how one graduate program is working to reimagine processes that merge and encourage students to innovate, practice, and research their art, alongside–and not separate from- their studies in arts administration. Next, we will specifically discuss what this looks like in practice through discussion of the final capstone project, “Chicharrón: a communion with the triple A’s: A reflection on the impact of my intersectionality on my identity as Artist-Administrator. This exemplar graduate paper/project, is an examination of who the student is as an artist-administrator and what it is, was, and will be like to conceive, produce, and tour a solo-autobiographical production centered on his Queer, Latino identity. Finally, this session will reinforce how education, research, and artistic practice do – and should - coexist to inform the next generation of arts administrators.

Improving Creative Thinking Skills through Project-based Learning in Tertiary Arts Management Education – A case study in Hong Kong

Presenter(s): Dr. Sunnie Yang He (The Education University of Hong Kong)

Description: The potential impact of creative thinking and its contribution to successful arts practice has been argued over the last decade. Meanwhile, creative thinking has also been identified as making valuable contributions to arts and management. Cetinkaya (2014) and Kuo, Chen, and Hwang (2014) indicated that the application of creative thinking to management education is highly recommended, which needs to be developed through the learning process and still is a teaching challenge to date. This study implemented the project-based learning (PBL) approach as a treatment for tertiary arts education students over one academic year to examine its effect on their creative thinking disposition. Given this context, this study aimed to determine the improvement of creative thinking skills of art students through PBL in the arts management discipline. Consequently, the research question addressing the three dimensions is proposed and analyzed as to how they interact: creative thinking, project-based learning, and arts management education. Two theoretical frameworks were applied in this study: 1) the Creative Thinking Skills Development Framework from the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER, 2020) and 2) the Essential Project Design Elements of PBLWorks (2015). The subjects were 52 art students from the Cultural and Creative Arts department at the Education University of Hong Kong. A qualitative approach was employed, while the data on students' creative thinking skills were obtained from observations, interviews, and reflective journals. The results indicated that the integration of creative thinking and project-based learning could significantly uplift students' learning outcomes in arts management education as they are in a complementary relationship. It provided opportunities for students in art management learning engagement and several areas of thinking skills development in relation to the current curricula objectives. 

Modeling Mental and Social Health: A Holistic Approach to Arts Administration Education

Presenter(s): Joshua Stavros (Southern Utah University)

Description: It has been a rough couple of years. With a pandemic, racial, social, and civil unrest, not to mention threats of war, areas of structural weakness in our approach to arts administration education have been exposed, and the importance of creating a classroom culture that is open, inclusive, and intentional regarding mental health and communication has been laid bare. Humanity is not on pause while we are in grad school.

With these shifts in the sand, our Arts Administration Program has taken specific steps to create a more holistic and “people-centered” approach to graduate school, particularly in the areas of the mental and social health of our students. In moving away from the common cultural hazing of graduate school (It was hard for me, so it should be hard for you) and into the world of safe and brave spaces, we have found that the students need practical long-term tools for stress management for themselves as they navigate their time with us, and that such curricular implementation can model the value and importance of creating the same in their future lives, both as arts administrators and as world citizens.

The goal of this session is to share what we have learned, what we would have done differently, and what the future of such an approach holds. We will share examples from our Program, Department, College, and University, on how we have moved beyond our comfort zone while defining healthy boundaries. This will inform the next generation of arts administrators as they do the same in their future arts management spaces

11:45 am - 1:00 pm Lunch Break

1:00 pm - 2:00 pm Concurrent Sessions 2:

Please note - when two sessions are listed under a single stream, they will happen one after the other (in 30-minute presentations).

The Braid - Facilitating the Facilitators (Sign up Sheet click HERE)

Presenter(s): Adelheid Mers (School of the Art Institute of Chicago)

Description: This session will introduce an arts-based facilitation practice, The Braid, by sharing its artistic and theoretical context along with an example of its application, followed by a 45 minute, hands-on workshop, and feedback conversation. The Braid's organizing principle is reflected in its three areas: Power, Publics, Poiesis, or in another alliteration, Managing, Mediating, Making (see more under the question on relevance). Unlike solution-centered facilitation methods, the Braid focuses on developing an ecological, institutional imagination from within workshop participants’ intersectional, lived experiences. Institutional imagination is a core component of leadership. The Braid facilitation practice can promote and root participatory leadership approaches. It can be useful for arts organizations, groups of administrators, educators, artists, and arts administration students.

Engaging the Hyphen

Presenter(s): Meghan McCray (The Art Institute of Chicago)

Description: The Doctrine of Discovery, emerging from fifteenth-century papal bulls, provided a theological justification for European powers to "discover" and "conquer" indigenous lands, leading to the establishment of colonies in America. The rise of Bureaucratic theory during this period marked a shift in management and organizational structures, leading to the emergence of bureaucracy, which permeates contemporary organizations today. This paper argues for reconceptualizing prevailing structures by engaging the complex gap between indigene-colonizer relationships through indigenous scholarship, critical inquiry, research methodologies, and Māori research. The paper advocates for a "theoretical kinship" between Indigenous and Western approaches to business and calls for learning from rather than about the Other. The author reflects on personal conversations, thoughts, perspectives, and yearning for positive change from within, influencing their professional work, leadership, and management practices. Enacting these learnings in a position of power within a complex, colonial structure such as the Art Institute of Chicago can realize pedagogy as practice. The paper offers a pathway for change to happen over time.

Beyond the Acronym: Accessibility through Values-Based Instruction

Presenter(s): Rachel Parker (Southern Utah University) and Dr. Amanda Nelson (Virginia Tech)

Description: The arts sector has expressed a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) through anti-racism statements and proclamations of allyship. However, there is a need to move beyond the acronym to action and enact values in the arts administration classroom. This session proposes incorporating the elements of the acronym “IDEA” into curriculums, framing DEI through the practice of accessibility. The session draws on concepts from universal design, aesthetic accessibility, radical pricing, and values-based leadership. It offers approaches to leading with and through accessibility in core classes, such as ensuring syllabi and class websites exceed accessibility guidelines and framing course content through an accessibility lens. The session will provide IDEAs that can be adopted and adapted to meet the needs of arts administration programs of all sizes. Presenters will share accessibility approaches their own programs have adopted and provide a forum for discussion of ways to build greater accessibility awareness and practice in students. Through the session, participants will begin the process of conducting an accessibility audit of their own curriculum and course syllabi.

More Than Giving Grants: Conceptualizing the Potential for SAAS in Aid and Emergency Relief Efforts

Presenter(s): Kate Keeney (College of Charleston)  

Description: Despite criticism of public art support at both the federal and state levels, it is this networked and “mixed system” (DiMaggio, 1991) that has supported public art activity in the U.S. since the mid twentieth century. The distribution of artist relief funds provides a unique opportunity for investigation into the model of intergovernmental relationships and policy learning present in the public arts sector. Framed by intergovernmental relations (IGR) theory, this research advances this networked system in the support of arts organizations and artists during times of economic crisis or natural disaster. The COVID pandemic is one of the few times that SAAs have supported national emergency economic relief, thus highlighting an important and expanded role in supporting the arts ecosystem in the future. The goals of this article are: (1) to extend theoretical knowledge of IGR to advance the role of SAAs in artist relief efforts at the subnational level; (2) to describe the policies and programs that SAAs implemented as a result of the CARES Act and COVID-19 crisis in the American South; and (3) to establish a basis for future research related to the role of SAAs as leaders and responders during a global crisis. Specific attention is given to the distribution of emergency funds to SAAs through the 2020 CARES Act and other programmatic and financial support mechanisms implemented by SAAs as a result of the pandemic. This analysis considers the important--and potentially lasting--role of SAAs in the support of economic recovery efforts for artists and arts organizations nationwide. The arts policy field in the U.S. offers a necessary foundation for imagining a renewed role for SAAs in artist relief efforts through the lens of IGR.

Authentic Representation in Gaming

Presenter(s): Dr. Daniel T. Green (Carnegie Mellon University), Matthew Fiacco (Carnegie Mellon University, Siya Khanse (Carnegie Mellon University)

Description: Despite video games being used as a classroom tool for years, there is still resistance to embracing their positive aspects. Research does show that gaming audiences are more diverse than ever. This presentation is part of an on-going academic study related to on-line harassment, abuse, or doxing that people of color and female gamers often experience. A recent Meta study found that “underrepresented gamers would be more likely to feel excluded and less likely to engage” (Toh, 2022). Gaming companies may not fully embrace these minority groups as they believe all gamers as a monolith group. This fact raises questions about who is actually playing games, and if gaming enthusiasts are being effectively targeted in gaming marketing.  In the team’s survey, only 35% of respondents saw gaming characters that represented them.  The focus of this project will be to provide an approach on how the gaming industry can be more inclusive when building strategies around audiences. The presenters will share the results of the study which evaluated diversity and inclusion marketing approaches aimed at minority groups.

2:15 pm - 3:15 pm Concurrent Sessions 3:

Please note - when two sessions are listed under a single stream, they will happen one after the other (in 30-minute presentations).

Rethinking Feedback: An Innovative Approach To Empower Students’ Learning and Sense of Place As Arts Administrators

Presenter(s): Dr. Christi Camper Moore (Ohio University)  

Description: In academia, feedback and critique from teachers remain key elements of students’ learning processes and education. As technology continues to expand, it can provide opportunities to rethink the delivery of this feedback, as well as the design and intention. This session explores an innovative approach that provides highly detailed, individual video feedback to every student on their course assignments. The videos are designed to engage and advance student learning, maintain a personal connection, and de-center the overt authority of teacher critique and grading. This session will offer specific examples and evidence of this feedback process through the following: steps and timeline, how various critical thinking strategies are utilized, and ways this process facilitates and offers different perspectives and approaches to working collaboratively with students to build connections. The session will also reflect on course evaluations and student comments, specifically providing insight on how they feel this feedback approach encourages them to reconsider community engagement, expand approaches to measurement and evaluation, and empower them as arts administrators.

Arts Management and the Purposeful Dérive: A Psychogeography Management Model for the Creative Economy

Presenter(s): Mary Filice (Columbia College Chicago), Clayton Smith, (Columbia College Chicago)

Description: Psychogeography Management for the Creative Economy is a new model for arts managers that places people, process, and power at its core while leveraging the creative focus of psychogeography to assess, reimagine, and redesign work environments into creative, collaborate communities that foster inclusivity and innovation. The goal is to empower people to make meaningful changes that improve the ambiance, richness, and effectiveness of space and processes, returning “worth, agency, and excellence” to arts administrators and ensemble members to better navigate and manage the dynamic environment in which creative organizations operate.

A creative practice, psychogeography examines how one’s environment shapes the emotions, behaviors, and thinking of both the individual and the collective that is typically applied to the performing, literary, and visual arts. By investigating the intersection of psychogeography and business, our model expands this practice by merging psychogeography and its primary element the dérive—Guy Debord’s theory of “rapid passage through varied ambiences…(that) involve playful-constructive behavior and awareness of psychogeographical effects” with the intent to transform environments—with existing business models as Management by Wandering Around.

Our model begins by focusing on people, the key to an organization’s creative, collaborative, communal, and inclusive environment. Yet it is precisely an organization’s people, its human resources, who are often overlooked due to the centralized and hierarchical structures that exist in many arts, cultural, and for-profit—which many nonprofits depend upon for support—institutions that comprise the creative ecosystem. 

Shuffling the Deck: A Holistic Approach to BIPOC Arts Management Leadership Development 

Presenter(s): Ximena Varela (American University)

Description: The arts management field has long been dominated by PWIs and white executives. BIPOC students often face significant, systemic hurdles in their quest to achieve executive positions in PWI arts organizations. This paper describes the approach one arts management program took to successfully diversify its curriculum, faculty, change internal systems at the university more broadly, and modify corporate culture at PWIs arts institutions in its community. The paper argues, based on eight years of evidence, that supporting BIPOC arts executives training needs to be holistic, sustained, and intentional. The paper draws on alumni, industry, and faculty interviews, as well as data tracked by the program, to share the lessons learned during this process, and raise questions about what is to come.

Adding up Art + Web2 + Web3

Presenter(s): Erica Bondarev Rapach (American University)

Description: There is a future where the web creates new and sustainable value for art. It includes .art domains, digital certification, NFTs (non-fungible tokens), and AI (artificial intelligence). The intersection of art, technology, and finance is becoming increasingly relevant to creative practice and shouldn't be overlooked.

Debating what is art and who is an artist is not new, but the tools are ever-evolving. The introduction of technological and financial assets of Web3 can be leveraged to grow the artistic community, expand self-expression, and build better businesses. The Web3 space is a decentralized ecosystem with a distributed architecture, transparent blockchain technology, and consensus-based governance available to artists, arts organizations, and arts administrators alike.

Be part of the contemplation, interrogation, and consideration of how art + Web2 + Web3 add up.

3:30 pm - 4:00 pm Concurrent Sessions 4:

Please note - when two sessions are listed under a single stream, they will happen one after the other (in 30-minute presentations).

Empowering Arts Administration Alumni by Building Community

Presenter(s): Lorie Caval (NYC Department of Cultural Affairs), Anastasia Gudko, (Art Students League of New York)

Description:This paper aims to prove the importance of alumni groups for graduate students, particularly those in the arts administration field where professional networks are imperative for career success. In private colleges, alumni groups are typically supported by the university and often touted as powerful lifelong networks providing a key for upward social mobility. At public colleges, alumni networks, especially those targeted towards specific professions may be less robust or even nonexistent; a missed opportunity for alums as well as current students, faculty, and all potential stakeholders. Current students, once graduated, automatically become alumni - it is a constant cycle and pool from which to draw in community-building.

Written by an alumna duo of an Arts Administration Master’s program (2020) at a public CUNY school, this paper describes their journey in establishing a viable alumni network from scratch, driven by a need to build and empower community and create professional opportunities. The authors’ methodology includes research of alumni networks in colleges offering administration graduate programs, located in New York City, both at public and private universities. Anonymous surveys from graduates of arts administration MA programs will provide data about experiences related network-building and access to career opportunities. Research will also provide data about the diverse communities CUNY serves, pointing to pathways alumni groups provide toward increasing DEIA in the field. 

For educators of arts administration programs, being advocates for the creation or fortification of existing alumni networks is a worthy cause with far-reaching effects. Investment of university resources towards alumni groups is central to their development, and the more active faculty and staff are in their participation or advocacy efforts, the better the possibilities of establishing strong networks that will serve alumni of arts administration programs and the future of arts administrators.

Connecting The Last Mile -- A Study: Health Resources For Classical Pianists On Performance-Related Injuries

Presenter(s): Ellen Churui Li (Hemsing Associates)

Description: Working with classical musicians closely gives you backstage access to a world seldom seen under the limelight: 84% of musicians reported performance-related injuries, and 12% of professional classical musicians have to give up their profession permanently due to these injuries. What most people might not realize is: classical musicians are just like athletes. Their incredibly long hours of practice from an early age and challenging touring and performing lifestyle make them highly vulnerable to all kinds of performance-related injuries, both physical and psychological. 

As an arts administrator, researcher, and friend, I’m desperately trying to find out what I can do for these musicians and future artists entering the stage. I researched the health-related resources available for classical musicians on and off campus for students in piano performance programs in New York City. I also combed through the curriculum of New York City’s piano performance programs to look for any classes focusing on performance-related health concerns and prevention. 

There are, in fact, various resources locally and internationally for musicians’ health, including health maintenance tips, therapies, diet tips, referrals to specialists, financial support, etc. These resources, however, seem disconnected from students and potential students, as research showed little mention of topics about health for musicians on the school website or curriculums. Several schools offer classes on Alexander Technique, which is known and proven beneficial for musicians. Still, these classes rarely get advertised on the website or the curriculums and are either elective or only offered if suggested by the professors. As a result of the research, there is still space for improvement in the awareness of these resources as well as health topics.

Audio Description: If Your Eyes Could Speak

Presenter(s): Dr. Joel Snyder

Description: NOTE: This presentation is not the result of formal research. Rather, it is informed by over 40 years of practice/work as an arts administrator and advocate for greater accessibility to the arts, particularly for people who are blind or partially sighted.

How can a blind person “see” a media event or a theatrical presentation? 

This presentation will demonstrate how audio description (AD) provides access to the arts for people who are blind.  AD makes visual images accessible for people who are blind or have low vision via a translation of visual images to succinct language. Using words that are vivid and imaginative, describers observe, select, and use language to convey the visual image that is not fully accessible to a segment of the population—the American Foundation for the Blind notes that 31 million Americans are blind or “have difficulty seeing even with correction”. 

While literature exists that focuses on guidelines for professional audio describers (United States, U.K., Spain, Australia), little has been done to introduce arts administrators to the importance of including people with disabilities among the audiences for arts events. Specifically, people with vision loss are woefully underrepresented among audiences for the arts--not for lack of interest on the part of this underserved population but rather a lack of awareness of their needs on the part of society at large and in particular, arts managers and administrators.

This presentation will review the history of audio description with a focus on the nature of audio description consumers in the arts and how audio description techniques can build and further diversify arts audiences. These techniques (“The Four Fundamentals of Audio Description” developed by Dr. Snyder throughout the 1990s) form the foundation for building an audio description program: 

- OBSERVATION: Active Seeing / Visual Literacy -- how to develop skills in concentration and observation

- EDITING: WHAT SHOULD BE DESCRIBED -- the art of "editing" from what you see

- LANGUAGE: WHAT WORDS TO USE – Brevity, Imagination, Objectivity

- VOCAL SKILLS: using the spoken word to make meaning

Why Is It Important That We Continue? Some Nonprofit Arts Organizations Rethink Their Value in Challenging Times

Presenter(s): Francie Ostrower (University of Texas at Austin)

Description: This paper examines how leaders and staff at one group of large, nonprofit performing arts organizations are thinking about (and re-thinking) the rationales for their organization’s importance and sustainability in a changing environment. The study found a surprisingly high portion of leaders questioning the adequacy of their traditional rationales. Instead, they felt change in the direction of greater organizational engagement with their wider communities was necessary to legitimate their continued importance. The paper analyzes these views, factors that promote and inhibit such change, and implications for arts management. The findings are considered in relation to questions and challenges (of audience engagement, value, and relevance) facing large, nonprofit arts organizations. Data are drawn from in-depth interviews conducted as part of a larger, multi-year, multi-method study of audience-building activities among arts organizations in The Wallace Foundations Building Audiences for Sustainability Initiative. The study was commissioned and funded by The Wallace Foundation. The author is the study’s Principal Investigator.

4:15 pm – 5:15 pm Keynote Talk by Mara Isaacs, a Tony® and Grammy® Award winning producer and founder of Octopus Theatricals.

Location: Room 5-150

7:00 PM  - Closing Reception (Weeksville Heritage Center) | Prize Winners Announcement & Closing Remarks

Location: Weeksville Heritage Center, 158 Buffalo Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11213

Round trip by charter bus for registered participants

Accessibility: For information on the venue and its available resources, please visit their website.



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